Translation into Dutch
Considered a blend of German, French, and English, Dutch is a fully developed modern language in its own right and with its own distinct features.
Dutch Around the World
For 23 million people in Belgium and the Netherlands, Dutch is the native tongue. Throughout Europe, in Germany and the north of France, are many areas with dense populations of Dutch speakers. Thanks to the 250 universities around the world that offers studies in Dutch language and culture, the number of speakers of this language is ever increasing.
In addition to these, there are inhabitants of other countries related to the Netherlands. Aruba, an island off Venezuela, as well as the Dutch Antilles, are both former colonies of the Netherlands. The same goes for Suriname, a small country-state situated between French Guyana, Venezuela, and Brazil. In these countries, Dutch is still an administrative language. It is also widely used as a language of instruction and education.
Indonesia was historically defeated in the colonization by the Netherlands back in the 19th century. It’s still possible to come across Dutch speakers there, especially amongst historians and lawyers.
The “Nederlandse Taalunie”, or “Dutch Language Union”, is an organization created by Flanders and the Netherlands. It’s responsible for establishing, building, and validating the evolution of the Dutch language. It also has the role of promoting it on the five continents.
Dutch in the Professional Sphere
The fields of naval, agricultural, and hydraulic engineering works are all sectors where Holland and the Dutch are particularly well skilled and successful. As a result, many vocabulary words in these sectors are derived straight from the Dutch language itself. Fluency in this language does make it easier to understand some of the techniques and backgrounds of these sectors, even without having pursued specific studies in that field.
Dutch expertise extends to other fields as well, such as architecture, urban planning, and painting in fine art. In this field, the talent of fine art painters coming from Holland does not stop at Vermeer, Van Gogh, or Jan Steen -geniuses in their mastery as each has been. To truly know a language is to also know the culture that is attached to it.
The Subtleties of the Dutch Language
Classic Dutch or Flemish?
Flemish is spoken in Belgium as a combination of dialects sharing many similarities with Dutch, but also with some notable differences. To illustrate just one example, “gemeenschap” (meaning community) becomes “hemeenschapp” in Flemish, therefore spelling and pronunciation are of great importance when accurately translating documents.
Before translating a document, it becomes important to know the geographical location of the readership because Belgians and the Dutch do not actually speak the same language, even if there are many resemblances.
Afrikaans is another interesting dialect that comes from Dutch. It’s spoken in the countries of South Africa and Namibia. For a Dutch speaker, written Afrikaans is understandable because there are so many similarities. A fluent Dutch speaker would even be able to translate a written document from Afrikaans into another language, since Dutch and Afrikaans do share so much similarity.
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