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Listen to Dutch - Colors - Adjectives and Adverbs - Numbers 20-100 (#2) - The Catholic Minority in Holland

Adjectives and Adverbs
Numbers 20-100 (2)
The Catholic Minority in Holland

There is something very strange to this children's song: children sailing to England, but England is closed and the key is broken?
The last two lines are added in a kind of game where kids move around.

Witte zwanen, zwarte zwanen
White swans, black swans
Wie gaat er mee naar Engeland varen?
Who's going to sail with me to England?
Engeland is gesloten
England is closed
De sleutel is gebroken
The key is broken
En er is geen smid in 't land
And there is no blacksmith [to be found] in the land
Die die sleutel maken kan
Who can repair that key
Naar voren, naar voren
Come forward, come forward
Wie achter is moet voren
Those at the back should come to the front
click to hear


[Black-and-White picture; swan]
zwart-wit foto click to hear - (de) zwaan click to hear
>> clothing
[a colorful tie-dye T-shirt]

click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear

click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear
click to hear

* 'Roze' click to hear is a word from French that has an irregular O pronunciation.

scharlaken click to hear 2 3 ('scarlet')
violet click to hear ('violet')
(De) kleur click to hear 2 ('color') - plural: kleuren click to hear ('colors')
kleurloos click to hear 2 colorless, pale, drab, bland
kleurrijk click to hear colorful
lichtblauw click to hear 2 3 4 light blue
donkerblauw click to hear 2 3 4 dark blue
In Dutch, 'white' people are called blanken click to hear 2
flets click to
  hear 'pale, washed-out color'
pasteltinten click to hear 'pastel tints' (soft, pale colors)
(de) schutkleur click to hear 2 3 'camouflaging color'
cyaan click to hear 2 cyan
pikzwart click to hear 2 pitch-black, completely dark
hagelwit click to hear 2 'white as hail,' very clean, bright white
sneeuwwit click to hear 2 'white as snow,' very clean, bright white
spierwit click to hear 2 'white as muscle,' very pale (said of faces)
vuurrood click to hear 2 'red as fire,' fiery red
mauve click to hear mauve, a kind of red or purple
vaalbruin click to hear 2 3 faded brown, drab, dun
pimpelpaars click to hear 'purple purple' bright purple
purper click to hear purple (old-fashioned)
rossig click to hear / rossige click to hear 2 'reddish'
groenig click to hear 2 'greenish'
gelig click to hear 'yellowish'
beige click to hear 2 (French EI and French G)
actual color shown is the slightly darker 'ecru'
[a rainbow]
[pink roses]
roze rozen click to hear
[a rainbow]
(de) regenboog click to hear
[red-purple flower]
roodpaars click to hear 2
[blue-purple flower]
blauwpaars click to hear 2 3 4
See also Color Adjectives Conjugated below

Colors as nouns are 'het-words'
't Blauw van de hemel click to hear 2 The blue of the sky 't Blauw van spijkerstof is indigo click to hear 2 The blue of denim is indigo 't Groen van planten is chlorofyl click to hear 2 3 The green of plants is chlorophyll

Introducing Adjectives and Adverbs

Irregularities and Exceptions
Colors Conjugated
[orange oranges] [pink skin]
Adjectives describe or modify nouns: The big man.
Adverbs describe or modify verbs: He spoke loudly.

(het) bijvoeglijk naamwoord click to hear 2 ('adjective')
(het) bijwoord click to hear 2 3 ('adverb')

de sinaasappels zijn oranje - de oranje sinaasappels click to hear
the oranges are orange - the orange oranges

de huid is roze - de roze huid click to hear
the skin is pink - the pink skin

[blue sky] [one green apple]

Adjectives almost always get an ‑E ending. Not in the first two examples above left, because there the root words already ended in ‑E (oranje, roze.)

de hemel is blauw - de blauwe hemel click to hear
the sky is blue - the blue sky

de lucht is blauw - de blauwe lucht click to hear - 2
the sky is blue - the blue sky

de appel is groen - de groene appel click to hear - 2
the apple is green - the green apple

