German to Dutch translation or Dutch to German – What are the differences?

German to Dutch translation

German to Dutch translation or Dutch to German – What are the differences?

(Last Updated On: December 27, 2017)

German to Dutch translation or Dutch to German?

For starters it is the unspoken rule of our translation company that the translator must be a native of the target language. That means for German to Dutch translation, a German native with knowledge of the second language should translate. For German to Dutch translation, a native from the Netherlands or North Belgium with knowledge of the German language should translate. No matter how fluent the translator is in either language, only a native who has been exposed to the language since they were born would know the intricacies and nuances of expression. A non-native may crank out a decent translation, but only a native can give a perfectly worded translation.

One who knows that Dutch belongs to the same language family as German would be tempted to say surely the differences between the two would be very minimal and a Dutch native can do Dutch to German translation and a German native can do German to Dutch translation if need be. It is true they have similar words, or rather similar-sounding words as the Dutch use a slightly different spelling and they share the same word order but the differences can be very subtle.

Both languages use genders. But German has 3 genders, feminine, masculine and neuter while Dutch only has 2: common and neuter. German has 4 cases: accusative, dative, genitive, nominative. Dutch has none at all.  German has a lot of irregular plurals that one has to memorize separately, Dutch only has one rule for plurals. However, Dutch has twice as many irregular verbs than German.

They may have the same words but the meanings may be totally unrelated. In German the phrase “Tasse Kaffee” means a cup of coffee. In Dutch it refers to bags or purses.  In German “Viese Enkel” means “bad grandchildren”. In Dutch it means “dirty ankle”.   A translator may wonder if they’re doing Dutch to German translation to German to Dutch translation. The Dutch also have sayings that would be hard to find a German equivalent especially since the Dutch are more group-oriented while Germans are more individualistic.

With these subtle points of similarity and non-similarities, a non-native can easily get lost and confused while doing German to Dutch translation or the opposite.  Only a native would have it clear in their head which meanings would make sense and therefore produce a perfect translation.