The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Jul 30, 2009

Bergen Bergen Bergen

Following KM's pointer to Futility Closet, I came across an assertion at that site that the following sentence makes sense in Dutch. Never willing to take things at face value (and also because it's a slow morning), I undertook the following correspondence with a Dutch colleague:
Does this sentence make sense in Dutch? What does it mean? Als In Bergen, bergen bergen bergen bergen bergen bergen bergen bergen bergen bergen.
direct translation:
As in Mountains, mountains, mountains, mountains etc.
your guess as good as mine...

So it doesn't mean: "If in Bergen, heaps of mountains salvage heaps of mountains, then heaps of mountains salvage heaps of mountains"?

There would need to be comma after the sixth bergen.
So there you go, folks. The Dutchman has spoken and it is verily so.


km said...

That's awesome analysis. I do hope you point this out to FC.

Fëanor said...

More awesome than the analysis was the confusion on the Dutchman's face when he first saw that sentence. Then enlightenment settled on him like dew. Heh.

Shanth said...

Umm ... not being a native Dutch speaker, or a Dutch speaker at all, I can't personally comment, but it might not be total nonsense. I mean, how many English speakers do you think would be able to understand "Buffalo buffalo ..." without having it explained to them. Quite likely that "bergen bergen ..." also uses similarly obscure meanings/slangs.

The post dated 21/08/07, over here seems to think this is valid. If you manage to break up the sentence or diagram it please let me know. My curiosity is now appropriately piqued :)

Fëanor said...

Shanth: I closely questioned the Dutchman again and he tells me that: Bergen (town). 'bergen' as a noun means 'heaps', and 'mountains', and as a verb, means 'salvage'. So there you go.

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