Looking for a language solution in Dutch? We will prepare a tailored solution and consult you on your subject of interest.
HOW MUCH DO DUTCH TRANSLATIONS COST?
The price for the translation from/to Dutch is determined individually. It is calculated from several components depending on the desires and needs of the client. The price for the consecutive translation service is calculated based on the delivery time and language combination where the translation will be necessary. The price for written translation is determined by the size of the translation material, the translation deadlines, the specificity of the text content, repetition of the text, graphic processing, text formatting, correction, and any other services selected by the client, including notarised certification and other services.
IS THE PRICE LIST AVAILABLE?
Yes, the written translation and interpreting (simultaneous and consecutive) price list from/to Dutch is included in our client collaboration agreement. We always provide a descriptive layout of the translation price before the realisation of the project. The price of each order is decided separately according to Skrivanek’s current price list, based on the number of words in the source text, text duplication in the translation, and other aspects. In order to prepare a special price for you, send us your material to be translated, and our project managers will contact you to agree on a solution.
THE DUTCH LANGUAGE IN FACTS
The forbidden joys of Amsterdam, tulips, windmills, and the tallest people in the world – these are our first associations when we hear the name of the Netherlands!
Dutch, called Netherlandic in the Netherlands and Flemish in Belgium, is a language from the Germanic language branch and is a native language to around 23 million people in the Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname, Aruba, and the former Netherlands Antilles. It is closely related to other West Germanic languages, that is, English, West Frisian, and German. Afrikaans developed from Dutch and today it is considered an independent language.
Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands. Furthermore, it has official status in Belgium. In South America, Dutch continues to be the official language of Suriname. It is also the official language of Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten in the Caribbean Sea region. Of course, Dutch is one of the official languages of the European Union and the Union of South American Nations.
Dutch is the seventh most widespread language in Europe. It is a West Germanic language and has much in common with German, English, and also with Danish and Swedish. Therefore, it is easier to learn Dutch for those who already know German.
Dutch is the 56th most spoken language in the world. In some sources, the Dutch language is called the Dutch dialect which is spoken by the population of Flanders, whereas it is called the Flemish language.
The first words in Dutch are from the 12th century. It is considered that the first known example of writing in Dutch is a poem that was written on a piece of paper, supposedly, from the 12th century. This most famous text in Old Dutch is called Hebban olla vogala nestas hagunnan, hinase hic enda tu, wat unbidan we nu (“Have all the birds started nesting, except for me and you, what are we waiting for?”). The manuscript dates from around 1100 and was written down by a Flemish monk in the abbey of Rochester (England, Kent). Nowadays this manuscript is kept in Oxford.
Words in Dutch have many consonants. Although Dutch is not a difficult language to master, it has its stumbling blocks. Many words are rather cunning and look like tongue twisters because they contain several consonants one after another. For example, the word angstschreeuw, meaning “a scream of fear”, has eight consonants, whereas the word slechtstschrijvend, meaning “worst writing”, has nine, etc.
The word gezellig cannot be translated into any language. It is one of the most used words in Dutch but it does not have a literal translation in English or many other languages. It is mainly used to describe anything that causes a feeling of cosiness, pleasure, or well-being. For example, “I had a really nice evening and I sat gezelling by the fire.” Nouns in Dutch do not have cases.
The longest word in Dutch is 60 letters long. It is incredible that the word kindercarnavalsoptochtvoorbereidingswerkzaamhedencomitéleden has 60 letters and refers to companions who participate in the preparatory activities of the children’s carnival procession. It was mentioned in the book of Guinness World Records 2011 as the longest word in Dutch. The Dutch like to write words without spaces in between, as seen in this example.
South Africans and the Dutch can understand each other. Afrikaans, as one of the languages of South Africa, is derived from Dutch which was spoken by Dutch colonists. Both languages still are more or less comprehendible to speakers of the other language. For a Dutch language speaker, it is easier to understand Afrikaans than the other way around.
Not only Latvians but the Dutch also like to use diminutives. Many languages have diminutives – words or word endings used to express affection or a form of reduction. Diminutives are used often in Dutch. They use the suffix je (or a variant of it) to make all kinds of nouns and adverbs smaller. In Dutch, diminutives are used not only to show size or affection; they are also used to make uncountable nouns countable. For example, bier is “beer” but biertje is “a glass of beer”.
When translating a text from English or other languages to Dutch, the size of the translated text will increase at least 35% because long compound words, which are common in Dutch, will be used. This is very important when creating content for digital marketing or keywords in Google Ads activities.
French is deeply rooted in the Dutch language – the majority of Dutch words have come directly from the French language.
