Get Your Flemish On: Some Jeers, Cheers and Basic Vocab from our American-turned-Belgian Correspondent
We wish we’d had a handle on some Flemish cheers when Niels Albert took an early lead and never looked back at Kings CX. © Cyclocross Magazine
by Christine Vardaros
Finally, the Belgians (and Dutch) are coming to play on our turf for the big event! While most of them will understand English, thanks to their steady American infusion of TV shows, music, and video games, it is always thoughtful to learn a few words to make them feel a bit more at home.
The words below can be used on both Belgian and Dutch folks. If speaking to a Belgian, be sure that the “g” (pronounced ‘kh’) sound is soft to mimic the toned-down Flemish dialect while with the Netherlanders, you can go crazy and exaggerate it – think guttural!
All the Belgian riders who are making the trip to Worlds are indeed Flemish-speaking so your new words will work fine on them all. Feel free to combine these words with English ones as “Flemglish” works too.
- Cyclocross = cyclocross or veldrijden (sēclocross or vél-traiden)
- Hello/goodbye = dag (dakh) Be forewarned, “hi” in Dutch means “shark” (spelled haai).
- Hello (slightly more formal) = Goedendag “khoyendakh”
- “See you”= tot ziens (tot zēns)
- See you later (in the day) = tot straks (tot straks)
- Please = alstublieft (alstew-blēft)
- Thank you = bedankt (bedánkt)
- Thank you (slightly more formal) = dank u (dank ooh) or dank u wel (dank ooh well)
- Thanks ever so much = heel erg bedankt (heel airkh bedánkt)
- Yes = ja (yah)
- No = nee (nay)
- My name is… = Mijn naam is… (mān naam is…)
- And who are you? = en wie ben jij? (en wee ben yay)
- How are you? = hoe gaat het? (who khot hut)
- It’s going good = het gaat goed (hut khaat good)
- Damn it! = verdomme! (ver dō’ma)
- Crazy! = zot! (zot)
- Fries = frieten (freeten)
- Waffles = wafels (wáfels)
- Chocolate = chocolade (chocoláda)
- Pancakes = pannekoeken (pánnekooken)
- Beer = bier (beer)
- Stella Artois = Stella (not cool to say the “Artois” pronounced Artwá)
- Pilsner beer = pintje (peentja) or pinke (peenka) in dialect, or you can simply get the attention of the bartender or waitstaff and stick your pinky in the air.
- Hoegaarden = Hoegaarden (Hoo-gaarden, NOT Hō-gaarden) An interesting story –A few years ago, AB InBev who owns a collection of popular beers like Stella, Corona, Leffe and Budweiser bought out Hoegaarden and tried to relocate the factory from the village of Hoegaarden to some other random town in Belgium called Jupille, where the famous pilsner beer Jupiler is brewed. It failed miserably as the Hoegaarden drinkers swore the taste was ruined by the relocation so they had to move the factory back to its hometown. Something about the local water …
Wanna give directions?
- The start = de start (da start)
- The finish line = de aankomst (de áankomst)
- Left = links (links)
- Right = rechts (rekts)
- Straight ahead = rechtdoor (rektdoor)
- 1,2,3,4,5 = een, twee, drie, vier, vijf (een, tway, drē, vēr, vāf)
Things to say to the racers/supporters
- Welcome to America! = Welkom in Amerika! (welcome in America)
- Good luck! = Succes! (success)
- Have fun! = Veel plezier! (vēl plezeer)
- Exciting! = Spannend! (spannend)
- Congratulations! = Proficiat! (profísiat!)
- Sorry = sorry (sorry)
- Excuse me = excuseer (excusair)
- Next time = volgende keer (volkhenda keer)
- Next year = volgend jaar (volkhend yaar)
- Can I please have your autograph? = Mag ik je handtekening alstublieft? (mag eek ja handtekening alstew-bleeft)
- I love you. = Ik hou van jou. (eek how van yaw)
- I’m a fan of yours. = Ik ben een fan van jou (eek ben un fan van yaw)
- You are my favorite rider. = Je bent mijn favoriete renner/renster. (ya bent mān favorē’te renner/renster)
renner = male racer
renster = female racer
- May I take a photo of you? = Mag ik een foto nemen van jou? (mag eek un foto nāmen van yaw)
Cheering for the racers
- GO! = Allez! (alláy) It is often added before a racer’s name, ie. Allez Sven!
- Come on! = Komaan! (Come-áan) It is often added before a racer’s name, ie. Komaan Sven!
- GO! = HUP (hup) feel free to add as many Hup’s as you like!
- Give it everything! = Alles geven! (allis khāven)
- Don’t give up! = Niet opgeven! (nē opkhāven)
- A big congrats! = Dikke proficiat! (dikka profísiat!)
- It’s almost over. = Het is bijna gedaan. (tis bāna khe-dón)
- Second to last lap = voorlaatste ronde (voorlaatsta rōnda)
- Last lap = laatste ronde (laatsta rōnda)
Find more about Worlds on our Cyclocross Worlds homepage!