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To carry coals to Newcastle

Discussion in 'Nederlands (Dutch)' started by vandad, May 16, 2009.

  1. vandad Senior Member

    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: May 16, 2009
  2. Joannes Senior Member

    Belgian Dutch
    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: May 16, 2009
  3. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    "Uilen naar Athen dragen" too of course...
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  4. Suehil

    Suehil Medemod

    Tillou, France
    British English
    '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'.

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