The Boss in je moerstaal
January 6, 2013 10:11 AM   Subscribe

Sintermerte (Old Dan Tucker), En As Ik Achter Lig (If I Fall Behind) and D'r Vandoor (Born to Run) are tracks from the cd Pollux Duit Springsteen, in which the Venlo born singer-songwriter Frank Pollux translates and transplants twelve Bruce Springsteen songs to his hometown's dialect. So instead of walking his mule down the Erie Canal, he has fifteen Poles sticking asparagus in the Sperjesveld. Perhaps surprisingly, it works. -- The full track listing
posted by MartinWisse (13 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
This is quite a find, Martin! Can an editor fix the typo in the body of the post? It's "Frans", not "Frank".
posted by knile at 11:10 AM on January 6, 2013


Fijne dag.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:22 AM on January 6, 2013

Thank you, this was very fun.
posted by not that girl at 11:37 AM on January 6, 2013

Dutch dialects are incredibly confusing for just about everyone involved but awesome.

Here is a great video by the most popular comedy show in Flanders (Dutch speaking Northern Belgium) related to the idiosyncratic dialect in West Flanders. In it 'Gerrit Callewaert' starts out by complaining that people who speak West Flemish are always subtitled on national television in Belgium but this is totally unnecessary as even people from Antwerp and Limburger can understand it just fine before politely asking that this stop. However he does it with a ridiculously exaggerated accent that would be completely unrecognizable especially to the Dutch Dutch mefites here and absolutely needs subtitling, then hilarity ensues.
posted by Blasdelb at 1:37 PM on January 6, 2013

Oh, that's not that difficult to understand, once you get in the flow of it. It's more the people from Gent who are completely unintelligible, of all the Flemish dialects.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:44 PM on January 6, 2013

Seriously? Unless from Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, I can't imagine any dutchman making heads or tails from BlasdelB's clip without the subtitles.

I shared a house once with a girl from West Flanders. Usually I just smiled and nodded when there wasn't anyone around to interpret.
posted by Sourisnoire at 1:59 PM on January 6, 2013

Oh man that is not a flow I can follow at all, even with the subtitles providing considerable help with the full on (g/h) switching, idiosyncratic vocabulary, much less the speed. If anything the Oost-Vlaamse (dialect of Gent) speakers in my lab, at least when making the effort to speak Belgian standard Dutch, have the easiest accent for me to follow as an American along with the Antwerpers. Its the students from Limburg that also get me, my brain just keeps getting confused and trying to parse it as oddly asthmatic German before failing miserably and shutting down.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:05 PM on January 6, 2013

...which is to say lots of smiling and nodding
posted by Blasdelb at 2:07 PM on January 6, 2013

Well, I'm from slightly across the water originally, from Walcheren and that Flemish was easier to understand than some of the dialects from my own little island.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:43 PM on January 6, 2013

This is brilliant! I'll be in Amsterdam late February / early March. I'll have to look them up.

Question for any MeFites who understand Dutch culture: As a born-and-raised Jerseyite who graduated from high school in 1980, I have always thought of early Springsteen as something which could only properly resonate with people of our realm. How do the themes of early Springsteen map onto Dutch culture?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:50 PM on January 6, 2013

It kind of surprised me too, but Springsteen is one of the more ubiquitous aspects of American culture outside the US, the dude is more popular than Jesus.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:10 PM on January 6, 2013

How do the themes of early Springsteen map onto Dutch culture?

Every time the US has an economic downturn, Europe has one as well, so the parts of Springsteen's lyrics that deal with unemployment might ring a bell. But really, they don't map onto Dutch (or European for that matter) culture all that well, if at all.

Over here he entered the public consciense after his part in We are the World, mainly because of his rather distinctive voice. After that he became popular, not because the themes resonated within dutch culture, but because he was a source of american culture. Well that and people obviously liked the music.

Going to see Frans Pollux in Amsterdam might be a problem though. He sings in the Venlo dialect, so I doubt very much venues in Amsterdam are lining up to book him.
posted by Sourisnoire at 4:00 PM on January 6, 2013

They speak Dutch, in Venlo? Who knew this? I thought they only spoke English and German, for the shoppers. They wouldn't even speak Dutch with my Flemish partner (we lived in Duesseldorf and frequently shopped in Venlo, with all the Germans).
posted by Goofyy at 7:44 AM on January 7, 2013

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