Cape Town


Translations made easy!

Considering studying in the Netherlands? Do you currently speak English, but need some work on your Dutch? Never fear! It’s time to get a little linguistic here, and let’s have a look at some of the words which shouldn’t pose any problems in translation.

Many words in the English language come from a Dutch origin: directly, through Middle Low German equivalents, or via Afrikaans. Some are related to maritime concepts, such as skipper, dock, keelhauling, freight, pump and deck. Interestingly enough, we can also include booze, brawl and brandy wine on this list! English speakers can thank the Dutch wholeheartedly for the word ‘cookie’, a little less rapturously for ‘coleslaw’, and can reflect on having new ways to describe the natural panorama (‘iceberg’, ‘landscape’). Dutch influence can be found in place names like Harlem and Coney Island.

Words like mannequin have reached English from Flemish (manneken – “little man”) via the French language. The spelling change occurs between the Flemish and French, but remains the same in the French English translation. Due to the 300-year Norman Occupation of England, the French language infiltrated English to an enormous extent. Figures state that as many as one-third of English words are derived either directly or indirectly from French, which certainly makes French to English translation and English to French translation favourable! Even if an English spe aker has never studied French and thinks that they know nothing about French translation, the number of French words they could know is estimated to be as high as 15,000.

It’s time to become fascinated by languages and translations. Whether it’s English Dutch or English French translations that catch your fancy, there is a wealth of information out there for the eager learner. Find out more about the origins of your language, and discover that learning a new language is even easier!


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