Natashka’s interesting new blog Dunglish features unfortunate attempts by Dutch-speakers to write things in English. Recent entries have highlighted the Small Talk Eating House,” a sign that says “Beware of pickpockets. Please hang your vallues on the hook,” and an advertising campaign whose slogan, “More drinking, less thinking,” is intended to oppose booze! Lots of fun if you enjoy this sort of thing, as who doesn’t?


  1. Great! Thanks.

  2. Has Desbladet been informed?

  3. Great blog!! This kind of un-English exists because the Dutch think that they (That is, we) know English. We don’t. We just speak Dutch with English words, and sometimes just English-sounding will do…Just an example (and I stop there because Dunglish is a very popular small-talk subject an any party and any Dutch person could go on & on about it),a howler very frequently heard in trains approaching their terminal: “In a few minutes we will arrive at The Hague Central Station…This train will terminate here.” It is amazing that The Hague Central Station stil stands with all those trains apparently all exploding there.

  4. Michael Farris says

    An interesting (to me) point is that while Netherlanders have a reputation for speaking very fluent English, this stuff abounds. Also, I’ve seen printed materials from Sweden (another virtual anglophone country by reputation) that had the same kind of weirdness.
    I would hope that this would quell the expectations of those that think the EU bureaucracy should be English only, but I’m afraid it won’t.
    My favorite example of this kind of thing in Poland was a real estate office in the old market square. Wanting either to appeal to non-Polish buyers (or show off how sophisticated they were) they had a very expensive-looking sign put up announcing their business, it said IMMOVABLES. Which would profoundly puzzle any English speaking person looking to buy something.
    “Real estate” in Polish is nieruchomości (lit: immovables) probably a calque from German. Though in fact since the great majority of those buying real estate in Poland now are in fact German, they might be able to figure it out …

  5. Sara, to be fair, London Underground Ltd allows quite a few trains to terminate – without notice and without regard for where their long-suffering passengers (forcibly redesignated as ‘customers’)want to go.
    PS Isn’t LUL something rude in Hollish?

  6. In Australia I regularly hear that a train or bus will terminate at a certain point. That’s normal and correct. If I heard it was going to detonate I would start to worry.

  7. Oops. Weeeellll, it just shows that I’m right about the fact that the Dutch don’t really know any English, doesn’t it ? Anyway, to us it is very funny; we associate “Terminate” with something much more drastic ( and violent) than just “reaching its final destination for this moment”.

  8. Yes, Saif, LUL is in fact something rude. It means “male member” and also ” unpleasant specimen of the male sex”.

  9. *adds lul to Dutch-English dictionary*

  10. There is a US prison called Terminal Island. It’s not as bad as it seems.

  11. Help, help, I’m being invoked!
    If this is the worst that the Dutchy-Double Dutchistes can manage, we’re going to need an actual new word for the manglings of the silly English on signs perpetrated by alleged natives. Inglish, perhap’s?

  12. I’ve always felt that when it comes to mangling, there’s no one like an Englishman to do the job.

  13. When a train never even leaves the originating station, it is not cancelled but annulled in railroad jargon. Cancelled would mean that it left the originating station but never reached the terminating station.

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