Dus...

[modale partikels]
The Dutch use words like 'nou', 'toch', 'hoor', 'maar', 'wel', 'eens', or 'even' to modify the tone of a sentence. Their only function is to reflect the mood or attitude of the speaker. In spoken Dutch, there is hardly a phrase that does not contain one of these hard-to-explain words.
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Dus...

Post by erwin_t » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:23 am

The Dutch use words like 'nou', 'toch', 'hoor', 'maar', 'wel', 'eens', or 'even' to modify the tone of a sentence.
Gaan we dan:

Nou zeg, dat was toch maar wel weer eens even lekker hoor, die zoute haring. Dus.

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Re: Dus...

Post by EetSmakelijk » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:56 am

Reading this post got me thinking it would be fun to turn the toch maar eens even stuff into a game. A Dutch speaker gives a sentence, and we try to figure out the subtle meanings. :P
I want to learn this well enough to use it without using the wrong one.
Of course, it's hard for people to explain those sentences because they just don't have English translations. :P
"Nou zeg, dat was toch maar wel weer eens even lekker hoor, die zoute haring."
Well I say, that salt haring was oh boy, I'm lost here... it was tasty again? is it kind of implying it might not have been tasty but it turned out to be? This language is too complicated. :cry: :P
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Re: Dus...

Post by JazzedPotato » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:54 am

:D Good idea :thumbsup:

Welll... :D :D :D I guess a lot depends on the situation and intonation, and especially the facial expression and
non-verbal communications... :D It could go either way really.. :D

In fact I think it's unlikely we would be using all these words in one single sentence though it's not altogether
uncommon to find 3 or 4 in one sentence.. :P

I personally would interpret it as something positive I think (eventhough it could be intended ironic or sceptical even..
depending on the context.. :P )

" Nou zeg, dat was toch maar wel weer eens even lekker hoor, die zoute haring. Dus."

" Well well... oh boy that was really quite something nice once again (or: after a while..), that salty herring..so..' :D

You're right they are very difficult to translate if not impossible because there is no litteral translation and a lot depends
on the context as to how to interpret these words. Also most of them at least have 2 different meanings. For example
'even' could be a 'toss in' word as it is used here, but might also mean 'a while' , 'a moment', or 'even' (as in not odd).

'Even stilstaan' - Hold still for a moment.
' Heb je even voor mij?' - Have you got a moment for me?
' Ik moest even wachten' - I had to wait for a while.
' Wacht even hoor ik ben zo bij je' - Hold on a sec, I'll be right with you.

' Ja, even kijken hoor..' - 'Hmm let me have a quick look'
' Dat was wel weer even lekker ' - That was rather good ('after quite a while')

' Wel weer eens even' implies you haven't done something for a while so now, after quite some time
it was rather good to do/eat etc it again...

' Ik moet nog even snel naar de bakker ' - I have to quickly pop in at the baker's.
' Ga jij alvast naar de slager, dan ga ik even naar de supermarkt ' - You go on to the butcher's, I'll
go to the supermarket (meanwhile/pop in/ briefly).
' Kan je mijn handdoek even aangeven alsjeblieft?' - ' Can you hand me my towel please?'


'Dus' can be even harder to translate. Sometimes it's 'so' or smetimes it's just to indicate an emphasis, for
instance: You have been giving several reasons why you did or said something and conclude with 'Dus..', ' So..'.

Or it can just be used to refer to something you have just said before.

' Ik had helemaal geen zin om naar dat feest te gaan..ik had koppijn, buikpijn en was niet in de stemming..dus...'
' I really didn't feel like going to the party.. I had a headache, my stomach was upset and I wasn't in the mood..so.. (I didn't go)'.

'Ja jij bent helemaal niet naar het feest gekomen..' -- ' Nee dat leg ik dus net uit..'
' Well you didn't even show at the party at all..' - ' No that's what I've just been explaining..'

'Dus je wilt niet naar dat feest gaan?'
'So you don't want to go to the party?'


:D

As for sentences to practice on how about..

1. ' Dat doen we dus mooi niet he..'

2. ' Dat is wel weer even genoeg voor vandaag..'

3. 'Lekker dan, ik ga werken en jij gaat feestvieren. Hij's fijn.. dus niet!'

4. 'Ja ik weet het ook niet hoor..Ik ga wel even op onderzoek uit'.

5. ' Waarom ben je nou kwaad op mij? Jij wist het toch ook niet?'

6. Neem jij die rechter maar, die is even kleiner dus die is makkelijk voor je te dragen hoor'.

7. 'Ja hoor eens even, dat hadden we dus niet afgesproken he?! Ik ga dat echt niet doen hoor..'

8. 'Fraai is dat, nou je doet maar! Het zal allemaal wel, kan me even echt niet meer boeien..'

