Other languages have left their mark in the Dutch language. The small country lies between a few major languages and has been occupied in the past by Spain, France and Germany, among others.
You will encounter French, German and of course English in everyday conversations. The Dutch refer to words from other languages as leenwoorden. Examples are föhn, sowieso and überhaupt (German) and horloge, bagage and garage (French). There are also many leenwoorden from Arabic. For example coffee, cable, orange and parrot.
An overload of English
Well, here and there we see exotic words in the Dutch language. But in the last few decades something special has happened with the English loan words: we conjugate them.
Let's look at the English loan word computer. At first glance there is nothing strange about it. A computer is a fairly new invention, for which we didn't have a word in Dutch yet. To keep things simple, we have adopted the English word. Fine. It only becomes interesting if we look at the following sentence:
Piet heeft gisteren de hele dag gecomputerd. Hey, wait a minute ... Computer is a noun in English, not a verb. So how can you conjugate it? No problem in Dutch!
Ik heb haar gewhatsappt
Okay, the verb computeren is just an example. But how about skypen, netflixen, photoshoppen, googelen (not googlen), pimpen, downloaden and facebooken? So you could use the following sentences:
- Ik haar gisteren gewhatsappt.
- We hebben de hele middag zitten skypen.
- Rachel heeft haar woonkamer gepimpt met schilderijtjes en kamerplanten.
- De gephotoshopte foto staat in alle tijdschriften.
- Wij downloadden vroeger films, maar nu netflixen we liever.
- Googel het woord eens!
Nice right? Follow the rules for conjugating verbs very precisely, though!