Good morning! As you have no doubt noticed by now, you are entering version 6.0 of Mitch’s Blog. In a quest to keep the blog continually evolving, I like to change the colors and layout of everything every 6 months or so. Seeing as my last template change occurred last October, I thought a complete overhaul of the blog was desperately needed.
It should be said, however, that this change in templates has been a work in progress for the last two weeks or so. Every night during this time period, I’ve taken a little bit of time to work over code, in order to get everything looking exactly how I want it to. I even had a few technical difficulties I had to work through, namely a slight problem with the CSS coding that made the blog not want to display correctly in Firefox (my browser of choice). The problem was remedied in just a few minutes, however, so, fortunately, it really wasn’t that big of a deal.
The underlying template of the blog – the CSS code that specifies colors, fonts, etc. as well as the HTML code that makes up Blogger entries – was written by some Dutchman. All of the instructions were in Dutch, but thankfully, because I know a little bit of German and a little bit of English, I was able to figure everything out.
Actually, as an aside, any German-speakers (and I know you’re out there) reading this entry should really consider learning the Dutch language. German and English are both very close cousins of Dutch, which means that there are a lot of words that should be recognizable to anybody who knows both German and English. For example, mond=mouth, wereld=world, kaas=cheese, groen=green. The grammar style of modern Dutch is also quite similar to modern German, and luckily there are many websites, like this one, on the internet dedicated to helping people learn Dutch. Moreover, Dutch borrowed quite a few words from the French language, too, so knowledge in that language also might be beneficial in learning your Dutch.
Dutch, like English, also appears to have somewhat undergone the D<->T letter transition from German, which basically means that words that have either a D or T in German can be found to have a cognate in English or Dutch with a D taking the T’s place or a T taking the D’s place. Examples from German to English include tag-->day, danke—>thanks, alt-->old, denken-->to think, tier-->deer, dick-->thick, tür-->door, and many, many more. There are even other sound shifts besides the d-->t one, and they are all listed at this page. I must admit, I find it to be quite interesting to study, really.
While learning how to read Dutch shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for the German/English speaker, learning how to listen to it, much less speak it, is an entirely different matter. Dutch is pronounced, it would seem, quite differently than in German, and actually turns out sounding closer to sounding like Middle English than anything else. I’ve tried listening to Dutch, and, other than a small number of words and phrases, I couldn’t understand anything; me trying to understand spoken Dutch is like me trying to watch La Mujer en el Espejo on Telemundo – I’m not going to understand very much.
Some good Dutch websites to check out include www.volkskrant.nl, home of de Volkskrant newspaper, as well as www.omroep.nl, home of the Netherlands’ public television networks. Or you could probably just click on one of the links for Dutch learning programs that will invariably show up on my Google ad banner above this post.
But anyway, I’ve strayed way too far from my original intent in posting, so I think I’m just going to end it right now. I hope you enjoy the new look of my blog, because you’ll likely be looking at for at least the next 6 months.