Dutch reading (Or: Learning some new vocabulary)

The Dutch word for vocabulary is woordenschat, which translates to word treasure (woorden = word, schat = treasure).

Dutch has some ridiculously long words, just like German…

verontschuldigingen = apologies

(zo) nauwlettend = (so) close

dichtstbijzijnde = nearest (try saying that three times fast…)


The Dutch language does also have some short words (compared to English):

zuinig = economical

toeval = coincedence


And some words that I find are very literal with their translation:

zonsopgang = sunrise (literally: “sun’s entrance”)

bakstenen  = brick (literally: “bake stones”)


And finally some amusing words:

piepkleine = tiny (amusing because it starts with a word that is pronounced like “peep” and then ends with “kleine” or “small”)

vanuit haar ooghoeken = from the corner of her eye (but literally: “from her eye corners”)


All of that was from the first chapter of Harry Potter – about 12 pages. On to chapter 2! (Wednesday maybe…tomorrow looks a bit crazy as is.)

Categories: Reading | Tags: | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Dutch reading (Or: Learning some new vocabulary)

  1. I love that you’re reading Harry Potter in Dutch! I started with Harry Potter when I decided to start reading English for fun and to improve my English. It went pretty well (I still read a lot of English!) except when I got to the chapter where Harry gets his wand. I did not know what the word ‘wand’ meant, and I thought I could get it from context if I just kept on reading, but no. Untill I looked it up in a dictionary (in Dutch the literal woordenboek=word book) I kept imagining Harry’s magic wand to be like a portable wall. In Dutch the word ‘wand’ is one of the words for wall. 🙂

  2. Haha. Yeah, those “false friends” can really throw you for a loop! I’m a few pages into chapter 2, so that’s good. I’ll probably have more time to do some reading tomorrow. I definitely look forward to it.

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