Dutch culture

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Simon Mason, May 19, 2004.

  1. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

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  2. martin

    martin Guest

    "Simon Mason" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Goede Morgen :)
    >
    > Reading a book about Dutch culture last night there was this passage about
    > Dutch cycling.


    Brings back happy memories of many enjoyable cycling tours there, the
    only place other than on the London-Brighton I have ever been in a
    bike-jam ;-)
     
  3. Howard

    Howard Guest

    Nice quote Simon,

    What was the book and who is it by?

    This is also interesting. It was on the net but now has gone. It is by
    the author of http://www.kung-foo.tv/

    'The Dutch thrive on "gezelligheid". It is such a highly valued and
    aspired concept that there is no foreign word that equals it. Roughly,
    it means a warm, cosy and homely feeling that you are doing the right
    thing by contributing to the wellbeing of one and all. As such, it
    applies to any context where you and/or your companions feel like
    you're just created a safe and warm home, a place where you are
    feeling happy and comfortable with the present companions, just for
    that single moment. Gezelligheid does not depend on wealth, a
    comfortable place, warmth, or what not. You can hear the phrase "He!
    Wat gezellig!" (Hey! How "cosy" it is!) in the weirdest situations.
    Sitting on the porch of a 'losmen' (lodgement) in Pangandaran,
    Indonesia, in the late afternoon, looking at the rain pouring down
    while drinking coffee "toebroek" can make you and your friend sigh and
    exclaim simultaneously: "He! Wat gezellig!". Even a junkie in a
    squatter's house at one of the Amsterdam canals can go like "He,
    gezellig!", when, with his friends passed out on the floor, the sun is
    breaking through the window and the smell of fresh bread from the
    baker at the corner of the street is seeping through the cracks of the
    floors. Gezelligheid is a state of mind.'
     
  4. Mark South

    Mark South Guest

    "Howard" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Nice quote Simon,
    >
    > What was the book and who is it by?
    >
    > This is also interesting. It was on the net but now has gone. It is by
    > the author of http://www.kung-foo.tv/
    >
    > 'The Dutch thrive on "gezelligheid". It is such a highly valued and
    > aspired concept that there is no foreign word that equals it.


    Sorry, bad news for you: the literal translation is "fellowship".

    > Roughly,
    > it means a warm, cosy and homely feeling that you are doing the right
    > thing by contributing to the wellbeing of one and all.


    Yes, indeed.

    --
    Mark South
    Citizen of the World, Denizen of the Net
    <<Tiens! Ce poulet a une grenade!>>
     
  5. [email protected]lid schreef ...
    > "Howard" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > Nice quote Simon,
    > >
    > > What was the book and who is it by?
    > >
    > > This is also interesting. It was on the net but now has gone. It is by
    > > the author of http://www.kung-foo.tv/
    > >
    > > 'The Dutch thrive on "gezelligheid". It is such a highly valued and
    > > aspired concept that there is no foreign word that equals it.

    >
    > Sorry, bad news for you: the literal translation is "fellowship".


    We interrupt this message with the following: the literal translation of
    'gezelligheid' is not 'fellowship'. Being Dutch, I should know ..... The
    description by the previous poster is more accurate. 'Gezelligheid' is
    not translatable (is that correct English?).

    > > Roughly,
    > > it means a warm, cosy and homely feeling that you are doing the right
    > > thing by contributing to the wellbeing of one and all.

    >
    > Yes, indeed.


    True.

    --
    Regards,
    Marten
     
  6. Mark South

    Mark South Guest

    "Marten Hoffmann" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > [email protected]lid schreef ...
    > > "Howard" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]
    > > > Nice quote Simon,
    > > >
    > > > What was the book and who is it by?
    > > >
    > > > This is also interesting. It was on the net but now has gone. It is by
    > > > the author of http://www.kung-foo.tv/
    > > >
    > > > 'The Dutch thrive on "gezelligheid". It is such a highly valued and
    > > > aspired concept that there is no foreign word that equals it.

    > >
    > > Sorry, bad news for you: the literal translation is "fellowship".

    >
    > We interrupt this message with the following: the literal translation of
    > 'gezelligheid' is not 'fellowship'. Being Dutch, I should know ..... The
    > description by the previous poster is more accurate. 'Gezelligheid' is
    > not translatable (is that correct English?).


