Computer Lesson in West Flemish

This week is back to work week for most Flemings, and as such this may be of use to at least two of my readers: late 90s computer terminology in West Flemish.

Just what every Ghentleman needs!

  • Windows 98:
    Routte 98 (ah en ne-heh-de)
  • Turn computer on:
    Steg maar aan (1:10)
  • Backspace:
    ker e ke weere (1:30)
  • Print:
    Dru-en (means to print, but also to poo!) (2:14)
  • Hard disk:
    harder ploder (hard surface) (2:25)
  • Shut down:
    Je mucha mullon (literally translates to ‘Keep your mouth shut!’) 2:30

Now that that is done, I’m taking the week off to go Skiing! See ya suckers!

West Flemish

There’s Flanders and there’s there’s West Flanders, just as there’s Flemish and West Flemish, a beautifully cute dialect of Dutch that even after four years of study is still a complete mystery.

Where-ever possible words are changed, warped and mumbled, and grammar reversed a few hundred years. All G’s are pronounced as H’s, which makes words like geld (money) and held (hero) orally equivalent.

The above video comes from an old Flemish television show, and documents the protest of a West Fleming over four weeks, complaining about how the West Flemings are always subtitled on Flemish television. The video concludes with the Flemish broadcaster stopping with their subtitling ways, and instead moving on to overdubs instead.

This all reminds me of the first time I saw an Australian subtitled in an American program, at first it felt quite odd – however when I compare the situation to West Flemish I am ever so thankful that I am able to understand even a little from the written text!

Of the 1.6 million people that speak West Flemish, at least one has taken the time to write over 4000 articles on the West Flemish wikipedia. How about that.

She is beautiful naked in the winter light, and other poetic gems

Zij is mooi naakt in het winter licht - "She is beautiful naked in the winter air"

Every fridge in the world has been defiled at least once with magnetic poetry, and since this Christmas my dear Gent-le fridge is no longer an exception. The twist (at least for me) is the language of said poetry – all Dutch, all the time.

Whilst waiting for my morning coffee to brew I take a little time out to put together the words I can (ie, the words I know) to make as logical sentences as I can. It’s a surprisingly stupid way to learn a language, in fact it is really just a Where’s Wally style hunt for the correct article (Dutch has two – ‘de’ and ‘het’  or properly conjugated verb, however two weeks later the novelty still hasn’t worn off.