Welcome to my video course "250 Dutch Proverbs". I made a selection of proverbs and sayings
that anyone who learns Dutch should know. The course consists of 25 lessons. In each
lesson, I explain the meaning of 10 proverbs or sayings.
Subtitles are available for each lesson. You just push the CC button in YouTube. The transcript
of the lesson you find on Learndutch.org. And here you see another drawing of Kata
from Hungary. It represents 1 of the 10 proverbs of this video. By the end of the
lesson, I show you the drawing again. Your task to guess which proverb it is.
Lets start with lesson 13, containing proverbs 121-130.
Proverb 121 in de doofpot stoppen
The doofpot used to be a type of stove, where you not necessarily needed to burn all
the fuel, because the stove could be closed airtight - so the fire would stop burning
as no oxygen was supplied. Nowadays, the word
has another meaning; we use it to describe a cover-up. So if people, with a
certain authority, conceal evidence of wrongdoing.
Proverb 122 een wassen neus
Literally: a nose of wax. The meaning: if you say something is very big, very important;
but in fact it appears to be nothing. The expression comes from the theatre in the past,
when actors used wax to make their face look different especially by deforming their
nose. Proverb 123
poolshoogte nemen I start with the meaning of the expression.
Poolshoogte nemen, is exploring the situation on the spot. So, to go there and
have a look. You can use it to explore the situation in the beginning, but also if you
go somewhere to identify the progress of a project. For example, a company is building
your house. You go there once in awhile to check the construction phase. Then you
can say: ik ga even poolshoogte nemen. Ok, now the literal and original meaning.
With poolshoogte is actually meant the angle of pole star to the horizon. If you
know this, you can calculate on which latitude you are. So in the past, this method was used
on ships to determine the position. Proverb 124
iemand een poot uitdraaien Literally: to unscrew ones leg. The meaning
is to let someone pay too much. Proverb 125
de puntjes op de i zetten Literally: to put the dots on the i. It looks
like the English expression: dot the i's and cross the t's. But I think there is a slight
difference in the meaning. The Dutch expression is used to stress the fact that the major
job has been done, and now it is just a matter of the finishing touch. Where as the English
expression stress a job to be done with the greatest care and attention for each minor
detail. Proverb 126
een rib uit mijn lijf Literally: a rib from my body. You use it
to express something is very expensive. The origin is the bible, where God created Eve
by taking a rib out of Adams body. Although the origin of the saying suggests that it
is also worth it, it is not necessarily the matter in the Dutch expression. You can use
it when something is expensive and worth its high cost, but also when you bought a kat
in de zak (as explained in lesson 9).
Proverb 127 rust roest Literally: rest rusts. Or: if you rest, you
rust. The meaning: if you do nothing, your capacities decline. So, you use it to tell
someone he has to stay active. Proverb 128
als er een schaap over de dam is, volgen er meer
Literally: when there is one sheep over the dam, more will follow. You use this proverb
to describe a situation where you are waiting for the first one, and expect that then the
others will see that and follow. For example; a nice day, but the terrace of a cafe is empty.
People walk by. But once the first customers take place on the terrace, you will see that
then much more easily other people also take a seat. It refers to the social behaviour
what we in Dutch call: kuddegedrag. Kudde is a group of
animals, for example sheep. Gedrag is behaviour. People tend to do something only
after they see other people doing it as well. Proverb 129
het schip ingaan Literally: to go into the ship. The meaning
is to loose your money, usually after some risky deal. The origin of this proverb, is
that in earlier centuries, it was hard to find a
crew for the ships. There were recruiters who went to the pubs, who tried to persuade
drunk people to work on the ship, promising a nice future. Of course, it appeared not
to be that profitable at all. Proverb 130
naast zijn schoenen lopen Literally: to walk next to his shoes. We use
this expression to stress someone got conceited and arrogant. Someone who lost a sense of
his own reality. The Dutch especially think it is very important that when someone
gets famous he still remains the same normal person. Where in other countries, people admire
their heros; in the Netherlands it is the opposite. The Dutch admire people who got
famous but do like ordinary people. If in a supermarket a famous person stands in the
line, no Dutch would ever think of letting him pass because he is famous. A typical sentence
in interviews with famous people is ik ben gewoon gebleven. The Dutch society
puts so much pressure on this issue that the famous people themselves need to stress again
and again that they are normal human beings. So, thats it for today. Again you know
10 more Dutch proverbs.
Here you see the drawing again. One of the proverbs of this lesson. I hope you understand
which proverb is represented here. If you, just like Kata, are also a creative
person, and you want to show your skills to the audience of learndutch.org. Feel free
to contact me with your ideas ! Dont walk next to your shoes. Continue
studying because rest rusts. Do not forget to share this video on social
media, and to put thumbs up in YouTube. See you back in lesson 14 of 250 Dutch Proverbs.