    This is beginning to sound like the German claim that "gemuetlich" (content) is
    untranslatable. In other words, you are claiming that your nation has something
    that no other has.

    You should be aware that every nation has such a set of self-myths.

    So what's The Fellowship of the Ring called in Dutch?

    > > > Roughly,
    > > > it means a warm, cosy and homely feeling that you are doing the right
    > > > thing by contributing to the wellbeing of one and all.

    > >
    > > Yes, indeed.

    >
    > True.


    In England this would probably be more likely to be described as
    "parliamentarianism" :-(
    --
    "To live in San Francisco and just not care that
    there are naked triathletes running across
    your lawn, that's just a waste of exhibitionism."
    - Kibo
     
  7. Nick Kew

    Nick Kew Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Marten Hoffmann <[email protected]> writes:

    > We interrupt this message with the following: the literal translation of
    > 'gezelligheid' is not 'fellowship'. Being Dutch, I should know .....


    Not being dutch I wouldn't know. OTOH my knowledge of other languages
    (excluding dutch) leads me to suggest "companionship". But I also
    understand it's a word that carries meaning over and above the
    literal to native speakers.

    I wonder if it's a rather good expression of something that's
    well-known to open-source software developers?

    --
    Nick Kew
     
  8. On Wed, 19 May 2004 23:58:49 +0200, Mark South wrote:

    > "Marten Hoffmann" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> [email protected]lid schreef ...
    >>> "Howard" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >>> news:[email protected]
    >>> > Nice quote Simon,
    >>> >
    >>> > What was the book and who is it by?
    >>> >
    >>> > This is also interesting. It was on the net but now has gone. It is by
    >>> > the author of http://www.kung-foo.tv/
    >>> >
    >>> > 'The Dutch thrive on "gezelligheid". It is such a highly valued and
    >>> > aspired concept that there is no foreign word that equals it.
    >>>
    >>> Sorry, bad news for you: the literal translation is "fellowship".

    >>
    >> We interrupt this message with the following: the literal translation of
    >> 'gezelligheid' is not 'fellowship'. Being Dutch, I should know ..... The
    >> description by the previous poster is more accurate. 'Gezelligheid' is
    >> not translatable (is that correct English?).

    >
    > This is beginning to sound like the German claim that "gemuetlich" (content) is
    > untranslatable. In other words, you are claiming that your nation has something
    > that no other has.
    >
    > You should be aware that every nation has such a set of self-myths.
    >
    > So what's The Fellowship of the Ring called in Dutch?
    >


    I think it's 'de Reisgenoten' (travelling companions?) bimbw.

    I don't understand your reference to the German 'gemuetlich' (content).
    'Gemuetlich' often translates as 'cosy' or 'snug' and isn't very different
    to gezellig although my German-Dutch dictionary doesn't translate
    'gemuetlich' as 'gezellig' or vice versa.

    Translation isn't as simple as you imply. One-to-one correspondence
    between words in different languages is often lacking. This doesn't
    necessarily mean that one nation has something another doesn't. It may
    just mean that speakers of one language haven't found it necessary to
    invent a word to communicate something represented by a single word in
    another language.

    Both the German words 'Schadenfreude' and 'Zeitgeist' have been imported
    into English because there are no single word equivalents.

    --
    Michael MacClancy
    Random putdown - "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't
    it." -Groucho Marx
    www.macclancy.demon.co.uk
    www.macclancy.co.uk
     
  9. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

  10. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Simon Mason wrote:

    > It was this one. Actually there is a much better one that I read in Holland
    > when staying with friends, but I can't for the life of me remember what it
    > was called.


    Roos gave me "The Undutchables"
    (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1888580224/ref=sr_aps_books_1_1/202-3724621-5367803)
    as a handy "user-manual"...

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  11. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    "Peter Clinch" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Simon Mason wrote:
    >
    > > It was this one. Actually there is a much better one that I read in

    Holland
    > > when staying with friends, but I can't for the life of me remember what

    it
    > > was called.

    >
    > Roos gave me "The Undutchables"
    >

    (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1888580224/ref=sr_aps_books_1_1/20
    2-3724621-5367803)
    > as a handy "user-manual"...