Succes! :D :P :thumbsup:
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Plucking poppies for your slumber . . .
With the morrow, there shall be
One more wraith among your number
. "

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Re: Dus...

Post by JazzedPotato » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:07 pm

" Nu even niet...!!!" :D :D

A funny commercial for 'Cup a soup'.. :P (a few years ago).

" Roam with young Persephone.
Plucking poppies for your slumber . . .
With the morrow, there shall be
One more wraith among your number
. "

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Re: Dus...

Post by erwin_t » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:18 pm

EetSmakelijk wrote: "Nou zeg, dat was toch maar wel weer eens even lekker hoor, die zoute haring."
Well I say, that salt haring was oh boy, I'm lost here... it was tasty again? is it kind of implying it might not have been tasty but it turned out to be? This language is too complicated. :cry: :P
In this case I did my best to cram as many in one sentence as I could, so I don't think you'll get them like this on the street. However, I don't think a Dutchman would frown when hearing this, but maybe smile.

I'll give it a shot but translating this might stretch my English knowledge :)

"Nou zeg", litterally "Now say", can be translated as something like "whaddaya know", or "I'll be damned", or "what the...?". It contains a mild exclamation of surprise, which can be both positive or negative. If you ask a question and someone snaps an insult back, you could respond with "Nou zeg, was dat nou echt nodig?" (What the...?? Was that really necessary?). In the case of the herring example it is positive because the herring was an unexpected delight.

"toch" in this case means "unexpectedly" that I enjoyed the herring more than I had expected.

"maar", "but", reinforces the "toch" contradiction

"wel" means the "too" from "'is not, is too". It reinforces that something really is the case, when you'd expect the opposite.

"weer", "again" means that I have enjoyed herring in the past, because I have just done it again now.

"eens", lit. "once" means in this case "this time" "for this time", "this once", but can also mean "at some time in the very near future" (but not here)

"even", lit. "for a short while" means in this case that it took me just a short while to eat the herring.

"hoor", lit. "hear, listen (imperative)" in this case means for the other person to focus on or pay attention to what I just have said, probably because I think the other person wasn't expecting it, or it is against the other person's opinion. It is widely used in comforting sentences where the speaker says something more positive than the other party might expect, such as "maak je maar geen zorgen, hoor". "Listen, no need to worry". In the herring case it implies the other person knows about why I didn't eat herring for some time and wasn't expecting me to enjoy it any more than I did myself, so he should pay extra attention to that I just said I did.

"Dus", originally "so", is now sometimes plonked after sentences by itself, meaning something like "so there" or "there you have it". It basically tells you the speaker has nothing more useful to say about this subject and now tries to fill the empty space with a sound that means nothing else than "I'm done".

Summarizing, the sentence implies that I have enjoyed salt herring before, but haven't enjoyed it for some time, for example because I was sick of eating it too much. I just tried one again, it took me just a short while to eat it and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I am confirming this to my companion who didn't expect me to enjoy it as much as I did either.

"1)(Nou zeg), 2(dat was) 3)(toch) 4)(maar) 5)(wel) 6)(weer) 7)(eens) 8](even) lekker 9)(hoor), 10)(die zoute haring). 11)(Dus)."

"1)(Whaddaya know), 9)(listen), 2(that was), 8](for the short duration I was eating it), 5)(really) 4)(truly) 3)(unexpectedly) tasty 6)(again) 7)(this time), 10)(that salt herring). 11)(There you have it)."

Whoever still thinks English is an efficient language please raise their hand ;)

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Re: Dus...

Post by JazzedPotato » Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:25 pm

:D

Fun to read Erwin.. :thumbsup:

Just a small question. Don't you think that 'wel weer eens even' has a meaning on it's own with these 4 words combined, as opposed to just the meaning these words contain by themselves?

I concede this is somewhat ambivalent and certainly very subjective, but I would be inclined to interpret it as " after quite some time not having done/ eaten it , now finally having done it again, ...' (...:it was rather good unexpectedly, as you said)?

I'm just saying, even to the Dutch natives there may be a slight difference in interpretation of the exact words when several of them are used in one sentence (although it will not make a big difference to the actual meaning of the sentence in the end, because any native would pretty much interpret it the way you described here I think. ;) )
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Plucking poppies for your slumber . . .
With the morrow, there shall be
One more wraith among your number
. "

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Re: Dus...

Post by erwin_t » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:13 pm

JazzedPotato wrote::D
Just a small question. Don't you think that 'wel weer eens even' has a meaning on it's own with these 4 words combined, as opposed to just the meaning these words contain by themselves?
Well, they are used together without many thought, so you could almost see it as one word. However, for people learning the language it is useful to know the contribution of each word separately. So I just pulled it apart in a completely unscientific way; just what I thought the words meant by themselves. I don't think I was too far off though ;)

For example, if something is not the case, you would say "weer eens even NIET" (big emphasis on niet, and now at the end instead of up front, don't ask me why...).

