Saturday, August 06, 2011

A bottle or can? (een flas of blikje?)

Past week has been super busy, and even though I don't have an apartment just yet, my co-worker based in Antwerp has just returned to the US, and luckily, I can stay in his place. It's so much better to be in a house than the tiny hotel room I've been using. Plus I don't have to pay EUR10 a day for wifi, and I get a kitchen where I can cook something. (not that Belgian/Dutch food is bad, but it's nice to have something simple)

Testing the use of my language skills can be hard, especially when you're understanding more written words, but understanding spoken words is hit/miss. I had a great experience today while getting lunch at the Panos Panini shop. Decided to try to speak "only Dutch", regardless if I get in trouble or not. Luckily it's a slow day this weekend in the shops..Here's the hilarious conversation (and for me to remember my new words from today):

Kent: Can I order a prosciutto panini? (Kan ik een prosciutto panini neemen?)
Host: Is that for here or to go?
Kent: For here, and also an ice tea (voor hier, en ook een ice tea)
Host: You want the bottle or the can? (these were words I didn't know.. it was like you want the or the , where x and y are unknown)
Kent: Uh, I want the carbonated one (met gaz)
Host: (sooo graciously patient, and not switching to English, goes over to the fridge): We have a bottle (raising the bottle) or a can (raising the can) (een flas of een blikje?)
Kent: Ooooh!! I'll take the smaller one (but not knowing the correct word for 'can') - (de klein..)

then.. after I finish my lunch, I asked:

Kent: How do you say "this" (raising my can) in Dutch?
Host: Een blikje... (a can)
Kent: "Blikje?"
Host: Ja, blikje

Whoever you were, thanks for speaking slowly, being patient, not switching to English, and helping me learn! I'll never forget what is een blikje.

1 comment:

Crèmebrûlivin said...

Coming from my very scrappy knowledge of Dutch, I just assume that the word ending in -je is smaller. :) Nice to see updates from our old stomping grounds, lemme know if you make it to Maastricht!