Things Dutch

GWM Waar is 't? RS: This page is for country- or language-specific features of dutch. An anomaly in case conversion is the fact that IJ is considered as one letter, so title-casing a string for Dutch could be done like this:

 proc string'totitle'nl string {
   string map {Ij IJ} [string totitle $string]
 % string'totitle'nl ijssel

AM As a Dutchman with linguistic interests and a tendency towards purism I can add the following complication:

The "ij" is officially not considered a single character when sorting, but since many people do not realise this, it is often used that way. So that sorting the following words

   izegrim, ijken, iets, waratje, eiken, IJsselmeer, Zuiderzee, zandkasteel

gives the unexpected ordering:

   eiken, iets, izegrim, waratje, ijken, IJsselmeer, zandkasteel, Zuiderzee

Another thing: in Dutch the sorting must ignore the case (quite unlike the American way - which has surprised me on more than one occasion)

Explanation of the inside joke: Lake IJssel (IJsselmeer) used to be a semi-enclosed little sea, called the Zuiderzee. However, as we Dutch tend to meddle with just about everything, we built a large sea dyke to keep the waves out and protect the long shoreline. This made the sea a lake.

RS has this custom sorting function that seems to be correct:

 proc collation'nl string {string map {ij yzz} [string tolower $string]}

 % lsortby collation'nl {izegrim ijken iets waaratje eiken IJsselmeer}
 eiken iets izegrim waaratje ijken IJsselmeer

TV Neither izegrim or waaratje mean anything at all to this native dutch speaker born and raised in the government city.

AM The term "izegrim" comes from the medieval epos "Vanden Vos Reinaerde" and is a not-so-common way of identifying someone as a grumpy old man with a very bad temper :). "Waaratje" is a word like "Tjeempie" or "Jeetje" or "Wow". I think pedagogically correct lecture from the fifties (before my time, let me add that!) would feature a word like that. I used to fill in crossword puzzle in another day and age :). I chose "izegrim" because I could think of another word with a letter combination "iX" (X>j) that would come after "ij".

TV Well, frankly I don't care much about dutch, and the words are clearly dialect nobody would normally speak or read much about, it's just that i wouldn't want a chinese person to get taught 'goddamn' instead of 'thank you mother' by some bogus english teacher, as example.

AM Dialect? No, just not mainstream contemporary Dutch. The words appear in any half-decent ABN dictionary! (I just looked :))

See also: