Translation into Dutch

Considered as a combination of German, French and English, Dutch is a language in its own right, with its own distinct features.

Dutch Around the World

For 23 million people in Belgium and the Netherlands, Dutch is the mother tongue. In Europe, Germany and the north of France are areas with a dense population of Dutch speakers. Thanks to the 250 universities around the world that propose Dutch, 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 and the Dutch Antilles are former colonies. The same goes for Suriname, a 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.

Indonesia was defeated by the colonisation of the Netherlands in the 19th century. It is still possible to come across Dutch speakers, especially amongst historians and lawyers.

The Nederlandse Taalunie or the Dutch Language Union is an organisation created by Flanders and the Netherlands. It is responsible for establishing, constructing and validating the evolution of this language. It also has the role of promoting it on five continents.

Dutch in the Professional Sphere

The sectors of navigation, agriculture and hydraulic engineering works are sectors where Holland is particularly successful. The vocabulary of these sectors is therefore taken from Dutch. Fluency in this language makes it easier to understand the techniques of these sectors, even without having pursued specific studies in this field.

The know-how of the Dutch extends to other fields as well, such as architecture, urban planning and in the art-related and creation, there is painting. In this field, the talent of painters coming from Holland does not stop at Vermeer and Jan Steen. To know a language is to know the culture that is attached to it.

The Subtleties of the Dutch Language

classic Dutch or Flemish?

Flemish, spoken in Belgium is a combination of dialects that share many similarities with Dutch. One must also take note of their differences. To give just one example, ‘gemeenschap’ (meaning community) becomes ‘hemeenschapp’ in Flemish, therefore spelling and prononciation are of great importance when accurately translating documents.

Before translating a document, it is therefore important to know the geographical location of the readership because Belgians and the Dutch do not speak the same language, even if there are many resemblances.

Africaan is another dialect that comes from Dutch. It is spoken in South Africa and in Namibia. For a Dutch speaker, written Africaan is understandable because there are so many similarities. They would even be able to translate a written document from Africaan into another language.