250 Dutch Proverbs – lesson 22


 
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Picture by Kata Szep.
 

Transcript of the video lesson (scroll for more text):

Welcome to my video course “250 Dutch Proverbs”. I made a selection of proverbs and sayings that anyone who learns Dutch should know. The course consists of 25 lessons. In each lesson, I explain the meaning of 10 proverbs or sayings.Subtitles are available for each lesson. You just push the CC button in YouTube. The transcript of the lesson you find on Learndutch.org.

And here you see the drawing of today, made by Dutch learner and graphics designer Kata from Hungary. It represents 1 of the 10 proverbs of this video. By the end of the lesson, I show you the drawing again. Your task to guess which proverb it is.

Let’s start with lesson 22, containing proverbs 211-220.

Proverb 211 “pappen en nathouden”
Literally: putting paste on it and keeping it wet. The expression is used, when a rigorous approach to solve the problem is avoided. Instead, some minor measures are taken in order not to let the situation get worse. The origin of this expression is a medical treatment, where a doctor prescribed paste to put on the skin; in a situation where surgery would have been another option.

Proverb 212 “het is één pot nat”
Here the word “nat”, which usually is translated as “wet”, has the meaning of liquid food. So the literal translation would be; it is all one pot of liquid food. The meaning is that it is all the same. It all comes from the same pot. You can use it in a situation when someone is comparing opponents and concludes that they are actually all the same (not in a positive sense). For example, you have a political discussion, comparing the views of one political party with another. And then someone in the discussion says; these politicians are there only for themselves. “Het is één pot nat”.

Proverb 213 “achter iemands rug”
Literally: behind one’s back. Same as in English: when two people do something or say something a third person doesn’t know about. You use the expression in a situation, which is considered unfair.

Proverb 214 “ergens een slaatje uit slaan”
Literally: to beat a salad out of it. The expression is used when one tries to use a specific situation to get an extra benefit. Mostly, it is not a positive judgement and used when a certain way of earning money is morally unacceptable. For example, there is a train disruption and no trains go to the airport and cab drivers come to the railway station and offer a ride at rocket prices.

Proverb 215 “spekkoper zijn”
Literally: to be a buyer of bacon. You can say about someone who made a very good deal. The origin of this expression is the time that bacon was very expensive, so only those who had much money could afford to buy bacon.

Proverb 216 ”iets niet onder stoelen of banken steken”
Literally: not to hide it under chairs or couches. The expression is used when someone shares publicly some information (about himself) that others maybe would hide. It could be in the case when someone is not ashamed, but also when someone is not modest. It is especially frequently used when someone explicitly announces his ambitions. For example: hij stak niet onder stoelen of banken dat hij minister wilde worden.

Proverb 217 “er blijft wat aan de strijkstok hangen”
A violin bow is called in Dutch “strijkstok”. However, and most Dutch don’t know that, this is not the origin of this proverb. It is actually a stick, which was used as a ruler to wipe away the extra grains in a measuring jug. So the literal translation says, that this ruler took away too much. You use the proverb when a relatively small part of the finance reaches its final destination; for example when the overhead costs are too high, or when affiliates take high commissions. The expression is used frequently when talking about the inefficiency of charity funds.

Proverb 218 “stuivertje wisselen”
A “stuiver”, used to be the 5 cents coin in the time before the euro, when we had the Dutch guilder. So the literal translation is: exchanging 5-cent coins. It is used to express position changes, when people take each other’s position. It can refer to sports rankings but also to job rotations. For example, if the vice-chairman becomes the chairman and the chairman becomes the vice chairman.

Proverb 219 “de beste stuurlui staan aan wal”
Literally: the best helmsmen stand on the shore. You use the proverb when someone who is not in charge of the job, thinks to know better how the job should be done. As long as he does not need to prove he can do it well, it is very easily for him act like he’s an expert.

Proverb 220 “een tipje van de sluier oplichten”
Literally: to lift the tip of the veil. The “sluier” is the part of clothing that covers the face (usually: of women). The expression is used, when someone unveils to fans or users some first information, about an upcoming event, performance or product. For example, the author is writing a new book. By telling where the book will be situated, he lifts the tip of the veil. Hij licht een tipje van de sluier op.

Here you see Kata’s drawing again. It is one of the proverbs of this lesson. I hope you are able to determine which proverb is represented here. And just a small hint – you don’t need your longterm memory.

If you, just like Kata, are also a creative person, and you want to show your skills to the audience of learndutch.org. Feel free to contact me with your ideas !

So, that’s it for today. Again you know 10 more Dutch proverbs.

Continue, and finish this course, and you will be a buyer of bacon, and no reason to hide that under chairs or couches!

Do not forget to share this video on social media, and to put thumbs up in YouTube.
See you back in lesson 23 of 250 Dutch Proverbs.

 

250 Dutch Proverbs – lesson 21


 
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Picture by Kata Szep.
 
Transcript of the video lesson (scroll for more text):

Welcome to my video course “250 Dutch Proverbs”. I made a selection of proverbs and sayings that anyone who learns Dutch should know. The course consists of 25 lessons. In each lesson, I explain the meaning of 10 proverbs or sayings.Subtitles are available for each lesson. You just push the CC button in YouTube. The transcript of the lesson you find on Learndutch.org.

And here you see the drawing of today, made by Dutch learner and graphics designer Kata from Hungary. It represents 1 of the 10 proverbs of this video. By the end of the lesson, I show you the drawing again. Your task to guess which proverb it is.

Let’s start with lesson 21, containing proverbs 201-210.

