Translation errors (Or: Mixing up languages)

I had a weird experience today. I had to go to the mall (3rd time in 3 weeks, but thankfully for the last time) to pick up my annual supply of contact lens. On the way home, I decided to take a different type of bus since a bus driver had given me a free ticket for it. It’s a longer ride but it came earlier. And it was free, of course.

Inside the bus, like most things, all of the information was both in English and Spanish. There was an advertisement for Rockland county’s public library system. The Spanish read something like descubrir todo en la biblioteca en Rockland. I was very confused. “Discover everything and the library and Rockland?” I kept reading it over and over again, feeling lost.

And then I glanced at the English version, which was a bit further away. My mistake quickly became apparent.

I was reading “en” as and — which is the Dutch translation.

However, in Spanish, “en” means in. Discover everything in the library in Rockland.

Mind you, my Spanish was never that good considering how long I studied it in school, but I could read it fairly decently. But this was the first time that the Dutch has taken precedence over Spanish in my mind. And it was a great feeling!


Categories: Learning Dutch | Tags: | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Translation errors (Or: Mixing up languages)

  1. I’m running into the similar issues – trying to learn Dutch and thinking in Spanish first. I wonder if that is because Spanish was the second language I learned. I notice my husband doing this with German too – as he tries to connect German to Dutch. Strange…

  2. yeah. Marco keeps saying my “een” (a) pronunciation is wrong. I keep pronouncing it like the Spanish “un”. Boo.

    French class in high school was fun. Thankfully my French teacher was pretty good at Spanish. Lost some points on quizzes and tests thanks to mixing up the two languages, but at least she knew where I was coming from.

  3. verosupertramp85

    I am trying to learn Dutch by myself. Language schools are terribly expensive here in The Hague. I have’t got confused just yet, I think because I speak English all the time and Spanish just when I have to. But I am looking forward learning the language in a decent way…

    • I am definitely looking forward to professional Dutch classes as well. Can’t wait!

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