In the Modern Latvian language dictionary, we will find both terms – Hollandic and Netherlandic language. Whereas, in order to promote the consistent and correct use of language names, at the meeting of the State Language Centre on 29 May 2006, when assessing the names of languages and language groups in Latvian, it was confirmed that the correct form to call the language is Hollandic.
THE DUTCH ALPHABET
Ever since the beginning of their written history, the Dutch have used the Latin alphabet. The Dutch alphabet consists of 26 standard Latin letters (also, the ligature “Ĳ” is added, often replacing the letter “Y”). As for diacritic symbols, the stress mark, diaeresis, apostrophe, and macrons to make vowels long (used rarely) are used in Dutch. The twenty-fifth letter in the Dutch alphabet brings confusion to many people. Sometimes this letter is written as “Y” and sometimes as “IJ”. The letter combination of “i” and “j” in Dutch creates a vowel that sounds similar to the sound “i” in the English word “hi”. In Dutch, “ij” is seen as one letter that is always written in capital letters, if the word that starts with “ij” is at a beginning of a sentence or if it is the first letter of a proper noun. It is noticeable that the letter “y” is nonexistent in the original words of Dutch – it is common only in loanwords from other languages, for example, baby, derby.
In Dutch, long vowels are formed from:
- Two identical vowels that are written next to each other, or duplication of a vowel
- Combinations of vowels: if two (or more) vowels next to each other are pronounced as one
- Vowels that have open syllables. A syllable is considered open if it ends with a vowel.
All vowels, except “y”, can be either long or short. Long [i] is formed with an “i+e” vowel combination, different from the rest of the vowels when the same vowel is doubled to show the long length. Vowel combinations usually consist of two or three various vowels that most of the time are pronounced as one. When dividing words into syllables, vowel combinations are divided as separate syllables, together with one or a few consonants next to them. There are 16 vowel combinations in Dutch. In some of these combinations, separate vowels perfectly become one but it is not that ideal in others. The most important thing to keep in mind is that all 16 combinations are constant. Basically, all letter combinations need to be learned by heart. And keep in mind: if two vowels one after another do not form a constant vowel combination, then these vowels (together with one or more consonants) create two separate syllables. These are the constant vowel combinations in Dutch: aai, ae, ai, au, eeu(w), ei, eu, ie, ieu(w), ij, oe, ou, oi, ooi, oei and ui. In Dutch, the letter “e” has two specific characteristics that distinguish it from other vowels. The characteristics of the letter “e”:
- If the letter “e” is not stressed, it is not pronounced at all
- The duplication of the vowel “e”, or “ee”, is the only vowel duplication that can be at the ending of a word.
Pronunciation of consonants is practically the same as in English: b, c, d, f, h, k, l, m, n, p, q, s, t, x, y, z. There are 3 consonant combinations in Dutch: “ch”, “sch” and “ng”, which are combinations of a few consonants but create one sound. Regarding consonants, there is only one crucial rule – a syllable or a word never ends with double consonant.
WHERE AND HOW MANY PEOPLE SPEAK DUTCH?
Altogether the number of Dutch speakers in the world reaches around 28 million. It is a native language for around 23 million inhabitants of the Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname, Aruba, and the former Netherlands Antilles. It is used in France and Germany as a minority language. The largest Dutch speaker diasporas live in the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In the USA, Dutch is one of the 15 most popular languages in 3 states: Delaware, Indiana, and Ohio. However, the percentage of Dutch speakers in America used to be profoundly higher. In New York next to the Hudson River, Dutch colonists and their descendants spoke Dutch. Dutch was the native language of the 8th president of the United States of America, Martin Van Buren. Van Buren is the only president of the USA whose native language was not English.
HOW DIFFICULT IS DUTCH?
At first, Dutch can seem like a very difficult language, however, it is surprisingly simpler for English and German speakers. Dutch is even called a combination of English and German! That makes it one of the easiest languages to learn for speakers of either language. However, learning Dutch demands some time and trouble no matter what your native language is. There are some difficult parts in learning every language, and the only way to master them is to learn them.
The pronunciation of Dutch is difficult for many new students. Dutch speakers themselves struggle with the language, having weird letter combinations. For example, there are consonant combinations such as “nk”, “sch”, “ng”, and “nk”. Moreover, there are such consonant combinations that make one sound and others that make two sounds. And that’s not only with consonants! Dutch pronunciation has one more difficult aspect: diphthongs. They are combinations of two vowels creating a sound that no vowel in the Dutch language can create by itself. Therefore, practicing the spoken language is very important.
CONFUSING WORD ORDER
The construction of a sentence in Dutch grammar is very chaotic. The longer the sentences become, the more confusing the word order is. When forming complex passive and future tenses, the form of an adjective is separated and usually settles at the end of a sentence.