Proverb 201 “geen slapende honden wakker maken”
Literally: not to wake up sleeping dogs. You use the expression when you discover something, what others do not know; and you prefer not to tell about it, to avoid any problems. The proverb is typically used in a situation you found out that you were wrong yourself, but not on purpose. Confessing your mistake and trying to solve it, may get you into troubles, while at the same time it is not likely someone will ever find out. For example, you have done a reconstruction at your house, after the municipality gave you permission. But after you finished the reconstruction, you find out that the measures in the permission differ a few centimetres from the end result. The risk of going to the municipality, is that you may meet some bureaucratic procedure and perhaps you have to break done what was made. While on the other hand, this is something, which is never checked. In such a situation you better let the dogs sleep.

Proverb 202 “achter de geraniums zitten”
Literally: to sit behind the geraniums. Another proverb about flowers. Geraniums are flowers that are typically put in boxes, below the window at the facade of a house. If you are behind these geraniums, you are inside the house. Now that explains the meaning: to have an inactive life, usually as a result of being unemployed or because of an elder age. A typical answer, if you ask what a person is planning to do when going on pension; “ik ga zeker nog niet achter de geraniums zitten!” I for sure will lead an active life.

Proverb 203 “de handdoek in de ring gooien”
Literally: to throw the towel into the ring. Like in English. The meaning is: to give up, or to quit. And the origin is boxing, where a trainer could stop the fight this way.

Proverb 204 “een kort lontje hebben”
Literally: to have a short fuse. Also in English. The expression is used to tell someone gets angry very quickly.

Proverb 205 “ergens met de pet naar gooien”
Literally: to throw with the cap to something. The meaning is to deliver bad work as a result of not putting much effort into it. It is believed the origin is a boy game in the past, to catch butterflies by throwing a cap. But that method usually failed.

Proverb 206 “als een kip zonder kop”
Literally: like a headless chicken. You use it when you start doing something without a plan, or without even thinking. If you cut the head of a chicken, then it will still run for a few minutes. For myself, I have to admit; this expression could be used to describe me going to the supermarket. I never take a shopping list. As a result I go zig-zag through the shop. Als een kip zonder kop.

Proverb 207 “de hond in de pot vinden”
Literally: to encounter the dog in the pot. The meaning is to arrive late, after the benefits have been divided (and consumed). The origin of the expression; in the past, the dog usually got the last bit of food after the family had their meal. So if you arrive and the dog is licking the last pieces of food from the pot, then you’re late for dinner.

Proverb 208 “een open deur intrappen”
Literally: to force an open door. You use this expression when someone makes a statement which is so obvious, it is actually unnecessary to say. For example, if you want to be rich, you have to earn money. The expression can also be used without the verb “intrappen”. If you judge the statement itself, then you say: “dat is een open deur”. It’s obvious.

Proverb 209 “niet over één nacht ijs gaan”
Literally: not to go on one-night-ice. The meaning is that you want to make a good decision and you better take your time to think about it. It’s another saying related to our national sport skating. The ice that appears after only 1 night of frost, is too weak to carry someone. So it’s better to wait until it is stronger.

Proverb 210 “spreken is zilver, zwijgen is goud”
Literally: speech is silver, silence is gold. You can actually say it in two situations; first situation when you want to give a hint to some talkative person that he should speak less. Secondly, it can also refer to being discrete. Better not to tell something you’re not supposed to say. And at the same time, let other people talk to collect as much as possible information.

Here you see Kata’s drawing again. It is one of the proverbs of this lesson. I hope you are able to determine which proverb is represented here.

If you, just like Kata, are also a creative person, and you want to show your skills to the audience of learndutch.org. Feel free to contact me with your ideas !

So, that’s it for today. Again you know 10 more Dutch proverbs.
We’re almost there with only 4 lessons to go. So, don’t throw the towel in the ring !

Do not forget to share this video on social media, and to put thumbs up in YouTube.
See you back in lesson 22 of 250 Dutch Proverbs.

 

250 Dutch Proverbs – lesson 20


 

dutch-proverbs-tiles-2.020

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Picture by Kata Szep.
 
Transcript of the video lesson (scroll for more text):

Welcome to my video course “250 Dutch Proverbs”. I made a selection of proverbs and sayings that anyone who learns Dutch should know. The course consists of 25 lessons. In each lesson, I explain the meaning of 10 proverbs or sayings.Subtitles are available for each lesson. You just push the CC button in YouTube. The transcript of the lesson you find on Learndutch.org.

And here you see the drawing of today, made by Dutch learner and graphics designer Kata from Hungary. It represents 1 of the 10 proverbs of this video. By the end of the lesson, I show you the drawing again. Your task to guess which proverb it is.

Let’s start with lesson 20, containing proverbs 191-200.

Proverb 191 “alles uit de kast halen”
Literally: to get everything out of the closet. The meaning is: to do everything you can. For example: ik moest alles uit de kast halen om die baan te krijgen. I had to do all I could to get the job.

Proverb 192 “een oud paard van stal halen”
Literally: to get the old horse out of the stable. The meaning is to dig something up again.

Proverb 193 “de touwtjes in handen hebben”
Literally: to have the ropes in the hands. The meaning is to be the boss. The word ropes refers to the reins to direct a horse (in Dutch: teugels). You can use the proverb also as “de teugels in handen hebben”.

Proverb 194 “iemand om de tuin leiden”
Literally: to guide someone around the garden. The meaning is to cheat someone. Actually the word “tuin” here, is not the plot of land next to your house, but the meaning it had in the middle ages: a fence. So guiding around the fence, means that you don’t give access to the truth.

Proverb 195 “na regen komt zonneschijn”
Literally: there will be sunshine after the rain. The meaning: after a bad time, there will be always a better period.

Proverb 196 “in geen velden of wegen te bekennen zijn”
Literally: not to be seen in fields or roads. You can use the expression when someone disappeared. You can also use it in combination with “iemand”: “in geen velden of wegen was er iemand te bekennen” and then it is like the English equivalent “not a soul was to be seen”.

