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Word of the day: Delft

Olga is a student in Robyn’s Dutch course. Robyn who is going to fly to Indonesia tonight, showed me Olga’s wonderful poem that you can read below. I confess that I am a bit jealous of Robyn because she is going to travel to and through warm, fragrant, beautiful Indonesia. Together with her mother she is going to visit the places where her mother used to live.

On the other hand, it is also very GEZELLIG here in The Hague. And in our own less exotic way we are also going to make a few trips. Friday evening 13th December evening we are going to Gouda, because of the millions of candles around the medieval market square.

Gouda will be like fairy land. The last time I saw it, my daughter was eight years old, some fifteen years ago. If you miss this event, you can visit Voorburg on Christmas Eve, 24th December when the old village will be lit by candles. LICHTJESAVOND (festival of lights) is the name.

Yesterday (Tuesday) was Delft’s LICHTJESAVOND. We missed it. Delft is Olga’s favourite city.

In a previous posting I wrote about the origins of the name of Delft: ‘The ancient city of Delft thanks its name to the fact that a GRACHT was dug there in the Middle Ages. The name DELFT used to be DELF, which is a form of the verb DELVEN (to dig, to delve).’

Delft is the city of canals which are called GRACHTEN in Dutch.

Anyway, here is Olga’s poem with my free translation underneath.

Ik hou van Delft.
Daar woont een kleine elf,
Hij laat mij het stadje zien.
Magisch Delft, zegt deze elf.
Kom binnen!
Kijk, veel mooie bruggen,
Romantische plekjes,
Alles is open voor het lieve meisje.
Delft is een stadje
Voor liefde, mijn schatje!

(I love Delft.
A tiny fairy lives there,
He is showing me the little town,
Magical Delft, says this fairy.
Come in!
Look, many beautiful bridges,
Romantic spots,
Everything is open for the sweet girl.
Delft is a little town
For love, my dear!)

(Photo: Olga, thanks!)