Can you be helped?
The other day I went into a shop in downtown Amsterdam to buy shoes. As I was trying on the shoes, one of the saleswomen went up to a tourist and said “Can you help me?”. The tourist quickly left the shop. As I paid for my shoes, I explained very nicely in Dutch to the young saleswoman and her manager that she should have said “Can I help you?” or “May I help you?”, which is almost the same in Dutch. The manager’s answer was “ah, but she’s only been working here for two weeks”.
(Amsterdam gets about 1.5 million tourists a year, while the population of the city is about 730.000. They all go shopping downtown.)
More pictures are coming up! The very last batch of non digital Dunglish is not yet ready.
March 23rd, 2005 at 9:59 am
You wrote a.o. “I explained very nicely in Dutch”.
Now that’s what I call wasting an opportunity 🙂
March 23rd, 2005 at 10:03 am
You’re mean 😉
March 23rd, 2005 at 1:18 pm
>> The very last batch of non digital Dunglish is not yet ready.
The very LAST? Natashka, why do I get this feeling you’ve been Dunglishing for too long?
March 23rd, 2005 at 3:21 pm
As in ‘this is the very last time I will say this’. You’re barking up the wrong Dunglish tree today I’m afraid!
March 23rd, 2005 at 3:43 pm
Jurjen, wat is ‘a.o.’? Die afkorting ken ik niet in het Engels.
March 23rd, 2005 at 4:02 pm
He was trying to say ‘among others’ and yes, it’s not used in English. Leave them be 🙂
March 23rd, 2005 at 4:31 pm
You mean it’s really not the latest and greatest, but actually the last and the best? Okay, I’ll stop barking and start gnawing on a bone or something. Gee, too much time spent editing can turn a man into a paranoiac.
March 23rd, 2005 at 4:37 pm
I mean I bought a digital camera and it is the VERY LAST TIME that I will be scanning photos if I can help it. Too much editing drives me bonkers too. Ga maar buiten spelen!
March 23rd, 2005 at 7:13 pm
>He was trying to say â€˜among othersâ€™ and yes, itâ€™s not used in English.
Indeed. Still trying to figure out where I picked it up… Thought it could be American but The Merriam Webster doesn’t mention this explanation.
March 24th, 2005 at 9:29 am
>> I mean I bought a digital camera and it is the VERY LAST TIME that I will be scanning photos if I can help it. Too much editing drives me bonkers too. Ga maar buiten spelen!
This comment after I’d already admitted I had it wrong? How immature.
March 24th, 2005 at 9:41 am
Huh? Go play outside meant it’s nice outside, go and enjoy it instead of editing. If I used the Dutch expression incorrectly, I’m sorry, but you should give people the benefit of the doubt 🙂
March 24th, 2005 at 9:50 am
OK, more apologies and no offense taken if none intended. FYI, “Ga buiten spelen” is actually the Dutch equivalent of “Go fly a kite”–another nice weather outdoor activity. 🙂
March 24th, 2005 at 11:18 am
See also: “Ga fietsen!”
Also a fun activity but usually not meant in a nice way.
March 24th, 2005 at 11:25 am
As for the not nice ones, there’s “go play in traffic”, “go see if I’m over there” (=get lost), and “go play somewhere else” (I say this to my cat). If you say “weg!” with a hard ‘g’, it scares the cat pretty good 🙂
March 24th, 2005 at 11:36 am
How about “Niet nu. Ik heb hoofdpijn” ? 😛
March 24th, 2005 at 6:42 pm
“Go fly a kite” does not generally denote a fair-weather activity in American slang. It’s generally used to tell somebody to “leave me alone”. Anotheer (my personal fave, from Rodney Dangerfield (R.I.P.)) “Go outside and play Hide and Go Fuck Yourself”
March 26th, 2005 at 11:05 am
>> â€œGo fly a kiteâ€ does not generally denote a fair-weather activity in American slang
Well have I evuh!
March 31st, 2005 at 11:43 pm
Shades here of the chirpy British “What can I do you for, Sir?”, only without the
humerous humoroushumourous intention.