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Word of the day: Ambassador Wim Geerts on gezellig

By Karen Diepeveen on October 15, 2012

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With the opening of Stephen Beckta’s newest restaurant Gezellig just around the corner – and mis-pronunciations already abounding – it was just a matter of time before the Dutch embassy stepped up to solve the mystery of how to say the name. This little lesson from Ambassador Wim Geerts should soon have all Ottawans not only saying gezellig correctly, it should also lead to a boom in people re-decorating in order to achieve this comfort of the highest Dutch order. (Seriously – saying you had a gezellig home is pretty much the highest compliment that my Oma would give.)

Be sure to listen carefully, as not only does he provide a helpful lesson, he lets a state secret slip: it turns out the Dutch have a secret agenda for all Canadians to learn to pronounce that back-of-the-throat noise which provides such a lyrical quality to the language…

Thanks to Dennis Van Staalduinen for the video. In case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced “van-stall-dye-nen.” No throat clearing needed.

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