Proverb 197 “zich op een hellend vlak begeven”
Literally: to move on to a steep surface. A better translation of “hellend vlak” is actually a “slippery slope”, and refers to a certain way of logic in a debate. It is used when someone suggests a causality (without any ground) or exaggerates a correlation. For example, if raising the pensions appears to be good for the economy, why we do not double the pensions, it would be even better.

Proverb 198 “iemand achter de vodden zitten”
Literally: to chase someone’s tatters. The expression is used, when someone needs to be instructed to work harder. Usually when a person is lazy by himself, and only does something when you continuously remind him about his duties. Then you say: “je moet hem achter zijn vodden zitten”.

Proverb 199 “weten hoe de vork in de steel zit”
Literally: to know how the fork is attached to the stem. The meaning is that one understands perfectly the whole situation.

Proverb 200 “een vos verliest zijn haren, maar niet zijn streken”
Literally: a fox may lose his hair but not his cunning. The meaning: people may get older, but they rarely change. The expression is often used to talk about someone who did something wrong in the past, as a warning that it may happen again.

Here you see Kata’s drawing again. It is one of the proverbs of this lesson. I hope you are able to determine which proverb is represented here.

If you, just like Kata, are also a creative person, and you want to show your skills to the audience of learndutch.org. Feel free to contact me with your ideas !

So, that’s it for today. Again you know 10 more Dutch proverbs.
Get everything out of the closet to finish this course. I hope I don’t need to chase your tatters.

Do not forget to share this video on social media, and put thumbs up in YouTube.
See you back in lesson 21 of 250 Dutch Proverbs.

 

250 Dutch Proverbs – lesson 19


 
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Picture by Kata Szep.
 
Transcript of the video lesson (scroll for more text):

Welcome to my video course “250 Dutch Proverbs”. I made a selection of proverbs and sayings that anyone who learns Dutch should know. The course consists of 25 lessons. In each lesson, I explain the meaning of 10 proverbs or sayings.Subtitles are available for each lesson. You just push the CC button in YouTube. The transcript of the lesson you find on Learndutch.org.

And here you see the drawing of today, made by Dutch learner and graphics designer Kata from Hungary. It represents 1 of the 10 proverbs of this video. By the end of the lesson, I show you the drawing again. Your task to guess which proverb it is.

Let’s start with lesson 19, containing proverbs 181-190.

Proverb 181 “ergens een punt achter zetten”
Literally: to put a full stop (or “period” in US english). The meaning is to finish or to quit something (and not return back to it). It is often used when someone talks about his career. For example, the football player ended his career: hij zette een punt achter zijn voetbal-loopbaan.

Proverb 182 “met zijn rug tegen de muur staan”
Literally: to stand with his back against the wall. The same as in English. You use it when there is a serious situation with only a few ways to get out. It is often used to justify some action, which one would not do in a normal situation.

Proverb 183 “uit de school klappen”
When we say “klappen” in Dutch, we usually mean to clap in your hands. However, the translation here is: to talk. In the Netherlands this second meaning is not used anymore, but in some Flemish dialects it is. So, the literal translation of the expression, is to “talk out of the school”, referring to what children told about what happened at school. The meaning of this expression is to tell something what should not have been shared publicly.

Proverb 184 “een sigaar uit eigen doos”
Literally: a cigar from his own box. The expression is used, when one offers something to someone else, while the receiver is actually the one who paid for it. It looks like a present, but it is not. For example, a company may offer you a nice present to use their services. But in the end, it is not really a present, it is paid from the money of the customer.

Proverb 185 “een staartje krijgen”
Literally: to get a tail. The meaning of this saying is, that it is likely there will be some discussion later about it. Normally it is used in the case of a positive event, but with some element that could be contested at a later stage. For example, a city administration organises a nice party, but the costs appeared twice the original budget.

Proverb 186 “een stok achter de deur hebben”
Literally: to have a stick behind the door. The origin of this expression was rather negative, as “the stick” refers to something you can use to beat someone else. For example in case the other person did not act according your request. So “the stick” is seen as an extra measure to thread with. The current meaning is actually more positive. It is like a back-up, or extra measure you can use to achieve your result. Not a thread, but more like an extra motivation. So even a “bonus” to achieve the company goals could be regarded “een stok achter de deur” (a possible extra measure when you see you’re a little behind on the target – to push the result in the right direction).

Proverb 187 “zijn tanden laten zien”
Literally: to show his teeth. You use the expression when you are not afraid, to show you are ready to defend yourself. The origin of the expression is the way some animals act, to give a signal to someone who threatens.

Proverb 188 “in rustiger vaarwater komen”
Literally: to reach a quieter waterway. The saying is used to express the end of a hectic period. For example if the stock exchange stabilises on a certain level, after a period with heavy ups-and-downs (periods that could be classified as rollercoasters).

Proverb 189 “het is geen vetpot”
Literally: it is not a grease cup. You say it in a situation when a job is not paid very well. It is not going to make you rich.

Proverb 190 “zijn visitekaartje afgeven”
Literally: to give your business card. Of course you can use it literally. But it is also an expression to use when someone does something extremely well, at a moment when nobody actually heard of him. For example, if a new player in a football team scores 3 goals in his first match. Or a young politician has a won a debate. Then you can use: he gave his business card.

Here you see Kata’s drawing again. It is one of the proverbs of this lesson. I hope you are able to determine which proverb is represented here.

If you, just like Kata, are also a creative person, and you want to show your skills to the audience of learndutch.org. Feel free to contact me with your ideas !

So, that’s it for today. Again you know 10 more Dutch proverbs.
Not yet time to put a full stop. Finish the course; start using proverbs to the Dutch, and it will be like giving your business card.

Do not forget to share this video on social media, and put thumbs up in YouTube.
See you back in lesson 20 of 250 Dutch Proverbs.

 

250 Dutch Proverbs – lesson 18


 


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Picture by Kata Szep.
 

