Sunday, March 07, 2010


We'd been living in lowland for less then a month when it happened. We hung out at my place, and a friend's bike had a leakage. Somehow his bike valve was kaput, so he needed a new one to repair it. The problem was, eventho there's a bike shop near my place, the three of us had no idea what it was called in Dutch, or in English for that matter.

Bear in mind we were just beginning learning Dutch. I only had a Dutch monolingual dictionary and a small Indonesian-Dutch-Indonesian dictionary with no indication of valve what so ever.

Anyway, the only flatmate around was Michiel, so we went up to him for help. After trying to explain to him in broken Dutch, in English and in body language what we needed in a good 10 minutes, in the end he gave us this answer: Oo, ventiel.

When we heard that, my friends and I were laughing out loud to the amazement of Michiel. We just wrecked out brain trying to translate Indonesian 'pentil' to Dutch 'ventiel' via English and broken Dutch.

And that's just the beginning of my funny linguistic moments.


colson said...

Haha. This pun I did get. Not a valve but a crude nipple.

(To be honest: I asked Dian, my daughter in law, about the hidden meaning behind 'pentiel'..)

colson said...

OMG: not crude but rude.

triesti said...

I was thinking about nipple, but all dictionaries stated valve. Then again, look where nipple got you to :D