If you are about to start a business amongst the Dutch-speaking territories, then it is crucial to consider Dutch translation for your documents. A local language is a powerful tool to enhance relationships amongst individuals, businesses, and countries.

  • The importance of Dutch translation

The Netherlands or Holland has a population of approx. 18 million and Dutch is the official language of this nation. Not only that, but Dutch is also the official language in Belgium. Both of these countries are famous for connections to international trade, creating a lot of opportunities for foreign businesses. Outside Europe, Dutch is also the official language of new Caribbean islands. 

The Dutch language is a West Germanic language. It shares some common ancestral history like German, Scandinavian languages, and even English.

4 problems when translating Dutch

1. You cannot rely on the phonetics

The Dutch spoken language contains many pronunciation traits from its long history, so translators may encounter several challenges such as sometimes the written form of a word is not the same as its pronunciation. Moreover, Dutch has many words which are spelled the same as their English complements but pronounced differently. These might confuse the inexperienced translators, especially when it comes to interpretation.

2. Long and vowelless consonants

The Dutch language is from the West Germanic family, so the Germanic tendency is still found in many Dutch words, which merge long and vowel-less strings of consonants, making the words much lengthier (both pronunciation and spelling) and confusing. 


Further adding to this complexity, Dutch people speakers rarely shorten these mega words in their pronunciations, leading to a result that the words can be inaccurately translated.

3. Localization

Dutch alters itself across the borders of Holland and Belgium. It is therefore essential to know whether the target country for which the Dutch translation is required is for the former or latter. 


Take the English word ‘national’, if the target market were Belgium, then the Flemish word ‘nasional’ would be required, as whilst the Dutch ‘natzional’ may not look very different, it would look out of place in a text whose target market is Flanders. There may be many words that Dutch and Flemish share, but equally, there are countless words that are not used in both dialects and many that are not interchangeable. E.g. ‘schoonbroer’ in Flanders means my wife’s brother, whilst in the Netherlands, the Dutch is ‘zwager’.

 Formal Dutch for ‘you’ is ‘u’, whilst the informal is ‘je’. This can be a challenge when translating into English. Moreover, just to make it a little more complicated, the Dutch in the Netherlands no longer use the formal, ‘u’, and has been replaced by the informal je (you). This is the opposite in Flanders, where the formality is still in existence. 


In this instance, not only is there the challenge of translating these different levels of address, the text would need to be localized and translated by a native qualified and professional Flemish translator, as the end result will be an authentic translation that respects the target culture

4. The untranslatable

A popular Dutch word that bears no English equivalent is ‘gezellig’. It is used when a Dutch person wants to describe their sunset walk with their lover or a family meal with their favorite food. The word ‘gezellig’, gives the impression of something familiar, jolly, and cozy. There are even books that are specifically written about this concept of gezellig.


Sometimes there is no straight way to translate the same local word with its full meaning. We might have to take on a description instead, it depends greatly entirely on the skill of the translator.


If you need to translate into Dutch, give us a call today!


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What makes VTLocalize different?

We are not the market dominance, we are not the pioneer of the industry, but we enjoy an amazing growth rate current years. For us, Localization and language services is all about you and your targeted audience experience, which are fast and seamless localization workflow, managed by strict industry standards, and flawless translation at the end of production process.


Question 1: Is it possible if I just ask for proofreading services?

Yes! We offer proofreading service solely for all types of documents in more than 50 different languages.

Question 2: How much will you charge for a translation project?

We take many factors into consideration:

  • The number of pages of the document to be translated, in which specified page is 300 words or 300 characters depending on the language.
  • Language pairs: Some pairs are less common, so the service charge might be a little bit higher
  • Service required: Translation Only (TO) or Translation and Editing (TE), or Translation + Editing + Proofreading (TEP)
  • Industry expertise: The complexity of the required domain affects service charge also

Please contact us for a detail quotation.

Question 3: Do you offer video subtitling and dubbing services?

Yes.! Not only supporting subtitling and dubbing, but we also provide the service of typing verbal documents such as audio or video files.

Question 4: Do you support Image Translation?

Yes! We support translating documents from all PNG, JPG image files, and all types of documents from all files: pdf, docx, pptx, xlsx, etc. Applying optical character recognition technology in combination with latest CAT Tools, the image translation process has never been that easy.

Question 5: Will the translation be presented in proper format and retain the original structure?

For purpose of printing or publishing you may need, we provide DTP and Layout restoration services for documents using varied tools such as Adobe Framemaker, Indesign, Illustrator, Autocad to Powerpoint, Excel, etc. Under our post translation recovery process, we provide a translation with “as is” layout and be ready for high quality printing or online publishing.

Question 6: How will I receive the translation?

It depends on the your need for soft or hard copy documents. For the soft copy, we will email it to you. As for the hard copy, we will send express delivery to the correct address provided by the customer.

Question 7: When notarizing translation, I want to get multiple copies, will there be additional costs?

According to current regulations, notarized translations are not allowed to be copied, all version must be originals. So when you need additional originals, the cost will increase.

Question 8: How long will it take for my documents to be translated?

It depends on the volume, content types, required services, and other project-specific factors. But above all, your required deadline is the most important and we will rely on that to adjust the translation process and management schedule in order to keep up with preset deadline without any compromise upon quality.

Question 9: Can I request an urgent translation?

Yes! We do offer urgent translation services. Depending on specialization or length of the document, we will adjust our production team accordingly.

Question 10: What are your payment terms and methods?

We accept ATM transfers, e-banking, cash, or online payment via VISA/ MASTERCARD card, international payment services such as PAYPAL, PAYONEER, SKRILL, VEEM, etc.


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