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  5. "Ober, ik wil water!"

"Ober, ik wil water!"

Translation:Waiter, I want water!

August 8, 2014



is this not a kind of rude ? so to be polite I should add an "alstublieft", shouldn't I ?


It's quite rude indeed. You would usually say something like

  • sorry, mag ik nog wat water (alstublieft)

  • mevrouw, kan ik nog een glas water krijgen (alstublieft)

  • meneer, nog een water alstublieft


I'm glad I looked at the conments here! Why would one want to learn how to rudely address someone like this? :/ Thanks, NetherLance.


I too got this wrong, not wanting to be rude. However, reading all the comments was very illuminating and educational. Thanks to everyone.


I guess if you ever become a waiter in the Netherlands, and you get a rude customer, it helps to understand what they're saying.


Just being curious: Is the word "ober" still commonly used in Dutch? In German it has pretty much completely fallen out of use.


The word ober can still be used, but you usually do so when talking 'about' the ober, not to address them. Same goes for 'serveerster', when talking about a woman. When addressing them, you often replace ober/serveerster simply by meneer/mevrouw or by saying sorry (excuse me).


OK, thanks! That's similar of how we use "Kellner" in German. I suppose the usage of the Dutch word "kelner" is the same? Is there a difference in formality between "ober" and "kelner" in Dutch?


You can say ober to a waiter, but not serveerster to a serveerster, that's always mevrouw, but as mentioned before, simply saying mevrouw/meneer or sorry… is more common.

Funny indeed that this evolved/is evolving differently from German. BTW in a Dutch snack bar there normally will be no waiters at all, you have to get it from the counter yourself (or out of the wall…) You need to go up one step in luxuriousness to a lunchroom for waiters to appear. :)


Kelner is seldom used. Maybe in the very luxurious restaurant. It's close to archaic.


@WarmFoothills: Thanks! That's very interesting. So the usage is exactly opposite to German. "Ober" is somewhat archaic and only used for luxury restaurants while "Kellner" is the common term used for people working in a snack bar.


People don't really use the word "kelner" in the Netherlands. I might be more formal though, but even when speaking formally everyone says "ober."


Oh no! The word "Ober" is still used, when you ask for the attention of any waiter/waitress. By the way: the origin of this comes from Autria. In viena some body asked:"Herr Kellner". And the reply was:"ich bin OBERkellner". I.E. "I am master kellner"


Yes, it's the most used word.


I'm a bit at a loss here, why start a sentence with sorry?


I'd say it's similar in a lot of languages. Excuse me in English is also an expression of apology and quite typical to get someone's attention


Because they are working ,and you just go like, Sorry, can you bring me a cup of water? I think that's how I would do it in English too.


What is the function of "like" in the above sentence? And the verb "go"? Do you mean "and you say something similar to..."?


That's pretty much what was meant yes. Like is functioning as "for example" in a sense.


The word 'like' as in the sentence above seems to be used as a filler, especially in teenager slang.

As to 'go like', an urban dictionary gives the following definition:

The most common two words used in a sentence by girls from the age of 13 to 18. Can be used up to 5 times in a sentence. 'The girl opposite me was talking to her friend: "Well I was like disgusted with her and I go like "You're a ❤❤❤❤❤", and she goes like,"Well, like tough ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤", and I go like, "you should like be so lucky", and my friend goes like ...' .


in spanish and catalan is the same, they are working you interrupt them so is polite to say sorry first.


I agree with you Horia - it's a newish thing. Apologising for asking someone to do something they're paid to do sounds a bit weird to me. (But then I am weird) :)


Why is "nog" used here? I can't find a proper translation that makes sense (https://translate.google.com/#nl/en/nog)


Here, you can translate it as 'another'. You can leave it out of the sentences if you so desire, or for example when a waiter comes and take your order. In the example though, it seems like you're calling the waiter, so I figured you'd want to have 'another' water.


compare to german "noch" if you done any german.


Hi DutchDouL, quick question. Would it be polite to say "Ik will graag water (alstublieft)"? Thanks!


There's even an exclamation mark. Wtf.


Perhaps the ober gave him/her the wrong drink time after time.. who knows


It is indeed rude, but so is the English sentence!


Would "I want some water" be an acceptable transaltion of "Ik wil water"? Or would that have to be "Ik wil wat water"?


I also felt that 'I want some water' would be slightly less rude than the bald 'I want water'.


Here are two possible situations at table.

(1) At the start of the meal, the host asks, 'What do you want to drink: wine, beer..?' Answer: 'No, I want water, please'.

(2) During the meal, when your glass is empty, you could say to someone who has the water jug: 'Could you give me some water, please?'



It's just more polite that way I completely agree


If you said that you'd probably get a jug of it poured over your head!


What about, "Meneer, ik wil graag water."

Is that even a correct construction? If it is, just kind of intuitively to me it seems not super polite, but also not rude either.


That's actually quite polite here, maybe it doesn't sound like it to you for some reason, but that's polite enough.

Maybe it's because you're missing the word "please/alstublieft," but when you say "graag" it is pretty much considered the same.


Doesn't the audio sound like "oh ober"? or is it just me...


It does indeed, a mysterious soundbite is heard before "ober".


Water: €1,25

Water, alstublieft: €1,--


Waiter, I would like some water !!


I want water is very rude and demanding !! We are much more likely to say "WAITER, I WOULD LIKE SOME WATER, OR CAN I HAVE SOME WATER" !!!


Ober mag ik water hebben alstublieft. Is dat ok


Can we please accept a more polite translation ?? If I were the waiter, there might be more than water after such a demand.


It wouldn't make sense to change the translation to be polite when the sentence is not. If you mean "can this example be changed to something that wouldn't piss off your server if you went to NL and used it," yes, Duo most certainly should do that.


Someone in a bad temper might say "I want water", but it not very polite.


Sort of Alf Garnet English again. Must be a very ignorant guy who makes theses translations. Get a New translater Duo!

i want SOME water, please

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