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I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means


Today in Google Translate: an unusual ending for a business email.

The Dutch word for friend is the same as boyfriend. Traditionally “friend of mine” (vriend van mij) is a friend and “my friend” (mijn vriend) is a boyfriend. Language is dynamic though, so you’ll hear people use “mijn vriend” to refer to a friend and the diminutive “vriendje” to refer to a boyfriend.

I recently received a business email with the sign-off “Veel vriendelijk”. Basically the equivalent of “best wishes”. GMail has a translate button, but beware if you click it! What kind of business email would end with the salutation “many boyfriend things”?