You would probably not use "eens even" by itself without "weer" in this type of sentence. However, it is used by itself in the phrase "dat varkentje zullen we eens even wassen" "we'll comfortably wash that pig", "we'll effortlessly* take care of that problem (either something or someone problematic)" *Doesn't mean it won't take any effort at all but it won't take us long, at least not as long as others expect.

So..

"Dat varkentje zullen we eens even wassen" :arrow: new problem, that we'll take care of before you know it.

"Dat varkentje zullen we wel eens even wassen" :arrow: new problem, that we'll take care of before you know it against or faster than expectations.

"Dat varkentje zullen we wel weer eens even wassen" :arrow: problem that has reoccurred -sigh-, that we'll again take care of before you know it against or faster than expectations.

:D

EetSmakelijk, hope that helped... :eek: [-o<

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Re: Dus...

Post by JazzedPotato » Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:38 pm

Haha.. :D

No I quite agreed with the 'pulling apart' don't worry..

It's just that it seemed funny to me that the words, when combined, also have kind of an 'extra' meaning, more than the sum of the parts so to speak.. ;)

But I appreciate your pulling efforts.. :D :thumbsup:
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Plucking poppies for your slumber . . .
With the morrow, there shall be
One more wraith among your number
. "

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Re: Dus...

Post by erwin_t » Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:24 am

BTW, to add to the confusion:

Given my original translation (really truly unexpectedly etc.) you might think I'm almost ecstatic for how nice that herring was. Well' I'm not. I'm pleasantly surprised and have enjoyed it quite a bit, but I am not over the moon.

In this case the total is LESS than the sum of the parts.

The Dutch like to work with contradictions, for example "dat smaakte niet verkeerd" (that didn't taste wrong) doesn't mean that it was just so-so, it actually means that it tasted bloody good. The same goes for adding words. The more something is exaggerated by adding words, the less significant (the less big a deal) the final outcome is. At least, sometimes. But not always.

That said, the "wel weer eens even" stuff is informal language anyway, and I don't think any Dutchman would expect a foreigner to use it at all. You don't sound overly formal if you never use it.

If your Dutch and pronunciation is very good so that you almost sound like a native, and you never use these words, it won't give you away but you come across ass someone who professionally keeps their distance. I wouldn't expect the queen to use it in one of her speeches for example.

If you do use them and use them in the wrong order or inappropriately, it instantly gives you away. So I'd stay on the "try to understand it" path instead of the "try to use it" path. However, as they are informal anyway, your friends probably know you're not a native and if you try it incorrectly you will probably have a good laugh together on these stupid words and how to use them correctly. Which will be slightly different depending on whom you ask. Sigh... :D

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Re: Dus...

Post by JazzedPotato » Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:10 am

erwin_t wrote:In this case the total is LESS than the sum of the parts.
Well that depends on your perspective. ;) I would say it's more due to the fact that it gets another meaning when combined.. :D
I wouldn't expect the queen to use it in one of her speeches for example.
I'd actually like to hear that! :D :P
However, as they are informal anyway, your friends probably know you're not a native and if you try it incorrectly you will probably have a good laugh together on these stupid words and how to use them correctly. Which will be slightly different depending on whom you ask. Sigh... :D
Indeed.. :P
" Roam with young Persephone.
Plucking poppies for your slumber . . .
With the morrow, there shall be
One more wraith among your number
. "

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Re: Dus...

Post by EetSmakelijk » Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:35 pm

Hello Erwin and JazzedPotato. :D
Hartelijk bedankt voor de uitleg!
I don't use too many of these words yet but I'd like to learn to make long sentences with lots of them. :P
Maybe you could write a book on modal particles. ;)
Groetjes,
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Re: Dus...

Post by firefly315 » Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:41 am

Hoi allemaal,

Betekent "ff" even? Ik heb dat online gezien.

Groetjes,

Cathleen

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Re: Dus...

Post by Grytolle » Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:13 am

ff = effe, wat idd "even" betekent
:-)

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Re: Dus...

Post by erwin_t » Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:16 am

Hoi Cathleen,

"Even" wordt ook wel geschreven als "effe" of "effies" (slang).

De meervoudsvorm van de letter "f" spreek je uit als "effen" (twee effen). ''ff" zijn dus "effen", wat je weer hetzelfde uitspreekt als "effe". Dus AFAIK is ''ff" de internet-vorm van "even", IMHO. :)

(nu weet je ook waar het vandaan komt)

Groeten,

Erwin.

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Re: Dus...

Post by Grytolle » Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:34 pm

erwin_t wrote:"Even" wordt ook wel geschreven als "effe" of "effies" (slang).
En ook wel zo uitgesproken :P
In AN is "effies" "eventjes", en in Vlaamse spreektaal "efkes"
:-)

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