Let’s play decode the Dunglish

Picture 5

In the category ‘why use proper Dutch when bastard English will do’, I dare you to try and guess from the logo what these people sell if you didn’t see this advert on telly like I did.

The name of the company requires what I like to refer to as ‘aural squinting’. If you read this slowly and pretend to speak Dutch, you may even pronouce it as… insured! That’s right, this is an insurance company, turning what my best friend calls ‘brown karma’ into something pink and happy. No, wait, that’s ‘heppie’ (Dutch pronunciation of ‘happy’, which sounds like ‘hippy’), as in Hotel Heppie, a holiday house for, I assume, underprivileged children who deserve a holiday. The company surely has good reason to plug this, but the name is ‘reedeeculooos’.

Does this work for anybody? I mean, I like pink, but not this time.

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17 Responses to “Let’s play decode the Dunglish”

  1. Larry says:

    I don’t buy this as Dunglish or aural squinting either. Share/sure wordplay is not unusual in English, and ‘share’ has a better warm ‘n’ fuzzy connotation than anything redolent of ‘insurance’, plus this is a company that shares excess profits (companies consider profits excessive sometimes) with its customers.

    On top of that, with Dutch phonology in mind, insjèèrd(t) sounds less unappetizing than ‘in Sjoerd’, right?

  2. nanske says:

    OOOW, it’s a wordplay on ‘insured’! I didn’t get it ’till this post and I saw the commercial several times.

  3. Grayson Morris says:

    Natasha, have you ever posted on the Tele2 ads – cheap = sheep? They annoy me to no end.

  4. Natashka says:

    @Grayson, I hate them too, but they’re Australian…!

  5. Grayson Morris says:

    So…the Australians are making a play on cheap = sheep for their Dutch audience, knowing that the Dutch often use the “ch as in Chicago” for all ch-words? In that case, I’m impressed with their market research department.

  6. Natashka says:

    @Grayson I think it’s just a big coincidence, and again I’ve made the mistake of saying it’s Australian when it’s Swedish.

  7. Grayson Morris says:

    Ah, in that case, it’s back to being stupid! 😉

  8. Rene says:

    @Natashka: I’m sorry, but I think the international Tele2 campaign is Norwegian: http://www.smfb.com
    But I don’t know if they are responsible for the irritating cheap/sheep/goedkoop ‘wordplay’.

  9. Invader_Stu says:

    I never would have got it in a million years.

  10. Natashka says:

    @Larry You say ‘in Sjoerd’ as if it there were no other options 🙂

  11. Tup says:

    This ‘in sjoerd / in tjeerd’ thing reminds me of Veronica renaming themselves to Yorin / Urine back in the nineties.

  12. Larry says:

    ‘You say ‘in Sjoerd’ as if it there were no other options’

    Such as? ‘In shirt’?

    It doesn’t seem unlikely to me that an English-speaking company would try to play on ‘share/sure’.

    Even in the heaviest comedy-Dutch accent, ‘inshared’ doesn’t suggest ‘insured’; I don’t think the name arises from Dunglish pronunciation, just a cutesy attempt to prove that someone’s English skills (sort of) extend to wordplay.

  13. Larry says:

    Oh, look – an English-speaking company punning on ‘ensure’ and ‘share’:


  14. Branko Collin says:

    Speaking of bastard English, what is ‘bastard sugar’ in English, and what would happen to you if you addressed people with those words outside a Young Ones sketch?

  15. Natashka says:

    Sounds like a contradiction in terms 🙂 And the idea that anything brown coloured is bastard-like scares me.

  16. Frederieke says:

    The logo looks more like a sixty-niner to me…

  17. Jacqui says:

    I’m Dutch and I didn’t even realize this was supposed to be a pun, even though I knew it was an insurance company. I just thought it was some random weird name, like all companies seem to have these days.

    Also, Natashka, in response to comment #15: Dutch people can be very scary… <_<

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