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"Het is tien voor half zeven."

Translation:It is six twenty.

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4 years ago

32 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/shatov72
shatov72
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Oh wow. That is complicated - I guess that I need to get used to thinking of the half hour as acting in the same way as the full hour, in that we can count minutes before / after it.

But where has this funny counting come from?

60
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnWycliffe
JohnWycliffe
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In case anyone's still interested a year later:

I don't know for sure where it comes from (see below for speculation), but much of Europe outside the UK uses it (all other Germanic/Scandinavian languages, most Slavic languages, all Baltic languages, and all Finno-Ugric languages) - or at least the "half seven" = 6:30 part. I'm not familiar enough with most of those languages to know whether they say 6:20 like Dutch, and online translators are stupendously lazy at translating time (they generally just use digits, or they translate the two number words separately and place them next to each other, or they just go full retard and translate "tien voor half zeven" as 7:20). I suspect that many of them don't go so far as to calculate from the half hour, but I know German does (it's just not as common as saying sechs Uhr zwanzig), and Norwegian and Danish do. Swedish and Icelandic don't, neither does Russian. Other than that, I'm not sure.

Perhaps I'm over-analyzing, but as the "half seven" part is used in all Lutheran-dominated countries, but not all Eastern Orthodox and only a handful of Catholic countries - all of which have or used to have Lutheran minority populations - I'm guessing the Germans had a hand in spreading it to at least some countries (such as Finland and Estonia). This is supported by the fact that the only Germanic language that doesn't use it is English, and the UK isn't Lutheran. Maybe religion has nothing to do with it and it's just a Germanic/Slavic/Baltic thing that was spread to Finland, Estonia and Hungary by the Germans and dropped or missed by the English? At any rate, it seems to originate in Northern or Eastern Europe.

On a side note, Danish uses an excessively complex method of counting above 50 which involves "halv"-number being used in a similar manner. For example, while forty-one is enogfyrre or one and forty, fifty-one is enoghalvtreds, which is a shortening of enoghalvtredsindstyve or one and half threescore, where half threescore = 50 because...half 3 = 2.5, times 20 = 50. This continues to 99, and starts again at 151. This is even worse than the French four x twenty + ten + nine = 99, because at least there's no half score nonsense. However, this crazy Danish counting scheme isn't old enough to say that it means Denmark came up with the "half seven" thing, but maybe they came up with the "ten til half seven" part, since they're one of only a few countries to use it.

Anyway, enough rambling.

20
Reply22 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/2200Lucia60
2200Lucia60
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Hi John. Very interesting contribution, I mean it, but the Danish counting part is far to inaccessible to me. I should apply for a mathematics class at the Harvard University.. or something like that. I makes me feel so human unable, If you know what I mean. Thanks though. Language is counting, measuring, positioning, technology too. So no harm done! Have fun.

3
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis
CJ.Dennis
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I asked a Dutch friend about this and she says they don't use to/from the half hour. She says they say the time the same way we do in English except of course "half zeven" means "half to seven" instead of our "half past six". Is this a regional thing maybe?

9
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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In the Netherlands it is perfectly normal to say "Het is tien voor half zes/tien over half zes". Perhaps your friend does not say it like that, but loads of people in the Netherlands (and in Belgium) do.

12
Reply13 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Galerunner

When I lived in the Netherlands for two years, I was told specifically to avoid telling time that way because it was too 'ingewikkeld.' Perhaps I was told wrong, though.

1
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/himynameismv

Typed 6:20 and apparently the colon counted as a typo. Curious Dutch punctuation!

2
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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It's in the system like 6:20, that it is counted as a typo is hence a Duolingo issue.

3
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alnehsaurus

Is there a reason why the literal translation (it is ten to half seven) is not accepted? It still makes sense (doesn't it?)

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shatov72
shatov72
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'Half seven' in English is not the same as 'half zeven' in Dutch. There is an hour's difference between the two.

Also, I'd think that the literal translation would be confusing to an English speaker as counting minutes to / from the half hour just doesn't happen.

11
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThisYoungQuigs

So if I said "Het is zes twintig" to a Dutch speaker, would they know what I mean?

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jcbos
jcbos
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At least not everybody. 'Het is zes twintig' means: 'It's € 6,20'

15
Reply13 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alex.Essilfie
Alex.Essilfie
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Agreed.

