Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Words of The Week: Sluis & Bui & Lentil

I had already checked this before but forgotten over time. My familiarity to this word is due to BuienRadar website. How handy is this website! Yesterday, it was raining in the morning in Utrecht. Tjeerd and I have checked this website, and have seen that there is no rain cloud "on top of" Utrecht between 12:15 and 12:45. So, we decided to make our noon-walk between this period. It really works. It was sunny outside while we were having our stroll. "This is a typical Dutch summer weather" Tjeerd said. I told him that this was how the weather was when I was here in 2005 August for few days. We talked about water management issues and global warming.

I have checked the meaning of "bui" from It has double meaning: mood, and shower. Tjeerd said that those two words are expressed by the same word in dutch since having in a bad mood is somewhat associated with bad weather. Interesting to know.

I told Tjeerd about how there has been a major decline in lentil production in Turkey, because of less rain. But he did not realize what 'lentil' was. I told him that it was from the same family as chickpea and pea; but no help. He did not know any of them. Not that surprising since I never saw these foods being sold in dutch (and danish) supermarkets.

Anyway, I was searching on the internet after we were back from the stroll, to send him some lentil photos. I saw a very interesting detail in wikipedia. The word "lens" has actually been derived from "lentil" because of the shape similarity. I never thought about this before. And actually, it is even the same in turkish: lentil is mercimek, and lens is mercek. Never imagined that mercek was originating from mercimek!

Maikel told me today that he was once living a place in Zaandam close to a sluit. Sluit is a system in rivers or canals. The water level is different in both sides of the system. Its function is to enable boats pass from high-water-level side to the low-water-level side or vice verca. It has two gates in both sides to enable this, which are normally closed.

One gate is opened, and water fills into the space between the two gates so that boat can move there. Then, that gate is closed and the other gate is opened so that water level of the between-gates space and that side of the river become the sama, and boat can go on.

The english word is lock, and wikipedia has some nice pictures showing the mechanism.


Sara said...

Its the same in Persian, lentil: "adas", lens: "adasi".
Funny that I have never thought of this before also, although its quite obvious from the names!

Tjeerd said...

Nice log again. I try to read it when I think about it. But I have one correction now, the "sluit", that should be a "sluiS" :)

And the lentil, I recognize it a bit, but all Dutch people I know don't eat it. There is so much "strange" food I sometimes see laying in local stores, but what a farmer doesn't know, he doesn't like. Or something like that.

(in Dutch: wat een boer niet kent, lust hij niet)

tunahan said...

HI Tjeerd,
I had mistakenly bought an energy drink a while ago thinking that it was fanta.

Then I gave it to Maikel telling him that I would not drink it since I never drank before.

And he was telling me that I was acting like a dutch farmer :). But i did not know that it was a dutch saying.

Thanks for sluis correction too!

And I will cook lentil soup and lentill balls if you and your girlfriend visit me in my place :)

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