Chaos

chaos, disorder, havoc
[noun]
[de cha-os] 

It helps to learn a language when one of its properties is order as opposed to chaos. It helps even more when the translation is exactly the same as the original! But I guess we have to thank the Greeks for that :-) .

Examples:
- “Hai met Max – ik ben wat later want ik sta vast op de N14; de sneeuw zorgt voor een verkeerschaos!” 
(“Hi it’s Max – I’ll be a bit later because I’m stuck on the N14; the snow is causing a traffic havoc!”)

- “Het feit dat ik wiskunde gestudeerd heb, impliceert niet dat ik een expert ben op het gebied van de chaostheorie.” 
(“The fact that I have a degree in mathematics does not imply I’m an expert in the area of chaos theory.” Lit.: “The fact that I have studied mathematics…”)

- “Kom binnen, welkom in mijn huis; sorry voor de troep, ik heb gisteren de kinderen over de vloer gehad en daarna is het altijd een beetje een chaos…” 
(“Come in, welcome (in to my home); I apologize for the mess, yesterday I had the kids over and it’s always a bit of a chaos after that…” Lit.: “I’ve had the kids over the floor yesterday…”)

- “Voordat we kunnen beginnen met het probleem te analyseren, moeten we eerst orde in de chaos brengen.” 
(“Before we can start analysing the problem, we first have to sort out the chaos.” Lit.: “…, we first have to bring order in the chaos.”)

- “U wilt aangifte doen van inbraak? Dat kan, wat is er gestolen?” – “Nou ziet u, de inbrekers hebben een enorme chaos achtergelaten waardoor het nog niet duidelijk is wat er precies gestolen is, maar er is in ieder geval ingebroken!” 
(“You wish to report a burglary? That’s possible, what has been stolen?” – “Well, you see, the burglars left behind a huge chaos and because of that it’s not yet clear what exactly has been stolen, but there was a burglary, that’s for sure!” Lit.: “… but in any case there has been broken into.”)

- “De stroom is uitgevallen op Utrecht Centraal Station waardoor er in zeer korte tijd totale chaos is ontstaan.” 
(“There’s a power failure at Utrecht Central Station and it has caused total chaos in a very short time.” Lit. “The power has dropped out … because of which in a very short time…)

Related words:
- Warboel: mess, tangle, mix-up [noun] [de warboel, <no plural>].
- Wanorde: disorder, confusion [noun] [de wanorde, <no plural>].
- Ongeordend: disorganized, unordered, disordered [adjective/adverb].

Example:
- “Ik geef toe dat hij een beetje een ongeordend type is, maar chaotisch zou ik hem niet willen noemen…”
(“I admit he is somewhat of a disorganized character, but I wouldn’t want to call him chaotic.”)

- Chaotisch: chaotic [adjective/adverb].

5 thoughts on “Chaos

  1. My pedant radar is twitching again :-(

    “Come in, welcome in my home…” – remember that example of “we arrived to the hotel”? Well, this is another of those I think. If one said “welcome in my home”, it would immediately mark one out as a non-native English speaker in my estimation.

    It’s not wrong as such, just sounds a bit strange. “Welcome to my home” would be OK, but perhaps a bit declamatory. Maybe just “welcome”. As you said “it helps even more when the translation is exactly the same as the original!” :-)

    Also, a little typo “stuk on the N14″.

    • Hi Chris,
      Thanks for your comment, and the suggested translation, I’m always happy to learn.
      I will go for the ‘welcome to my home’ translation, because as you know, the purpose of the translation is to help understand the Dutch :-)

  2. Ha! It’s certainly not any lack in the teaching. It;’s probably more to do with the fact that I’m a “stomme varken”, as Mrs.Chris likes to call me in her more rebarbative moments…:-(

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