Transcript of the video lesson (scroll for more text):

Welcome to my video course “250 Dutch Proverbs”. I made a selection of proverbs and sayings that anyone who learns Dutch should know. The course consists of 25 lessons. In each lesson, I explain the meaning of 10 proverbs or sayings.Subtitles are available for each lesson. You just push the CC button in YouTube. The transcript of the lesson you find on Learndutch.org.

And here you see the drawing of today, made by Kata from Hungary. It represents 1 of the 10 proverbs of this video. By the end of the lesson, I show you the drawing again. Your task to guess which proverb it is.

Let’s start with lesson 18, containing proverbs 171-180.

Proverb 171 “in de aap gelogeerd zijn”
Literally: to have a stay overnight in the monkey. The meaning is to get into troubles, usually while you did not expect. The expression sounds of course a bit strange. How could you stay overnight in a monkey? Well, it is believed there used to be a guesthouse in Amsterdam, which was called “the Monkey”. It doesn’t exist anymore, but if it would, it probably would have the worst possible reviews on Tripadvisor. It was considered highly uncomfortable and it was said that the clients were cheated.

Proverb 172 “een appeltje met iemand te schillen hebben”
Literally: to have an apple to peel with someone. An English equivalent would be to have a bone to pick with someone. The meaning is that you are angry with someone and ready for a confrontation. It is believed the original expression was not to peel an apple, but an onion. And we all know crying is the result of peeling an onion.

Proverb 173 “de bloemetjes buitenzetten”
Literally: to put the flowers outside. The meaning is to have a party. The expression is mostly used to stress your plans for tonight: vanavond ga ik de bloemetjes buiten zetten. An English proverb with the same meaning is: painting the town red. The origin of both the Dutch as the English proverb is the habit of decorating the houses when there was going to be a party in the city. And of course you understand, that we in Holland, decorate our houses with flowers.

Proverb 174 “de dood of de gladiolen”
And that is another proverb about flowers. Literally: the death or the gladioli (plural of gladiolus, which is a flower). Dutch cyclists started to use the expression at the end of the seventies. The meaning is: all or nothing. And you use it when you need to take (much) risk in order to win. So, either you die or you get the flowers for the victory. Whether the Dutch cyclists are also the inventors of this proverb, is not so clear. There are some interesting theories. One theory says that the origin is the roman gladiator fights. The word for sword in Latin is “gladio”. And the winner of those fights got gladioli. Another theory is the Nijmegen four-day March, which is a big and historic event in the Netherlands, where participants march 50 kilometres per day during 4 days. The tradition is that the street, which they pass just before the finish, is called that day “Via Gladiola” and the spectators give the gladioli to the participants.

Proverb 175 “eieren voor zijn geld kiezen”
Literally: to choose eggs instead of money. You use the expression in a situation when someone is forced accept a lower compensation than he was initially hoping for. For example: someone is selling his house. Initially, there was no intention to sell it quickly, but then he got a job in another city. At this moment, there is only one potential buyer who bids 20% lower than the asking price. When the seller accepts, you can say: “hij koos eieren voor zijn geld”.

Proverb 176 “om de haverklap”
Literally: every other oat-punch. The meaning is: very frequently. And you use it to express some negative event happens often, or to stress some repeated negative behaviour. For example: he used to arrive late, “hij kwam om de haverklap te laat”. Another example: recently there are frequently burglaries in the neighbourhood, “de laatste tijd wordt er om de haverklap ingebroken in onze wijk”.

Proverb 177 “huilen met de pet op”
Literally: to cry while wearing a cap. You use it, when you want to stress when some performance or organisation was really bad, highly unprofessional. For example, the football team lost 8 to 0. “Het was huilen met de pet op”.

Proverb 178 “de laatste loodjes wegen het zwaarst”
Literally: the last pieces of lead, are the heaviest. The meaning is used, when most of the job is done, but you still have to go through the last phase in the process, which appears not be the easiest part. For example, a marathon runner will agree that the last 10 kilometres are much more difficult than the first 32. The origin of this expression is the ancient technique of printing. Someone had to put the letters made of lead into a matrix. He was holding the letters in one hand, and used the other hand to put them in the right order. Of course this hand got more and more tired, as the job progressed.

Proverb 179 “iemand aan de tand voelen”
Literally: to touch someone at the tooth. The meaning is to question someone in a strict way, usually with the goal to find out who is guilty or what happened. Again this is an expression related to horse-trading. Remember the expression of lesson 10, that you should not watch in the mouth of a given horse. Also this expression is related to the way of determining the age of a horse, by its teeth.

Proverb 180 “maak je borst maar nat”
Literally: make your chest wet. You use this expression to tell someone, that something is going to be heavy and difficult, and you warn not to underestimate a future job. But at the same time, you challenge and encourage. For example, a teacher is handing out the exams. He can use the expression, and by doing so, he says the exam is difficult, but it is also a way to encourage one to get the best out of himself. The origin of this expression is a habit of sailors. They used to get wet when executing extremely difficult tasks. To make your body get used to the cold water, they made their chests wet before starting the job. By doing so, they showed they did not underestimate the job, as they expected to get wet.

Here you see Kata’s drawing again. It is one of the proverbs of this lesson. I hope you are able to determine which proverb is represented here.

If you, just like Kata, are also a creative person, and you want to show your skills to the audience of learndutch.org. Feel free to contact me with your ideas !

So, that’s it for today. Again you know 10 more Dutch proverbs.
Make your chest wet for the next lessons. The last leads will be the heaviest.

Do not forget to share this video on social media, and to put thumbs up in YouTube.
See you back in lesson 19 of 250 Dutch Proverbs.

 

250 Dutch Proverbs – lesson 17


 
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Picture by Kata Szep.
 

Transcript of the video lesson (scroll for more text):

Welcome to my video course “250 Dutch Proverbs”. I made a selection of proverbs and sayings that anyone who learns Dutch should know. The course consists of 25 lessons. In each lesson, I explain the meaning of 10 proverbs or sayings.Subtitles are available for each lesson. You just push the CC button in YouTube. The transcript of the lesson you find on Learndutch.org.

