Het is lucht, laaten wij het maar daar bij houden.

Hello everyone,

A French-speaking friend of mine sent a text message in Dutch together with a photograph to a friend in Holland and she cannot precisely understand his answer, neither can I (my mother language is French).

I post hereby her message, the answer of her friend and the photograph to which they're refering.

If someone could explain us the meaning of the second message in English or in French (I posted my request here since there is no French-Dutch Forum so far), it would be great.

It is about a friendship which may or may not lead to a romantical relationship.

Here is the first message from my French-speaking friend to her Dutch friend:

- Dag Jan dit foto heb ik gisteren genomen vanuit het vliegtuig. Het heet "Ruimte voor Jan". Ik let het aan je wanneer je weer contact met mij wilt nemen. Tot dan het allerbeste.

Answer from Jan:

- Dag Anne.
Het is Lucht, laaten wij het maar daar bij houden.

My friend Anne has just been visiting Jan in Holland. She is now back home in France and feels that Jan wishes to put a distance between them. She cannot quite figure out whether he needs some time for himself or completely wishes to end the friendship altogether.

According to her, the message could mean anything from "Let's put it in the hand of God and see what happens" to "Out friendship finishes here and I don't want to see you ever again".

This is really a complicated situation because there living 1300 km apart, they don't speak the same language, Anne has a good command of the Dutch language but she doesn't master its subtleties and it seems that Jan has some difficulties to communicate his feelings (as I understand it, he has some autistic traits and he doesn't always express his true feelings because he's afraid of hurting people and of being hurt himself in return if he makes someone sad or angry).

On top of that, I suppose that texting is not the best way to communicate under those circumstances.

Thanks for helping,



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  • elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    To me it seems pretty clear that he's shutting her down. I understand the message to mean "It's air, Anne, let's just leave it at that," i.e. to me this is just a photo of air and it has no deeper significance. My attempt in French: "C'est de l'air, Anne, tenons-nous-en là tout simplement."