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  5. "Mijn huid doet pijn."

"Mijn huid doet pijn."

Translation:My skin hurts.

September 4, 2014



This is virtually identical to the German translation (Mein Haut tut [mir] weh). I'm constantly amazed at how being a fluent English and German speaker provides you with something like 85% of the knowledge needed to understand Dutch. From a factual standpoint, I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but experiencing it is something else entirely.


Well they're all germanic languages, ofcourse there are many similarities ;)


I know. That's why I said I shouldn't be surprised.


I'm wondering if this would work the same way for a fluent English and Dutch speaker trying to understand German. If German grammar is much more complex than that of Dutch (as I've perceived), perhaps it might not be as easy going in that direction?

Would be curious for a Dutch/English speaker's thoughts.


I suspect you are correct. I am neither a fluent Dutch nor German speaker (and I know a lot more German than Dutch) but I would imagine German's case system would be somewhat of an impediment. Learning Dutch with English + German you have the benefit of experience of both extremes of West Germanic grammar.

By the way, the presence of cases etc in German doesn't make its grammar more complex, it is simply less familiar to English natives.


That makes sense. I appreciate your thoughts. And point taken regarding referring to the case system in German as making it 'more complex.' Naturally my perspective is colored by the fact I am a native English speaker (albeit having studied Latin and so am not unfamiliar with case systems).

My understanding, however, is that Dutch formerly had a case and gender system very similar to that of German but has since simplified substantially (especially with regard to case, along with three genders becoming two). Can you comment at all concerning to what extent this 'simplification' is the case when comparing Dutch to German?


That is my understanding too. With regard to German cases, I can comment a bit, but my knowledge of Dutch is too limited to really compare them properly. (I, for example, don't know what structures are used to convey the same information in Dutch.) Since you are (at time of writing) level 8 in German you probably know a fair bit about it yourself already, but I'll elaborate for the benefit of anyone else reading.

In terms of their use to convey information, the nominative can more or less be ignored and the genitive is almost the same as the English possessive (which is itself a vestigial genitive.) IMO, it is only the accusative/dative distinction (which in English combined to form the objective/oblique) which is confusing to an English native, and even then the only thing that really makes them difficult (at least to me) is that they are sometimes used because of seemingly arbitrary rules governing what case is used with some prepositions.

The actual difficult part for English (and presumably Dutch) natives is learning how conjugation works and remembering all the combinations (since it is marked on (pro)nouns, adjectives and articles in slightly different ways, and depending on the gender and number of the noun).

Personally, I like case systems, at least in principle, and find them to be a great way to convey information. What lets them down is their irregularities (like the afore mentioned preposition rules) and inconsistencies (such as in German where only masculine articles are marked for the accusative). I imagine I would rather like Latin, since as I understand it it is very case heavy, assuming that it uses them regularly and doesn't have multitude exceptions.


My skin is in pain. Is that acceptable?


People can be "in pain", but I don't think you can say that for parts of the body.


Does this expression work for emotions too?

I.e. "Je doet me pijn wanneer je dit zeg" (Or is it "zegt", and "zeg" only in questions?)


yeah you can use it for emotions. and it is zegt... if you use je, you should add a t if you put je before the verb... (it's a strange grammar rule)


my skin is sore? Could this be used.


It's not really wrong, but normally pijn doen is associated with acute pain. I would translate My skin is sore. to Ik heb een zere huid. (I have a sore skin) or maybe Mijn huid is pijnlijk/gevoelig.


kan ik zegen 'ik heb pijn op mijn huid'


We'd say: "ik heb pijn AAN mijn huid" instead of OP


It is not a common thing to say, but grammatically it is not wrong...


So, grammatically, I'm wondering if 'pijn' is considered the direct object of 'doet' here?


Sameee i am fluent in German and English so learning dutch is very easy for me since it seems to be a mixture of both languages


I agree in a lot of ways, but there are also a lot of things that Dutch does that you don't see in either English or German, too. Examples are that strange "er" abstract passive construction, and the word "fiets" which apparently comes from nowhere. It's helpful to know both, but not as much as I would have thought.


I'm native Dutch but it wasn't that easy for me to learn German. But I was 13 and had no motivation ;p


@banichka and Pauline: I'm native Dutch. I cannot imagine any cases i would say or hear ik heb pijn aan mijn huid. But I can imagine saying ik heb pijn op mijn huid. Wouldn't use it often though, it's more natural to say mijn huid doet pijn or het doet hier pijn (pointing at the sore spot)

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