And here you see the drawing of today of Kata from Hungary. It represents 1 of the 10 proverbs of this video. By the end of the lesson, I show you the drawing again. Your task to guess which proverb it is.

Let’s start with lesson 17, containing proverbs 161-170.

Proverb 161 “er is geen vuiltje aan de lucht”
The word “vuil” means dirty. But the meaning of the diminutive is not a dirty piece, but rather a speck of dust. So, there is no speck of dust in the air. The expression identifies a situation in which everything is ok, and there are no threads. Often it is used, to tell about a moment in the past, when it was not possible to foresee an approaching misfortune. For example, the company was making a profit. Last Christmas the employees received a large bonus. “Er was geen vuiltje aan de lucht”. But then, in January a new player entered the market aggressively. The company lost their market share and went bankrupt.

Proverb 162 “van twee walletjes eten”
Literally: to eat from two shores. The expression is used when someone tries to get the benefits from two sides or groups. It is not used in a positive sense. Instead of choosing one side, this type of person jumps from one to the other, on the moments that there is some benefit at the other side. The expression’s origin is a cow, which is standing in a ditch, so he can eat from both the shores.

Proverb 163 “water naar de zee dragen”
Literally: to carry water to the sea. The meaning is to do work that is absolutely useless.

Proverb 164 “waar een wil is, is een weg”
Literally: where is a desire, there is a road. In other words, if you really want something, there is always a way to achieve it.

Proverb 165 “iets met een korreltje zout nemen”
Literally: to take something with a pinch of salt. The same as in English, although I think in American English “grain of salt” is used. The expression is used when you should not believe a story entirely.

Proverb 166 “één zwaluw maakt nog geen zomer”
Literally: one swallow does not make a summer. This is also an expression that exists in English. You use it when there is a positive sign, but it is not necessarily indicating a trend.

Proverb 167 “Joost mag het weten”
Literally: Joost may know it. The meaning is: I don’t know. “Joost” is a male Dutch name. However, it is actually not referring to some Dutch guy. Joost comes from Joos, which was the name of a Chinese god in Java (in Indonesia which was part of the Netherlands). Now for the Dutch the meaning of Joos was devil. Because this God was not their own God, so they made the God Joos synonym for devil. So Joost may know it, is actually, the devil may know it.

Proverb 168 “Het in Keulen horen donderen”
Literally: to hear the thunder in Cologne. You use the expression to say someone is extremely surprised after he was told something. Cologne is quite far from the Dutch border. I checked it in Google maps – approximately 60 kilometres. So normally, you would never be able to hear the thunder from that distance. So it would be extremely surprising in case you would.

Proverb 169 “Dat is koffiedik kijken”
Literally: you have to read the coffee grounds. The meaning: it is difficult to predict. And the origin of this expression is what is called tasseography, a fortune telling method. After drinking a cup of Turkish coffee, there is some muddy residue left at the bottom. Some believe they can read the future from these coffee grounds.

Proverb 170 “De kogel is door de kerk”
Literally: the bullet is through the church. The meaning of this expression is: the decision has been made. It is believed the origin of this expression is that fact that churches during a war usually were not a target. However, when the enemy would start shooting on a church, it indicated the end of any compromise. Likely it the origin is a specific case: a church in the Dutch city Haarlem was hit during the war with Spain in 1573. This bullet you can still see there. Although the origin of the expression is sad, nowadays it has no negative meaning at all.

Here you see the drawing of Kata again. One of the proverbs of this lesson. I hope you are able to determine which proverb is represented here.

If you, just like Kata, are also a creative person, and you want to show your skills to the audience of learndutch.org. Feel free to contact me with your ideas !

So, that’s it for today. Again you know 10 more Dutch proverbs.

It you really want to finish this course, there is a road. Studying Dutch proverbs is not carrying water to the sea.

Do not forget to share this video on social media, and to put thumbs up in YouTube.
See you back in lesson 18 of 250 Dutch Proverbs.

 

250 Dutch Proverbs – lesson 16


 
dutch-proverbs-tiles-2.016

Let your friends guess, share this picture!

Picture by Kata Szep.
 
Transcript of the video lesson (scroll for more text):

Welcome to my video course “250 Dutch Proverbs”. I made a selection of proverbs and sayings that anyone who learns Dutch should know. The course consists of 25 lessons. In each lesson, I explain the meaning of 10 proverbs or sayings.Subtitles are available for each lesson. You just push the CC button in YouTube. The transcript of the lesson you find on Learndutch.org.And here you see the drawing of today of Kata from Hungary. It represents 1 of the 10 proverbs of this video. By the end of the lesson, I show you the drawing again. Your task to guess which proverb it is.

Let’s start with lesson 16, containing proverbs 151-160.

Proverb 151 “Een blauwtje lopen”
Literally: to walk a blue one. The meaning: to get a rejection. Although it can be related to any request that is turned down, in most cases when this expression is used, it is about love. The one who is walking a blue one – is the one who is being rejected. If you want to include the information who rejected, then you use “bij”. For example: Jan heeft een blauwtje gelopen bij Marieke. Marieke rejected Jan.

Proverb 152 “Volgens Bartjens”
Literally: according to Bartjens. Of course, this is a saying that I like a lot. You use it when you come to a conclusion using a very straightforward way of reasoning. Now who was Bartjens? Bartjens was a mathematics teacher who wrote children’s mathematics books. These books where used in the Netherlands for two centuries. And as such – the statement “according to Bartjens” became used so much that it turned in to a proverb. Of course I hope, if my courses reach the same popularity… well perhaps one day this proverb is changed into “according to Bart”.

Proverb 153 “Een bos hout voor de deur”
Literally: a bunch of wood at the door. This expression is used when a woman has a large bust. In the German language this saying exists as well.

