Off topic: Potverdekke! (Nom d'un pipe!) It's great to be a Belgian
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:13
Flemish to English
+ ...
Nov 29, 2007

It's Great to be a Belgian!
Potverdekke! (Nom d'un pipe!) It's great to be a Belgian
I'm not English I'm not French and I'm not Dutch
I'm not Spanish Portuguese or German
(I'm not Polish Italian or Danish)
(I'm not Finnish Austrian or Swedish)
I'm a Belgian so thank you very much

As I walk along the street with my mayonnaise and frites
You can tell I'm as happy as can be
It's a shame about the weather but we all live together
In peace and bilingual harmony

Without the Belgians there would be no Saxophone
No Tintin Captain Haddock or Poirot
There's Simenon, Jacques Brel, Justine and Kim as well
And many more that I don't really know (Jean Claude Van Damme!)

We speak French, Dutch, Dialekt, Patois
We ask "hoe gaat het?" we reply "comme çi comme ça!"
Although it's true we sometimes fight
On certain things we all unite
Like football and Stella Artois!

I'm a Belgian I'm not Irish I'm not Greek
I don't drink Guinness or Retsina I drink Kriek
On the Schelde or the Meuse you'll find me drinking Gueuze
Or Leffe or Chimay or Lambic!

But Potverdekke! We're all European
We can still be Flemish or Walloon
Things could be worse – we could all be English
So all we have to do is stay in tune
I'm not Bulgarian Cypriot or Maltese
Romanian Slovakian Slovenian
Latvian Estonian Lithuanian
Hungarian Czech or Luxemburger
I'm a Belgian so thank you very much!

by John Makin, an Englishman in Brussels.
and about Belgium : (dossier about Belgium of the 28 of November) : page 8 and 9 explains the linguistic situation of that country. Anybody born in the vicinity of the linguistic border has to translate into the native language only. Potverdekke, not me.

[Edited at 2007-11-29 13:58]


moya  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:13
French to English
+ ...
Potverdikke, Nov 29, 2007

Potverdekke! ça, ça est une bien bonne, une fois !

Cheers, this brought back many memories, it did!


Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:13
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Things could be worse? We could all be English? Nov 30, 2007

That deserves another over-the-top patriotic paroxysm in reply.

Flanders and Swann

The English, the English, the English are best
I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest.

The rottenest bits of these islands of ours
We've left in the hands of three unfriendly powers
Examine the Irishman, Welshman or Scot
You'll find he's a stinker, as likely as not.

The Scotsman is mean, as we're all well aware
And bony and blotchy and covered with hair
He eats salty porridge, he works all the day
And he hasn't got bishops to show him the way!

The English, the English, the English are best
I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest.

The Irishman now our contempt is beneath
He sleeps in his boots and he lies through his teeth
He blows up policemen, or so I have heard
And blames it on Cromwell and William the Third!

The English are noble, the English are nice,
And worth any other at double the price

The Welshman's dishonest and cheats when he can
And little and dark, more like monkey than man
He works underground with a lamp in his hat
And he sings far too loud, far too often, and flat!

And crossing the Channel, one cannot say much
Of French and the Spanish, the Danish or Dutch
The Germans are German, the Russians are red,
And the Greeks and Italians eat garlic in bed!

The English are moral, the English are good
And clever and modest and misunderstood.

And all the world over, each nation's the same
They've simply no notion of playing the game
They argue with umpires, they cheer when they've won
And they practice beforehand, which ruins the fun!

The English, the English, the English are best,
So up with the English and down with the rest.

It's not that they're wicked or naturally bad
It's knowing they're foreign that makes them so mad!

For the English are all that a nation should be,
And the flower of the English are Donald and me!


Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:13
Flemish to English
+ ...
Potverdekke: Song by a Brit... Nov 30, 2007

The composer of the song (version 2007), John Makin is an English architect, who has been living in Brussels for years. Belgium seen through the eyes of a Brit. I've posted this to illustrate that in Belgium, with its linguistic border (more detailed explanation see/listen to page 8 and 9 of "Libération" of the 28th of November) and E.U.-nationals of all E.U.-nationalities present on its territory the "native only dogma" of translation sounds ridiculous. It is quite easy to find a native of any language, specialised in whatever field the E.U. is active in. Moreover, from the Grand Place down in Brussels, drinking Kwak to St.Pancraes (a pint of British bitter) in London the distance is about 2 hours. From the same Grande Place to Eupen (German speaking part of Belgium) is about 2 hours by car. From the coast to France is a footstep away....

I know postings should be in English, but here is a song which could be Belgian's unofficial national anthem sung in both French AND Dutch:

We waren bijna echt vergeten,
Hoe schoon de zomer wel kan zijn
Zonder zorgen en zonder regen
Hoe schoon de zomer hier kan zijn
Ouvre ta porte et toutes tes fenêtres
Pour une valse et pour rire
Un sentiment extrême de bien-être
Komde gij nu ne keer hier

Ik hou van u
Ik hou van u
Ik hou van u
Je t’aime tu sais
Je t’aime tu sais
Je t’aime tu sais

Geef me een kus
Geef me een kus
Geef me een kus
En vlug, voor de laatste bus

Nous avions presque oublié
Hoe warm een weiland wel kan zijn
Prenez-vous les mains et souriez
En zie hoe schoon de zomers zijn

Je t’aime tu sais
Je t’aime tu sais
Je t’aime tu sais
Qui je t’aime tu sais
Je t’aime tu sais
Je t’aime tu sais

Ik hou van u
Ik hou van u
Ik hou van u
Ja ik hou van u
Ik hou van u
Ik hou van u

Donne-moi une bise!
Geef me een kus!
Donne-moi une bise
Et vite…
Avant le dernier bus
Geef me een kus.

[Edited at 2007-11-30 12:12]


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