Dutch: it’s funny

I was amusing myself listening to this recital by everyone’s favorite weird French soprano (from Radio 4 Concerthuis – thanks to Rob for the info) when I realized via reading the website that I had just learned the Dutch word for “encore” : Toegift.

I suppose that as an English speaker I should not make fun of other people’s words for encore, given that we stole ours from French. But still.

(Related: the German idiom for “it’s now or never” or “now is the moment of truth” is “jetzt geht es um die Wurst” which literally means “now it goes around the sausage.” I’m over this now, but there was a time when I could not hear a Vitellia sing “ecco il punto, o Vitellia” without thinking “now it goes around the sausage, Vitellia!” But as I said, fortunately this period of my life is over and done.)

4 thoughts on “Dutch: it’s funny

  1. The literal translation would be more like “it’s about the sausage” or “now the sausage is at stake”, as the “um” here is prepositional (not the verb prefix). Derives from the tradition of sausages as prizes at county fairs, for which sausage-related contests were invented (erm, awesomeness that continues at kids’ parties to this day).


    1. Thanks – the colleague who told me about the idiom gave me the ‘around’ translation, but your explanation makes more sense.

      (German: I give up. I can order coffee and ask for directions and read some texts, but I can’t seem to deal with the language in any detailed capacity without making boneheaded mistakes! Argh.)


      1. Prepositions are just evil in any language, but the German English ones are the evilest because they line up nicely in some ways and not at all in others.


        1. True – I still should have known better, though, since I’ve learned things like “es handelt sich um” and even in English around/about are conceptually close.


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