April 9, 2007

DUNGLISH - Another Flavor of English

Embarrassed with our lovely model stating “Indonesia is a beautiful city” in the Miss Universe pageant? Think again. Not all “bule” (westerners in Indonesian) are native English speaker.

Joop den Uyl (former Dutch Prime Minister) referred his nation as “A Nation of Undertakers” to a group of businessmen in Washington DC. What he meant was that the Dutch is a nation of Entrepreneur, but it went out wrong. In Dutch entrepreneur is ondernemer. Onder means under, nemer means taker. Well, you know what undertaker means in English :D.

It was Dunglish, a mix of Dutch-English, just like Singlish, Singaporean English or Japanese Engrish. It's like trying to use English translated directly from Indonesian words, such as "Fruit child, "(anak buah: subordinate) or ”Not delicious body", (ga enak badan: ill/sick).



Why Dunglish? The Dutch are known to be very proud with their good command in English language. I support this reason since I have experienced trouble in breaking the language barrier while traveling in other European countries. Most of the natives can (or want to) only speak in their own languages, despite of their hospitality. In most cities in The Netherlands, people can switch to English quite easily and willingly.

In my opinion, most Dutch use English because, let’s face it, the language is only used by merely 21 million people. Indonesian language might only be spoken by Indonesian, but there is more than 200 million of us, and counting. So, for the Dutch, English is more like it.

More about Dunglish? Try this website. At least, you can have a good laugh and feel that we are not alone in this world who silently agree that English is such a tricky language.

Ok! I hate you all farewell*.


*Ik heet U allemaal vaarwel: I bid you all farewell

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