THE USAGE OF ARTICLES DE AND HET
The Dutch language has two separate ways of using the articles de and het. Theoretically, all masculine and feminine words are used with de, whereas all neuter words are used with het:
De vrouw – the woman
De man – the person
Het kind – the child
However, many Dutch words do not have clear gender references. Therefore, it can be quite difficult to know which article to use. That simply needs to be heard and kept in mind. That is the difficult part of learning Dutch. It is important to use each opportunity to practice the language to truly learn it. It is unnecessary to know many words or difficult grammar rules for communication. It is all right to make mistakes if you only speak, listen, read and write in Dutch. You can spend years learning the language and still find words that you have not faced before. However, according to the data of the Foreign Service Institute, around 600 hours (or 24 weeks) of learning are needed to speak Dutch rather easily. Of course, there is rarely a chance to learn Dutch 25 hours a week without any interruption. Therefore, to put these numbers into perspective, it would be necessary to have:
- 11.5 hours of class activity each week for one year
- 5.5 hours of class activity each week for two years.
DUTCH INTERPRETER AND TRANSLATOR
Our professional interpreter and translator team works with written translations of standard documents, technical translations, and notarised translations. The Skrivanek translation agency also provides editing and stylistic improvements to texts in Dutch. Of course, language specialists can provide information about cultural differences, business etiquette, history, and traditions.
The thematic spectrum of translation material from/to Dutch is very broad, bearing in mind the active collaboration of both countries in various fields: business, economy, education, culture, etc. For business clients, we most often perform these translations from/to Dutch: homepage and adaptation, content of e-commerce and advertisement slogans, marketing texts, also collaboration contracts, and business documentation. We also provide consecutive and simultaneous translations in business and other types of conversations, conferences, and other events. For private individuals, we offer translations of identity documents, marriage certificates, birth certificates, education documents, passports, medical documentation, and others.
DUTCH LANGUAGE IN BUSINESS
The Netherlands is one of the richest countries in the world, therefore, the Dutch language has a bigger economic influence than one may think. Although many Dutch speak English, business in the Netherlands is still implied in Dutch. If it is desired to live and work in the Netherlands, knowledge of the local language will help to understand Dutch culture. If you speak English, you will have the opportunity to freely use it.
BILATERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN LATVIA AND THE NETHERLANDS
Latvia and the Netherlands have close and friendly relations featuring regular political dialogue and widely varied forms of collaboration, especially in the fields of economy, culture, and education. The Netherlands traditionally is an important economic collaboration partner of Latvia.
The beginning of economic bilateral relations between the Netherlands and Latvia is found in the Hanseatic League. From the 13th until the 17th century, commerce between harbour cities such as Riga, Amsterdam, and Groningen promoted the economic growth of both countries. Nowadays, Latvia continues to constantly emphasise its interest in developing and improving economic relations with the Netherlands, promoting high value-added exports to it. Latvia and the Netherlands have open and dynamic economies whose collaboration is confirmed by rather stable high bilateral trade indicators and the volume of Dutch investments in Latvia. Cooperation between the two NATO and EU Member States takes place on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministries of Defence of the Republic of Latvia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands on defence and military relations signed in London on 19 September 2008. The goal of the Memorandum of Understanding is to continue and deepen Latvia’s and the Netherlands’ bilateral defence resource collaboration in NATO and the EU. Latvia has a successful collaboration with the Netherlands in transport and logistics. Riga’s harbour has a successful collaboration with Rotterdam’s harbour thanks to regular container shipping line routes (Containerships, Unifeeder Container Service and Mann Line Multimodal). Moreover, since 2016, some test container train shipments have been organised between China and Latvia, including on the railway-sea route Ürümqi-Riga-Rotterdam. Latvia continues to be interested in offering its favourable geographical position and infrastructure for freight traffic between Europe and Asia. Latvia has formed a good collaboration in education with universities of the Netherlands rich with traditions. A big part of the State of Latvia’s and private higher education institutions have signed collaboration agreements with higher education institutions of the Netherlands for the exchange of students, professors and researchers. Latvia’s higher education institutions actively collaborate with the Netherlands’ higher education institutions in the EU’s education and research program. Each year a large number of Latvian youth get into the Netherlands’ higher education institutions in bachelor’s or master’s study programs. The collaboration of both countries is very active in the field of culture because it is based on cultural-historical relations and professional interest in each other. It occurs in collaboration of both countries and international projects with more participants. Collaboration in culture happens in these fields: creative industry, museums, music, libraries, art, cinema, theatre, and cultural education. The embassy of the Netherlands actively works to promote collaboration of both countries in various fields and looks after their country’s citizens that are staying in the territory of Latvia as well.
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