[red tomatoes] [a glass of milk, milk is white]
The pronunciation of the vowel in adjectives rarely changes, but adding an ‑E may change the spelling of the word:
groen / groene click to hear - wit / witte click to hear - rood / rode click to hear
Read more about Dutch spelling below.
de tomaten zijn rood - de rode tomaten click to hear
the tomatoes are red - the red tomatoes

melk is wit - de witte melk click to hear
milk is white - the white milk

In previous lessons, 'open' and 'closed' syllables were explained.
When Dutch words divide in syllables:

So, adding an ‑E (or ‑E N, ‑E R etc.) ending to a word that ended in a vowel followed by a single consonant would change the last syllable of the original word from 'closed' to 'open.' The vowel sound rarely changes, so the spelling of the word will change:

kort click to hear lang click to hear
[Map Showing the size of Brazil and Holland]
See World Map
[4 generations]
oud click to hear jong
lang click to hear - 2 - 3 ('long; tall')
kort click to hear - 2 - 3 ('short')
groot click to hear - 2 - 3 ('large, big, tall, great')
klein click to hear - 2 ('small, little')
oud click to hear ('old')
jong click to hear ('young')
nieuw click to hear ('new')

de lange les click to hear ('the long lesson')
het korte haar click to hear ('the short hair')
de lange vraag click to hear ('the long question')
het korte antwoord click to hear - 2 ('the short answer')
de lange reis click to hear ('the long journey')
het oude huis click to hear ('the old house')
de nieuwe auto click to hear ('the new car') - (unusual AU pronunciation)
het jonge gras click to hear - 2 ('the [young] new grass')
een jonge hond click to hear - 2 ('a young dog')
het nieuwe land click to hear - 2 ('the new [=reclaimed] land')

Brazilië is een groot land - het grote land click to hear - 2 ('Brazil is a large country - the large country')
China is een groot land - het grote land click to hear - 2 ('China is a large country - the large country')
Nederland is een klein land - het kleine land click to hear ('Holland is a small country - the small country')
Waarin een klein land groot kan zijn click to hear ('A small country can be big in some things')

Dutch adverbs are the basic form of the word as you find it in the dictionary, there is not something like the -LY ending in English.
Adjectives almost always have an ‑E ending, only after 'een,'  'geen'  or no article adjectives for singular 'het' words don't get an ‑E ending:
de appel is groen - de groene appel - een groene appel
- het groene appeltje - een groen
appeltje click to hear
The apple is green - the green apple - a green apple - the little green apple - a little green apple
De lange man - een lange man - het lange boek
- een lang boek - de baby slaapt
lang click to hear
the tall man - a tall man - the long book - a long book - the baby sleeps long ('through')
droog brood click to hear 2 'dry' bread (no butter, no cheese etc.)
- But don't worry too much about it when you start speaking Dutch, you won't go wrong very often when you say all adjectives with an ‑E ending.
See more about adjectives and adverbs in Lesson 11
Dutch Grammar Words 2

[A sign saying 'Klein Park']
(een) klein park
click to hear - 2


Adding an ‑E N ending to a noun of a material makes it into an adjective. English does this too, but not as frequent: gold / golden, wood / wooden.
hout / houten click to hear ('wood / wooden')
ijzer / ijzeren click to hear ('iron')
[a wooden spoon] [an iron chain] You can avoid the ending and keep it simple by saying van - like 'of' in English: 'the chain is of iron.' In English it seems a bit old-fashioned, but in Dutch this is not uncommon.
van hout click to hear ('of wood, wooden') -
van ijzer click to hear ('[of] iron')
de houten lepel - de lepel is van hout click to hear
(the wooden spoon - the spoon is of wood)

de ijzeren ketting - de ketting is van ijzer click to hear
(the iron chain - the chain is of iron)

Irregularities and Exceptions

[grey hair]

