Last modified on 4 April 2014, at 23:19

Dutch/Example 1

The following voorbeelden (examples) accompany Les 1.

Poesje en HondjeEdit

The following text was taken from a Mother Goose rhyme and translated to Dutch. The original appears in the Project Gutenberg text 'Verse and Prose for Beginners in Reading'. In order to get a literal translation, the Dutch text was not made to rhyme.


 Poesje zit naast het vuur
   Hoe kan zij braaf zijn?
 Dan komt het kleine hondje binnen
   "Poesje, ben je daar?
 Zo, zo, mejuffrouw Poesje,
   Zeg me, hoe gaat het met je?"
 "Dank je, dank je, Hondje,
   Het gaat heel goed met me op dit moment."


 Kittycat sits beside the fire,
   How can she be fair?
 In comes the little dog,
   "Pussy, are you there?
 So, so, dear miss Kittycat,
   Pray tell me how do you do?"
 "Thank you, thank you, little dog,
   I'm very well at the moment."


en: and
vuur: fire
met: with
hoe gaat het met je: lit. 'How goes it with you', how are you?, how do you do?
heel: very; also whole


  1. Poesje is pronounced puss-yah. The digraph oe is pronounced somewhere between 'u' and 'oo'. The English word pussy is actually a very Dutch-like diminutive of puss. Among some speakers of Dutch, pussy would be an acceptable pronunciation.
  2. In Dutch the word poesje does not have the same connotation as in English. It merely means pussycat.

Poesje MauwEdit

The following is a Dutch volksliedje (folk song).


 Poesje Mauw
 Kom eens gauw
 Ik heb lekkere melk voor jou
 En voor mij
 O wat heerlijk smullen wij


 Pussy Mou
 Come quickly
 I have tasty milk for you
 And for me
 Rice porridge
 Oh how we will enjoy this meal


  1. The meter in the Dutch version is nearly perfect and should provide hints for pronouncing the words.
  2. Lekkere is pronounced as 'le-kre' in this case, to fit the meter (but this is non-standard pronunciation).


  • brij: mash
  • smullen: to thoroughly enjoy food

Crimes and CrimesEdit

The following is a fragment of act 1, scene 2, The Cremerie, from the August Strindberg comedy There Are Crimes and Crimes, as translated by Edwin Bjorkman and included in Project Gutenberg.


ADOLPHE. [Komt eerst binnen; na hem HENRIETTA] Hee, daar heb je Maurice. Hoe gaat het met je? Laat me deze dame voorstellen aan mijn oudste en beste vriend. Mademoiselle Henriette--Monsieur Maurice.

MAURICE. [Stijfjes groetend] Aangenaam kennis te maken.

HENRIETTA. We hebben elkaar al eerder gezien.

ADOLPHE. Is dat zo? Wanneer, als ik vragen mag?

MAURICE. Zojuist. Hier.

ADOLPHE. O-oh!--Maar nu moet je blijven en wat met ons kletsen.


ADOLPHE. [Comes in first; after him HENRIETTE] Why, there's Maurice. How are you? Let me introduce this lady here to my oldest and best friend. Mademoiselle Henriette--Monsieur Maurice.

MAURICE. [Saluting stiffly] Pleased to meet you.

HENRIETTA. We have seen each other before.

ADOLPHE. Is that so? When, if I may ask?

MAURICE. A moment ago. Right here.

ADOLPHE. O-oh!--But now you must stay and have a chat with us.


  • voorstellen: to introduce
  • aan: to (addressing)
  • aangenaam kennis te maken: lit. nice to make your acquaintance; pleased to meet you.
  • elkaar: each other.
  • kletsen, babbelen, een praatje maken: chat (compare 'prate' for the last form, although Dutch praten lacks the negative connotation)


  1. The play takes place in Paris, hence the French names and phrases.
  2. Past participles in Dutch often end in 'd' or 't', and start with 'ge'. 'Gezien' is an irregular form, as is its English counterpart, 'seen'.
  3. Generally, Dutch speakers won't use phrases such as 'how are you' and 'nice to meet you'. It is not wrong to use them, but neither is it considered impolite to leave them out of a conversation.

Such a conversation could have the following course:

  • Anonieme spreker: Hariette van Dorp, mag ik Jan van Galen aan je voorstellen?
  • Hariette: Hariette van Dorp.
  • Jan: Jan van Galen.