Proverb 154 “Een fluitje van een cent”
Literally: a one-penny flute. The meaning is something very easy. There was a time that you could buy a flute for just a penny. But it was a very simple one. So playing on it was also not difficult.

Proverb 155 “Oude koeien uit de sloot halen”
Literally: to get old cows out of the ditch. You use it, when someone starts telling about something (usually negative) that happened a long time ago, which is absolutely not relevant anymore. Often used as a counter-attack on a current blame. For example, your friend has broken your bike. You say you don’t like that. And then he comes up with a story of 10 years ago, where you did something to him.

Proverb 156 “Voor spek en bonen meedoen”
Literally: participate for bacon and beans. It can be used in two situations. First, if you participate in a contest but you don’t have the intention to win, and perhaps you even ask not to be listed in the results. Then you say: ik doe mee voor spek en bonen. Nothing negative about that. But the second situation in which you use it, is when someone comes to the conclusion he is being neglected: that his participation (in an activity or a discussion) is useless, because no one pays attention to him. The origin of the expression is actually when someone worked without getting paid, but got in return a meal (the bacon and beans).

Proverb 157 “De appel valt niet ver van de boom”
Literally: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. This is the same as in English. Children act like their parents. It can be related to behaviour, but also to for example hobbies and skills.

Proverb 158 “De druppel die de emmer doet overlopen”
Literally: the drop that made the bucket overflow. And the English equivalent is the straw that broke the camel’s back. The expression is used in a situation when negative behaviour accumulates till the moment that it is not accepted anymore. The last thing that happens, is seen as the last “drop”. De laatste druppel.

Proverb 159 “Je moet het ijzer smeden als het heet is”
Literally: strike while the iron is hot. You can only change the shape when the iron is hot, not when it’s cold. So it refers to the moment that you should undertake action; to take the opportunity when the conditions are most favourable.

Proverb 160 “Een storm in een glas water”
Literally: a storm in a glass of water. English equivalents: tempest in a teacup or storm in a teacup, meaning an exaggeration out of proportion of some small event.

Here you see the drawing of Kata again. One of the proverbs of this lesson. I hope you are able to determine which proverb is represented here.

If you, just like Kata, are also a creative person, and you want to show your skills to the audience of learndutch.org. Feel free to contact me with your ideas !

So, that’s it for today. Again you know 10 more Dutch proverbs.
According to Bartjens it should be a one-penny flute.

Do not forget to share this video on social media, and to put thumbs up in YouTube.
See you back in lesson 17 of 250 Dutch Proverbs.

 

250 Dutch Proverbs – lesson 15


 

dutch-proverbs-tiles-2.015

Let your friends guess, share this picture!

Picture by Kata Szep.
 

Transcript of the video lesson (scroll for more text):

Welcome to my video course “250 Dutch Proverbs”. I made a selection of proverbs and sayings that anyone who learns Dutch should know. The course consists of 25 lessons. In each lesson, I explain the meaning of 10 proverbs or sayings.Subtitles are available for each lesson. You just push the CC button in YouTube. The transcript of the lesson you find on Learndutch.org.

And here you the drawing of today of our student and graphics designer Kata. It represents 1 of the 10 proverbs of this video. By the end of the lesson, I show you the drawing again. Your task to guess which proverb it is.

Let’s start with lesson 15, containing proverbs 141-150.

Proverb 141 “in het land der blinden is eenoog koning”
Literally: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. The meaning is that in an environment, amongst others with a certain disadvantage or disability, the one with the mildest disadvantage or disability is the best. It is not specifically referring to people with a handicap. It is often used in a situation where is lack of competition, so even someone who is not an expert can win the competition. For example, you are a chess club member, but one of the worst players in the club. Now you are in a group with friends (who are not playing at a chess club at all) and you play chess with them. So, obviously you win easily. Then the group of friends is “het land der blinden” and you as the worst chess player of the chess club – are the king of chess of group your friends.

Proverb 142 “zijn eigen glazen ingooien”
Literally: to break your own windows. The meaning is that you undertake an action as a result of which you suffer yourself. For example, a shopping mall decides to charge money for parking the car. But as a result, the clients go to another shopping mall.

Proverb 143 “als twee honden vechten om een been, gaat de derde er mee heen”
Literally: when two dogs fight for a bone, then a third dog will take it. Attention: “been” can be translated as “leg”, but it can also mean “bone” (another word in Dutch is “bot”). By the way, when you use “been” in plural – you can see the difference. Been as leg in plural is “benen”. And been as bone in plural is “beenderen”. Back to the proverb. The meaning is that a third party usually gets the benefit when two other parties are too busy struggling with each other. It can be used both in the sense that they do not take too much attention to the competition with the third party. It can also be that because of the struggle both parties got weaker, and as such the third party (which was initially the weakest) now has become the strongest.

Proverb 144 “met een schone lei beginnen”
Literally: to start with a clean writing slate. You use this expression after a troubled past, which is now left behind. To have a fresh new start.

Proverb 145 “met iets in de maag zitten”
Literally: to have something in the stomach. It is used when you have a nagging feeling. For example in case of some tension with a friend, something that you need to confess, or just something you worry about. You usually use this expression to indicate that you want to do something about it. “Ik zit er mee in mijn maag, misschien moet ik hem bellen”. Maybe I should call him.

Proverb 146 “achter het net vissen”
Literally: to fish behind the net. Well, this proverbs shows that we are not only farmers, we are also fishermen. Behind the net is a place where is not the fish. So the meaning of this proverb is that you missed some nice opportunity. If you are standing in line to get a free CD, and the person who is in front of you, gets the last one. “Dan vis je achter het net”.

Proverb 147 “hij is niet voor de poes”
Literally: he is not for the cat. The expression is used when a person is assertive, and gets up for his own interest. A mouse or a bird, when they are caught by the cat, usually do not have a chance, and they are powerless. So NOT being for the cat, means that someone is not powerless.

