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Thread: To carry coals to Newcastle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Native language

    To carry coals to Newcastle

    I'm curious to know how can be said this proverb:"to carry coal to Newcastle", German equivalent of which is: "Eulen nach Athen tragen" in Dutch.
    Last edited by Frank06; 16th May 2009 at 2:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Native language
    Belgian Dutch

    Re: To carry coal to Newcastle

    Two suggestions for your second question:
    water naar de zee dragen 'carry water to the sea' => useless action (because it's just unnecessary)
    or perhaps, vechten tegen de bierkaai 'fight against the beerquay' => useless action (because you're fighting a fight you can't win)
    Last edited by Frank06; 16th May 2009 at 2:06 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Native language
    Belgium, Dutch

    Re: To carry coals to Newcastle

    "Uilen naar Athen dragen" too of course...
    Last edited by ThomasK; 10th September 2013 at 12:13 PM. Reason: Minor correction...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Tillou, France
    Native language
    British English

    Re: To carry coals to Newcastle

    'Vechten tegen de bierkaai' is a different sort of useless. I would translate that one as 'to fight a losing battle'.
    'Water naar de zee dragen' has exactly the same meaning (and is used in the same contexts) as 'to carry coals to Newcastle'.
    Never mind the words, just concentrate on translating the meaning.

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