On August 1st we welcomed our first permanent employee, Anneloes!
Having worked together on a freelance basis for the past two years, we felt it was time to formalize our collaboration.
Anneloes will be representing Square1Translations in the Netherlands.
How do we ensure our translations meet the highest standards?
Ine gave a business presentation about Square1Translations' priorities:
It seems everyone around me has been talking about how it’s ‘komkommertijd’ ('cucumber time') right now. Dutch-speaking people know this word is used to convey that this is a time of year when few exciting things are happening. But why do we refer to summer this way, and where does the phrase ‘komkommertijd’ come from?
The etymology of the phrase ‘komkommertijd’ is a bit unclear, although obviously ‘cucumber time’ is indeed the time of year when cucumbers are harvested. However, that doesn’t explain why cucumbers are the veggie of choice when so many others are also harvested in summer.
The English phrase ‘cucumber time’ probably arose around 1700, when tailors began using it to refer to a time where they didn’t have much work to do. The nobility, for whom these tailors often worked, would travel from the city to the country for the summer. This led to jokes about how tailors only ate cucumbers during the summer, because they could not afford meat.
It seems obvious that the Dutch phrase ‘komkommertijd would be derived from ‘cucumber time’, but linguists do not all agree that this is the case. In English, the phrase was soon replaced by the phrase ‘tailor’s holiday’, and the phrase ‘cucumber time’ has long since disappeared from the English language. In Dutch, the phrase appeared later, in the 18th century. References to ‘komkommertijd’ were first seen in texts by Multatuli (1820-1887). In one of his works, he speaks of ’t hartje van den komkommertyd’ (‘the heart of cucumber time’).
For a long time, the phrase was mainly used in the financial industry, to indicate that not much was happening on the exchanges. Later, it became a more general phrase to refer to the quiet of the summer months. Most languages have phrases to refer to this phenomenon, but none seem to have anything to do with ‘komkommers’.
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