Proverb 148 “de poppen aan het dansen hebben”
Literally: to have the dolls dancing. Although this expression seems to indicate a nice event, it is actually the opposite. You can use it to indicate a scandal emerged. For example, if some fraud was discovered and it appeared many people where involved, then the “dancing dolls” refer to the process of investigation, the blaming, the tensions etc. You can also use it to indicate the start of a major quarrel or dispute. For example, a municipality announces to reconstruct a residential area, of course then the dolls start dancing; because there will be a major dispute with the current inhabitants.

Proverb 149 “ergens een puntje aan zuigen”
Literally: to suck a tip on it. The expression is used to state something is extremely good. You usually say it to one person, when talking about the achievements of someone else. To stress what the other has done, should be taken as an example, as it would be hard to beat that achievement.

Proverb 150 “wie de schoen past, trekke hem aan”
Literally: Let those whom the shoe fits wear it. The expression can be used in a situation, when someone criticises a whole group, because probably some members do not act as they should do. You don’t want to find out who is to blame. But you want to say, that those to whom the criticism is addressed, they know it, and they should change their acting. For example, let’s say in the office where you work, the toilet is often not flushed. You say that to the group, and you conclude with “wie de schoen past, trekke hem aan”. You hope that the one who doesn’t flush the toilet recognises himself as being guilty, and changes his behaviour.

So, that’s it for today. Again you know 10 more Dutch proverbs.

Here you see the drawing again. One of the proverbs of this lesson. I hope you understand which proverb is represented here.

If you, just like Kata, are also a creative person, and you want to show your skills to the audience of learndutch.org. Feel free to contact me with your ideas !

If you came up to here, other people can suck a tip on that achievement!

Do not forget to share this video on social media, and to put thumbs up in YouTube.
See you back in lesson 16 of 250 Dutch Proverbs.

 

250 Dutch Proverbs – lesson 14


 

dutch-proverbs-tiles-2.014

Let your friends guess, share this picture!

Picture by Kata Szep.
 
 
Transcript of the video lesson (scroll for more text):

Welcome to my video course “250 Dutch Proverbs”. I made a selection of proverbs and sayings that anyone who learns Dutch should know. The course consists of 25 lessons. In each lesson, I explain the meaning of 10 proverbs or sayings.

Subtitles are available for each lesson. You just push the CC button in YouTube. The transcript of the lesson you find on Learndutch.org.

And here you the drawing of today of Kata from Hungary. It represents 1 of the 10 proverbs of this video. By the end of the lesson, I show you the drawing again. Your task to guess which proverb it is.

Let’s start with lesson 14, containing proverbs 131-140.

Proverb 131 “je kunt niet weten, hoe een koe een haas vangt”

Literally: it is impossible to know how a cow catches a hare. You use this expression in a situation where you don’t have a solution for a certain problem, and it is quite unlikely to solve it. Nevertheless, it may be solved in some way. You never know.

Proverb 132 “de plank misslaan”

Literally: to miss the plank when you wanted to hit it. You use this expression when you do or say something totally wrong. It can be used when someone takes part in a discussion and clearly doesn’t know where he is talking about, or says something as a result of a clear blackout. You can also use it when you say something, which is taken very offensive, and you did not think about that in advance.

Proverb 133 “als puntje bij paaltje komt”

Literally: when little dot meets little pole. The meaning is to identify the moment that action should be undertaken. It is used in a situation when people talk a lot about their plans, but retreat on the moment when the plans have to be put into action. You can also use it when people talk about what others should do, but they themselves do not act accordingly.

Proverb 134 “van de regen in de drup”

Literally: from the rain into the drop. The meaning is that you get from one bad situation into another, which is even worse.

Proverb 135 “in rep en roer”

It’s difficult to have a literal translation. “Rep” means commotion. But it’s not a frequently used word. And here “roer” comes from “roeren” what in this proverb could be translated as agitate. We use the expression when there is a lot of commotion, especially when something has to be organised on the last moment. For example, a football club wins the cup, and the city administration is “in rep en roer” to organise the celebration.

Proverb 136 “het roer omgooien”

Another proverbs with the word “roer”, but in this expression the word refers to the helm (the ship’s steering mechanism). So the literal translation is to turn around the ship’s wheel. You use this expression when you are going to do things totally different; a different way of working or a different strategy. Often the expression is used when there comes a new manager on the job, who decides to work completely different than his predecessor.

Proverb 137 “roet in het eten gooien”

Literally: to throw soot into the food. The expression is used when someone or something spoils a nice situation. For example, you are going to have a barbecue, but then: het weer gooide roet in het eten. The weather spoiled it. By the way, the expression is not necessarily used in combination with food. For example, you could also say it when the rain spoiled your canal cruise.

Proverb 138 “zijn schaapjes op het droge hebben”

Literally: to have his sheep on the dry land. We use this expression to say that someone has earned enough money to live comfortably for the rest of his life. But you can also use it to stress someone has managed things well, and as a result he’s now in a comfortable situation. Again, this is an expression with its origin on the countryside. In Holland there are pieces of land that sometimes get under water. Because of the high tide, or because the flooding of the land between the first and second dam of a river (the water meadow). If you have directed back your sheep to the higher parts in time, then you are in a comfortable situation. You have secured your savings.

Proverb 139 “een scheve schaats rijden”

Literally: to ride a curved skate. And yes, as an ice-skating nation we of course could not without ice-skating proverbs. You can’t go straight when your skate is curved. So you go off the right trail. The meaning of this proverb is to make a mistake, but it has a moral blame in it. For example, if someone has cheated on his wife, you can say: hij heeft een scheve schaats gereden.

