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gezellig

English translation: comfy/ comfortable

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Dutch term or phrase:gezellig
English translation:comfy/ comfortable
Entered by: David Hollywood
Options:
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03:39 Mar 28, 2005
Dutch to English translations [Non-PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
Dutch term or phrase: gezellig
I am preparing a discussion of words which are difficult to translate into English. On the captioned word, I have only the information listed below, and I would appreciate correction or expansion, explaining the nuances.


gezellig – having the cozy and homey, relaxed feeling of being with people with whom one feels a sense of "belonging", of being in a welcoming, sheltering and tolerant place
One source notes, "The most frequent translation of gezellig is "cozy," [but] being alone and wrapped up in a blanket on the couch while reading a good book is cozy, but not gezellig. Gezelligheid is not possible without the secure bonds of family and friendship."


Could you explain further, or correct me? Thank you.
Ken Spector
comfy
Explanation:
feeling cosy :)


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Note added at 9 mins (2005-03-28 03:49:03 GMT)
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and the idea of \"family feeling\" is there :)


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Note added at 11 mins (2005-03-28 03:51:18 GMT)
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there is a real sense of \"belonging\" here

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Note added at 15 mins (2005-03-28 03:55:16 GMT)
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not necessarily \"family\" but feeling good among friends for sure :)

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Note added at 20 mins (2005-03-28 04:00:08 GMT)
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or: \"like a bug in a rug\" (free translation here)

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Note added at 11 hrs 2 mins (2005-03-28 14:42:06 GMT)
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\"comfy\" = comfortable in the widest range of contexts
Selected response from:

David Hollywood
Local time: 01:58
Grading comment
Thank you. How interesting that often you amended this answer as the thought percolated in your head. That very fact demonstates the subtlety of the word.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +3nice
Chris Hopley
5 +1cosy/cozy
avantix
5 +1congenial ambiance
Marijke Mayer
5comfy
David Hollywood
4cosy
Linda Flebus


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
cosy/cozy


Explanation:
Always a braintwister. "Comfy" is to me more "feeling at ease" and lacks the "family/friends atmosphere". According to Collins Dict., in connection with "being together" cosy is giving the best feeling. That's what I'd say as well.

avantix
Netherlands
Local time: 06:58
Native speaker of: Native in DutchDutch, Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Arsen Nazarian
3 hrs
  -> thank you
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7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
comfy


Explanation:
feeling cosy :)


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 mins (2005-03-28 03:49:03 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

and the idea of \"family feeling\" is there :)


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 11 mins (2005-03-28 03:51:18 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

there is a real sense of \"belonging\" here

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 15 mins (2005-03-28 03:55:16 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

not necessarily \"family\" but feeling good among friends for sure :)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 20 mins (2005-03-28 04:00:08 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

or: \"like a bug in a rug\" (free translation here)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 11 hrs 2 mins (2005-03-28 14:42:06 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

\"comfy\" = comfortable in the widest range of contexts

David Hollywood
Local time: 01:58
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Grading comment
Thank you. How interesting that often you amended this answer as the thought percolated in your head. That very fact demonstates the subtlety of the word.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

17 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
congenial ambiance


Explanation:
Cosy is just one of the English words that can be used in the right context, but 'gezellig' is so much more. There are a whole host of words that must be used in the right setting and in the right combination. "Congenial ambiance" is just one combination that captures 'gezellig' as finding oneself in a nice atmosphere, a 'warm bath' so to speak.

Bangkok Restaurants and Bars: Plaza Athenee Bangkok, A Royal ...
... The Reflexions offers contemporary French fare in a relaxed and congenial ambiance with attentive and unobtrusive service. From luncheons to dinners or ...
www.lemeridien.com/thailand/ bangkok/restaurants_th1842.shtml -

The Best of 2001- Kitchen Sink
... Bellavista’s ambiance is as warm and familial as most any back-home ...
This salad bar is more congenial and safer than meeting someone at a real bar. ...
www.citylinkmagazine.com/2001sink.html

Marijke Mayer
Netherlands
Local time: 06:58
Native speaker of: Dutch

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  writeaway: don't agree with congenial ambiance as "the" answer but certainly find that 'congenial' is a key word for defining gezellig as it's often used. prob is that the word is used in many so ways, including ironical :-)
1 day32 mins
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1 day4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
cosy


Explanation:
"Expand the term. An expansion can be towards related terms in the same thesaurus or in other thesauri, including the UNIthesaurus. A relationship can also be a translation. This can be a relationship other than 'Translated Term'. For instance GEZELLIG (NL) RT COSY (EN) when there is no correct translation for the Dutch word 'gezellig' in English, but the word 'cosy' comes close. Or GEZELLIG (NL) BT COSY (EN) when the English word 'cosy' is a broader term of the Dutch word 'gezellig', which would indicate that there is no English translation for 'gezellig' or Dutch translation for 'cosy'.
When two related terms are in different languages it is automatically a translation. The type of relationship indicates the correctness of the translation."



    Reference: http://www.fdgroup.co.uk/research/universe/d4-5-3.htm
Linda Flebus
Belgium
Local time: 06:58
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in FlemishFlemish, Native in DutchDutch
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1 day5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
nice


Explanation:
Your source states that "cozy" is the most frequent translation of "gezellig", but - even if this is true! - it doesn't make it a correct translation.

In my view, "gezellig" has almost become a stop word as it is used in colloquial speech at any point where a word indicating a generally positive attitude or inclination is required. Rather like the English word "nice", only more so!

Think about how "gezellig" is used in terms of everyday Dutch, not in terms of the examples given by dictionaries (Van Dale). Some examples and possible translations:

Was het een gezellig feest? - Was it a good party?
We hebben wat gedronken, gezellig gekletst en veel gelachen - We had a few drinks, chatted a bit and had a few laughs.
Den Bosch is een gezellig oer-Brabants stadje - Den Bosch oozes the warmth and charm of Burgundy
gezellige muziek - party music
een gezellig huis - a charming/attractive house
gezellig thuis - at home / in the comfort of your own home
etc.
etc.

In English, "cozy" is - I would argue - rarely the correct translation of "gezellig". Not least because "cozy" is frequently used in a slightly pejorative or even sarcastic sense: e.g. "Oh, don't those two look cozy together" or "Senior US Officials Cozy up to Dictator" (from http://www.thememoryhole.org/pol/us-and-uz.htm).


Chris Hopley
Netherlands
Local time: 06:58
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 34

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Iris70
29 mins

agree  Lucy Simpson: "Doe maar gezellig" (play nicely, kids). We talk about pubs having a really 'nice' atmosphere.
5 hrs

agree  writeaway: it is basically an open-ended question-how it's translated will always depend on how it's used in the context and that seems to vary from one time to the next. there is no one-stop answer and yeah, it's hardly ever 'cozy'. ;-)
5 hrs
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