You of the (top-notch)


A short libretto written in Google Translate.


The Dutch and the English both have a saying for something that is absolutely great.  The English say “top-notch” and the Dutch say “je van het”.  Literally translated from the one language to the other, they make little sense.  “Top-notch” translates to “van de hoogste inkeping” and “je van het” translates to “you of the”.  In back-translating “you of the” to Dutch, you are presented with several possibilities.  There is a formal “you” which translates to “you, sir” and there is an informal “you”, which is simply “je”.  There is also “the”, which can be either gender positive, “de”, or gender neutral, “het”.


When you search for a bit of text in Google, it presents all matching words in bold-face in the search results.  When you translate this query using Google Translate, you see all of these bold-faced words translated from within their context.  Because you only have snippets of the full text available on the individual websites, the translation becomes distorted and even irrelevant at times.  The implied possessive “van the”, means “of the”, though within certain contexts this can mean “from the” or “on the”.  It can sometimes even be understood to mean “to like the”.  Every day, as the internet grows, these results change and the poem evolves at the same rate.


This is the first reading of the search string linked below, translated from Dutch to English:


“je van het” “u van de”



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