Proverb 140 “wie niet horen wil moet voelen”

Literally: those who don’t want to listen should suffer. Here the word “voelen”, which means “to feel”, is not positive. So “voelen” can be translated as “to suffer” when it is in combination with a punishment (which is meant here). For example parents can use the expression to manage their children. So it is a thread for punishment in the literal meaning. You can also use it when someone is not listening to your advice: to state he then will have to face the consequences.

So, that’s it for today. Again you know 10 more Dutch proverbs.

Here you see the drawing again. One of the proverbs of this lesson. I hope you understand which proverb is represented here.

If you, just like Kata, are also a creative person, and you want to show your skills to the audience of learndutch.org. Feel free to contact me with your ideas !

Don’t quit the course – I would consider that riding a curved skate. Continue till the end, and by doing so, you will have your sheep on the dry land!

Do not forget to share this video on social media, and to put thumbs up in YouTube. See you back in lesson 15 of 250 Dutch Proverbs.

 

250 Dutch Proverbs – lesson 13

dutch-proverbs-tiles-2.013

Let your friends guess, share this picture!

Picture by Kata Szep.

Transcript of the video lesson (scroll for more text):

Welcome to my video course “250 Dutch Proverbs”. I made a selection of proverbs and sayings that anyone who learns Dutch should know. The course consists of 25 lessons. In each lesson, I explain the meaning of 10 proverbs or sayings.

Subtitles are available for each lesson. You just push the CC button in YouTube. The transcript of the lesson you find on Learndutch.org.

And here you see another drawing of Kata from Hungary. It represents 1 of the 10 proverbs of this video. By the end of the lesson, I show you the drawing again. Your task to guess which proverb it is.

Let’s start with lesson 13, containing proverbs 121-130.

Proverb 121 “in de doofpot stoppen”

The “doofpot” used to be a type of stove, where you not necessarily needed to burn all the fuel, because the stove could be closed airtight – so the fire would stop burning as no oxygen was supplied. Nowadays, the word has another meaning; we use it to describe a cover-up. So if people, with a certain authority, conceal evidence of wrongdoing.

Proverb 122 “een wassen neus”

Literally: a nose of wax. The meaning: if you say something is very big, very important; but in fact it appears to be nothing. The expression comes from the theatre in the past, when actors used wax to make their face look different – especially by deforming their nose.

Proverb 123 “poolshoogte nemen”

I start with the meaning of the expression. “Poolshoogte nemen”, is exploring the situation on the spot. So, to go there and have a look. You can use it to explore the situation in the beginning, but also if you go somewhere to identify the progress of a project. For example, a company is building your house. You go there once in awhile to check the construction phase. Then you can say: “ik ga even poolshoogte nemen”.

Ok, now the literal and original meaning. With “poolshoogte” is actually meant the angle of pole star to the horizon. If you know this, you can calculate on which latitude you are. So in the past, this method was used on ships to determine the position.

Proverb 124 “iemand een poot uitdraaien”

Literally: to unscrew one’s leg. The meaning is to let someone pay too much.

Proverb 125 “de puntjes op de i zetten”

Literally: to put the dots on the i. It looks like the English expression: dot the i’s and cross the t’s. But I think there is a slight difference in the meaning. The Dutch expression is used to stress the fact that the major job has been done, and now it is just a matter of the finishing touch. Where as the English expression stress a job to be done with the greatest care and attention for each minor detail.

Proverb 126 “een rib uit mijn lijf”
Literally: a rib from my body. You use it to express something is very expensive. The origin is the bible, where God created Eve by taking a rib out of Adam’s body. Although the origin of the saying suggests that it is also worth it, it is not necessarily the matter in the Dutch expression. You can use it when something is expensive and worth it’s high cost, but also when you bought a “kat in de zak” (as explained in lesson 9).

Proverb 127 “rust roest”

Literally: rest rusts. Or: if you rest, you rust. The meaning: if you do nothing, your capacities decline. So, you use it to tell someone he has to stay active.

Proverb 128 “als er één schaap over de dam is, volgen er meer”

Literally: when there is one sheep over the dam, more will follow. You use this proverb to describe a situation where you are waiting for the first one, and expect that then the others will see that and follow. For example; a nice day, but the terrace of a cafe is empty. People walk by. But once the first customers take place on the terrace, you will see that then much more easily other people also take a seat. It refers to the social behaviour what we in Dutch call: “kuddegedrag”. “Kudde” is a group of animals, for example sheep. “Gedrag” is behaviour. People tend to do something only after they see other people doing it as well.

Proverb 129 “het schip ingaan”

Literally: to go into the ship. The meaning is to loose your money, usually after some risky deal. The origin of this proverb, is that in earlier centuries, it was hard to find a crew for the ships. There were recruiters who went to the pubs, who tried to persuade drunk people to work on the ship, promising a nice future. Of course, it appeared not to be that profitable at all.

Proverb 130 “naast zijn schoenen lopen”

Literally: to walk next to his shoes. We use this expression to stress someone got conceited and arrogant. Someone who lost a sense of his own reality. The Dutch especially think it is very important – that when someone gets famous he still remains the same normal person. Where in other countries, people admire their hero’s; in the Netherlands it is the opposite. The Dutch admire people who got famous but do like ordinary people. If in a supermarket a famous person stands in the line, no Dutch would ever think of letting him pass because he is famous. A typical sentence in interviews with famous people – is “ik ben gewoon gebleven”. The Dutch society puts so much pressure on this issue that the famous people themselves need to stress again and again that they are normal human beings.

So, that’s it for today. Again you know 10 more Dutch proverbs.

Here you see the drawing again. One of the proverbs of this lesson. I hope you understand which proverb is represented here.

If you, just like Kata, are also a creative person, and you want to show your skills to the audience of learndutch.org. Feel free to contact me with your ideas !

Don’t walk next to your shoes. Continue studying because rest rusts.

Do not forget to share this video on social media, and to put thumbs up in YouTube. See you back in lesson 14 of 250 Dutch Proverbs.