Translation:During the lunch or during the breakfast?
"During the lunch or during the breakfast?" sounds really awkward to me in English. It sounds much better as "During lunch or during breakfast?" Is it equally awkward in Dutch?
No. In Dutch the articles are required, but I agree that they sound weird in English. I would expect "During lunch or during breakfast?" to be OK too.
When I translated it to English I didn't use the articles and it was excepted.
I think the confusion with "the lunch" and "the breakfast" can be explained if they were say, events. "Are we presenting our program during the lunch or the breakfast"
what's the root of ontbijt anyways? middageten is midday-food and avondeten is night-food but ontbijt isn't literally translatable like the other two?
Ont = in, bijt = bite. The use of ont in this case indicates an inchoative noun or verb (meaning the beginning or inception of an action.) Inchoatives exist in English, too, in words like to inflame, inflammation or even (before the health and safety people mangled it) inflammable which, contrary to popular belief, means "capable of being set on fire". The opposite is "non-inflammable", although these days we have been forced by the HSE to accept [flammable] and [non-flammable].
So if we take ontbijt to mean the "beginning of a bite" or "the first bite after sleep", it ties in very nicely with English breakfast , "breaking your fast after a night's sleep".
Couldn't have translated with the articles anyway as there was only one provided