S to Z, F to V

A few words that end in -S change that S to Z when an ‑E ending is added, for instance:
grijs / grijze click to hear ('grey')
het haar is grijs - het grijze haar click to hear
the hair is grey - the grey hair

I hear a sound change like that in English 'house / houses,' but there is no spelling change in English.
In Dutch, an ‑E ending also changes some word endings from F to V, for instance:
braaf / brave click to hear ('well-behaved, obedient' [children and dogs] - a 'false friend,' it's not like English 'brave.')
English also has this sound change, and this time shows it in spelling too, like in wife / wives. - more

[a glass cup] [a glass plate]

Vowel Change

A few words get a vowel change when an ‑E ending is added. It is unusual.
glas / glazen click to hear ('glass')

het glazen kopje - het kopje is van glas click to hear 2
(the glass cup - the cup is of glass)

het glazen bord - het bord is van glas click to hear
(the glass plate - the plate is of glass)

[a rusty chain]

-IG ending

As you may have noted in the numbers paragraphs, the I of the ‑IG ending is pronounced as voiceless E. Thus, the G of this ending also doesn't double for the ‑E endings.
zuinig / zuinige click to hear ('frugal' - a very Dutch trait.)
De zuinige huisvrouw click to hear
('the frugal housewife')

de roestige ketting - de ketting is roestig click to hear
(the rusty chain - the chain is rusty)

More Colors & Materials - More about Adjectives

Colors Conjugated

rood / rode
click to hear
click to hear
geel / gele
click to hear
groen / groene
click to hear
blauw / blauwe
click to hear 2
paars / paarse
click to hear

wit / witte
click to hear 2 3
zwart / zwarte
click to hear
bruin / bruine
click to hear
grijs / grijze
click to hear
roze (Fr.)
click to hear
beige (Fr.)
click to hear 2
* beige click to hear 2 (French EI and French G) - actual color shown is the slightly darker 'ecru'

Numbers 20-100 (#2)

click to
click to
click to
click to
click to
click to
click to
click to
click to
click to
Note that in Dutch we say 4-and-20, and not 20-4 like in English.
<< - numbers, simple math and dimensions - >>

step click to hear (picture by Peter Schuffelen)

The Catholic Minority in Holland

I have been told that when I was four or five, I went door-to-door in our street to ask the neighbors if they were Catholics, and if not I told them that I could not come and play anymore. I guess the nuns in my kindergarten had talked about it; but maybe I took it too seriously, for I cannot imagine my brother or sisters doing such a thing.
It's a another example of the former compartmentalization (verzuiling click to hear) ->> of Dutch society, groups living separate lives with their own churches, schools and organizations - but not neighborhoods.
My little story was in the 1950s. With few people in Holland attending church anymore, the divides between the traditional religious communities largely disappeared in the 1960s and '70s. I can't imagine modern Dutchmen telling their children not to make friends with children from the other traditional groups.

The Dutch war of liberation from Catholic Spanish rule (1568-1648) was in part over religious freedom for Protestants; but under Protestant rule in the new country the Dutch Catholics became second-rate citizens. The mainly Catholic Southern provinces became a kind of territories, governed from Holland, and like in England, Catholics could not hold government positions or be part of the government bureaucracy.
When in the 1790s French armies occupied much of Europe, they brought with them the ideals of the French Revolution like equality, but it was ultimately the granting of the vote to more and more men that led to equal rights for Catholics in Holland. In the 1890s, about 50% of men had the vote, by 1917 all men got the vote, and in 1919 women got the vote too.
My family are Catholics from the South of the country. My grandfather, who became a schoolteacher in the Dutch Indies in about 1910, said he felt he owed his job to the Catholic Party. At the time 30% to 40% of the Dutch population were Catholics, and their votes started to count in Parliament. My Dad told me that when he was appointed to prominent position in 1949 there was grumbling about 'too many Catholics,' which was nonsense, for the number in his job was much lower than the national average. But even though my ancestors were second-rate citizens and discriminated against, I'm proud of my country and its history.
Of course many minorities in other parts of the world fared much worse than the Catholics of Holland. << - essays - >>

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