    That's the one! Thanks Peter - I've ordered a used one just now :)

    --
    Simon M.
     
  12. davek

    davek Guest

    Michael MacClancy:
    > Translation isn't as simple as you imply. One-to-one correspondence
    > between words in different languages is often lacking.


    I agree entirely, but it is partly down to cultural differences - the reason
    there's no English word for Schadenfreude is not because it's a concept we
    lack but because our natural British reserve has always prevented us talking
    about it, hence no need for the word. ;-)

    > Both the German words 'Schadenfreude' and 'Zeitgeist' have been imported
    > into English because there are no single word equivalents.


    Hmm. Zeitgeist is a word I could do with hearing a lot less of.

    d.
     
  13. On Thu, 20 May 2004 11:20:41 +0000 (UTC), davek wrote:

    > Michael MacClancy:
    >> Translation isn't as simple as you imply. One-to-one correspondence
    >> between words in different languages is often lacking.

    >
    > I agree entirely, but it is partly down to cultural differences - the reason
    > there's no English word for Schadenfreude is not because it's a concept we
    > lack but because our natural British reserve has always prevented us talking
    > about it, hence no need for the word. ;-)
    >


    But the Americans don't have a word for it either - and I wouldn't say they
    are reserved ;-)

    .... although some people claim that 'epicaricacy' is an English word with
    the same meaning as 'Schadenfreude'.

    --
    Michael MacClancy
    Random putdown - "He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." -
    Forrest Tucker
    www.macclancy.demon.co.uk
    www.macclancy.co.uk
     
  14. On Wed, 19 May 2004 23:58:49 +0200, Mark South wrote:
    > So what's The Fellowship of the Ring called in Dutch?


    I think it's left untranslated, but if not, NO WAY is it called
    "Gezelligheid van de ring"...

    Ah OK, I looked it up; it's called "De reisgenoten", and an accepted
    more literal translation is "Gezelschap van de Negen" (fellowship of
    (the) nine). A gezelschap can be gezellig, but there are also lots of
    gezelschappen that can't stand the word gezellig. Gezelligheid is often
    associated with a middle-class or bourgeois attitude. Of course, and as
    always, people with real class have no such disdain for honest emotions.
     
  15. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

  16. On Thu, 20 May 2004 13:44:55 +0100, Simon Mason wrote:
    >> Addition: there are now some 18 million bicycles in this country......

    >
    > There are 20 million bikes in the UK. The difference is - you use them ;-)


    ...and some 44M people.
     
  17. In news:[email protected],
    Ewoud Dronkert <[email protected]> typed:
    > On Thu, 20 May 2004 13:44:55 +0100, Simon Mason wrote:
    >>> Addition: there are now some 18 million bicycles in this
    >>> country......

    >>
    >> There are 20 million bikes in the UK. The difference is - you use
    >> them ;-)

    >
    > ..and some 44M people.


    Yes. There's 1016 bikes per 1000 inhabitants in the Netherlands, compared to
    200ish per 1000 in the UK. The UK's bikes are considerably less underused
    than the bikes in several other European countries, e.g. France (slightly
    higher overall mileage but lower day to day usage), Luxembourg, Spain,
    Portugal, Greece, however.

    A
     
  18. On Thu, 20 May 2004 15:46:34 +0200, Ewoud Dronkert wrote:

    > On Thu, 20 May 2004 13:44:55 +0100, Simon Mason wrote:
    >>> Addition: there are now some 18 million bicycles in this country......

    >>
    >> There are 20 million bikes in the UK. The difference is - you use them ;-)

    >
    > ..and some 44M people.


    Where?
    --
    Michael MacClancy
    Random putdown - "He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his
    friends." -Oscar Wilde
    www.macclancy.demon.co.uk
    www.macclancy.co.uk
     
  19. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Michael MacClancy wrote:

    >>..and some 44M people.


    > Where?


    Is a bit wide of the mark... As of the 2001 census there were
    58,789,194 subdivided as England 49,138,831 (83.6 per cent of the total
    population); Scotland 5,062,011 (8.6 per cent); Wales 2,903,085 (4.9 per
    cent); Northern Ireland 1,685,267 (2.9 per cent).

    But the higher figure makes our own cycle numbers even more lamentable.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
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