25 Jun Why coffee and tea are important for a Dutch translator
The coffee obsession isn’t so rampant in the United States when compared to the Netherlands. In Scandinavia, Benelux countries, and some parts of the Eastern Europe coffee is on top of the chart. In the Netherlands, the average consumption of coffee every day is 2.4 cups, almost the same as those of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Spain combined! It’s no wonder a Dutch translator would have anywhere from 2-5 cups of coffee every day.
Why coffee is important for a Dutch translator
The Dutch intimately associate coffee with ‘gezellig’ (which is a feeling of homely warmth, having a good time with friends despite being tired, bad weather, or some unpleasant things happening in your life). In other words, coffee is the ultimate pick me up for them.
If you ask a Dutch translator he will of course tell you that the best coffee is Dutch coffee.
The climate in the Netherlands also helps: it is usually cloudy or rainy and you always feel sleepy so the coffee really helps keep them awake.
Coffee is also a cheap beverage and since the Dutch are most of the times cheap, coffee is the perfect drink for them.
The Dutch tend to look down on people that drink soft drinks because it’s very bad for you. Drinking soft drinks in the morning is greatly frowned upon. No one will ever nag about too much coffee or tea, and a Dutch translator won’t be an exception. When people see you drinking alcohol at work or on the weekend in the morning, you are obviously an alcoholic.
The Netherlands became a rich country in the golden age because of coffee. Tea, spices, tobacco, chocolate, and sugar were also part of their success. Slaves worked in coffee plantations in Suriname (Dutch West Indies) and in present-day Indonesia. Java, one of the biggest islands in Indonesia, was a Dutch colony until 1954. Up to this day people still refer to a cup of coffee as a cup of Java most especially in the United States, despite that island being a part of the Dutch East Indies.
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