But what if one said "het is twintig over zes"?
Would that mean "it is six twenty"?

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Raahiba
Raahiba
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I do hear 'twintig over zes', usually from young people (who may have been watching too much American TV), but I wouldn't go so far as to say It's good Dutch. I'm not native though; my Dutch husband thinks it's an OK structure, but he's doubting himself because he lived in England for 5 years and may have been 'contaminated'.

2
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/2200Lucia60
2200Lucia60
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Hi Alex. "Twintig over zes" is to consider dialectic, so uncorrect. It happened to hear "zes uur twintig" or "zes uur vijventwintig". Or when the hour just passed: "zes uur en drie minuten" for instance. But I fear that is Flemish language (from Dutch speaking Belgium). Learning good Dutch means listen to Elthek and Raahiba their suggestions. Best wishes !

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alex.Essilfie
Alex.Essilfie
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Thanks @2000Lucia60, @Raahiba. I asked out of curiosity since it sounded quite reasonable to me. I'll refrain from using it though, since it isn't considered good Dutch.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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You can use twintig over zes, it's a personal preference but there's nothing wrong with it (http://taaladvies.net/taal/advies/vraag/1177/acht_uur_zeventien_zeventien_over_acht_dertien_voor_halfnegen/). Both are used and acceptable.

3
Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alex.Essilfie
Alex.Essilfie
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Humm! C'est très interessant!
If it's a matter of personal preference, then I choose to go with the "minuut over uur" expression due to its relative simplicity.

I'll just have to keep in mind that some Dutch speakers will tell me the time in a way that will require I do quite a bit of arithmetic gymnastics in order to understand an otherwise simple concept.

1
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThisYoungQuigs

Ahh ok! Dank jullie :)

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Simius
Simius
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Hmm, probably. "Zes uur twintig" would make more sense, or "twintig over zes".

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ReneeDubuc

Can you please provide a link to how Dutch time works?

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Raahiba
Raahiba
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This is what Google gave me, and it's how I think of it - use both the hour and the half hour to tell the time: http://blogs.transparent.com/dutch/what-time-is-it-telling-time-in-dutch/

At quarters, the full hour takes precedence:

6:00 - zes uur

6:10 - tien over zes

6:15 - kwart over zes (not 'kwart voor half zeven')

6:20 - tien voor half zeven

6:30 - half zeven (not 'half over zes' - or worse, 'half zes', which means 'half past five')

6:35 - vijf over half zeven

6:45 - kwart voor zeven (not 'kwart over half zeven')

6:55 - vijf voor zeven

7:00 - zeven uur

16
Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SchwarzBart
SchwarzBart
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What kind of brain think hours that way? (i know, Germans)

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CJ.Dennis
CJ.Dennis
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Every language is idiomatic. When we learn another language there is a temptation to think "my language makes sense and theirs doesn't"! May I suggest that you find it fascinating instead of strange?

3
Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bruce_OBrien

Is het woord om gebruik met tijd

Het is om tien voor half zeven

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/2200Lucia60
2200Lucia60
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Hi Bruce, "om" often is used in phrases with time notions ( for instance: "OM vijf uur begint het feest" ), but here it is not applicable. Here you have to say "Het is tien voor half zeven". I am sorry, but that's the way it is. Happy Sunday, Lu.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Raahiba
Raahiba
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If you're making an appointment with someone, you could say 'Het feest begint om tien voor half zeven' (The party begins at twenty past six). If you're just telling the time, you don't need the om: you'd just say 'Het is tien voor half zeven'.

'Het is om tien voor half zeven' is literally 'It is at twenty past six', which isn't how you tell the time in English either.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Handrisuselo
Handrisuselo
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Indonesian also uses this style (adopted from Dutch). Over = lewat Voor = kurang Half = setengah Seis = enam Zeven = tujuh Twintig = dua puluh Uur = jam.

It is six twenty. 1. Jam enam (lewat) dua puluh. 2. Jam setengah tujuh kurang sepuluh (menit). This is really the same style as in Dutch.

0
Reply5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garybrasher

My answer "It is ten to half seven." was flagged incorrect with "You used the wrong word. It is ten to half six." However wouldn't "It is ten to half six." be five twenty and not six twenty? In the Tips and notes for this section 6:30 is denoted as Half zeven.

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Reply4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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Half six in English is 6:30, half seven 7:30.

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Reply4 months ago