The Dutch Language
With around 28 million Dutch speakers living worldwide, Dutch is a language that international businesses should not ignore.
Overview of the Dutch Language
- Dutch is spoken by more than 23 million people worldwide, making it the 56th most spoken language globally.
- Most Dutch speakers reside in the Netherlands and Belgium. Still, you can also find Dutch-speaking communities across the globe, from Suriname in South America to Aruba in the Caribbean and even in Indonesia due to historical ties.
History of Dutch
- Originating from the West Germanic language family, Dutch is closely related to English and German. Its history dates back to the 5th century AD, making it one of the oldest languages.
- The language has three main historical stages: Old Dutch (500–1150), Middle Dutch (1150–1500) and Modern Dutch (1500–present).
- Dutch underwent a standardisation process in the 16th century, during which Modern Dutch emerged. The need for a common language for administrative and legal purposes drove this standardisation.
The Influence of Dutch
- Dutch has significantly impacted several languages, primarily through colonial relationships. For example, Afrikaans, spoken in South Africa and Namibia, developed from 17th-century Dutch dialects.
- Many Dutch words have made their way into English, including yacht, easel, cookie, and coleslaw.
- The Dutch East India Company’s influence in the 17th century led to the inclusion of Dutch words in languages in the Asian region, including Indonesian and Japanese.
- In Europe, Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands and one of the three official languages of Belgium, where the Flemish community speaks it in the north.
- Dutch also holds official status in Suriname and the Caribbean nations of Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten.
- The language is characterised by its unique ‘guttural’ sounds, especially the ‘g’ sound. It is distinct and differentiates Dutch from other Germanic languages.
Our Dutch Translation Services
Our translation team works hard to bridge the gap between English and Dutch. We take extra care to understand and respect the unique features of the Dutch language. We’ve worked in different areas such as law, medicine, technology, and literature. Whether you need things translated from English to Dutch or Dutch to English, we promise a top-notch service that’s accurate, high-quality and always on time.
Choose us for precision, cultural understanding, and a clear voice in the Dutch-speaking world.
Our Dutch translators have worked with brands such as Land Rover, FIFA and Nestlé, to make their content accessible to the 23 million Dutch speakers worldwide.
Our translation services - FAQ
Do you use native translators?
Yes, always. All our translators are native speakers and most are still resident in their native country. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all Brightlines’ translators are native. We do not accept applications from non-native candidates or allow them to register on our online recruitment database. All our translators are rigorously tested.
How long will the translations take?
The turnaround for the translation will depend on the word count. As a rough guide, assume that the translators can comfortably process about 2500 words of non-specialised text per day. Proofreading can effectively be completed on a basis of 4000-6000 words a day. Our minimum turnaround time is usually about three days, although it is possible to shorten this if you are in a rush for the final files and we will always be happy to discuss this with you.
What is the variation in your translators’ experience and qualifications? Are they native speakers? Will the cost increase if we use a more experienced translator?
All our translators have to go through a series of tests to make sure they are as good as they say they are, and only if they pass are they allowed to work for Brightlines. There is quite a range of experience and qualifications, but all translators have a minimum of five years’ experience. All translators translate into their mother-tongue without exception and are generally based in-country so they are up-to-date with the local language. We match translators with projects/clients depending on the subject matter, and most of our translators have industry experience in their speciality – there is no better experience than being immersed professionally in the industry they specialise in. Our costs are based on translator experience, speciality (i.e. medical, creative, scientific) and the language choice.
Which languages can you translate into?
We have an extensive database with hundreds of trusted and tested translators covering all commercial languages. If you cannot see the language or dialect you need please ask.
I don’t know the word count; can you base the quote on the number of pages?
Our pricing structure is based on a rate-per-word, but we can estimate from a page count. If we can’t see the source document then we would usually estimate between 300 – 500 words a page depending on the density of the text and the presence of photos and images.
Does the translation need to be proofread?
Brightlines is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. This means that quality is safeguarded. We adhere to the “four-eyes principle” and translations are always checked by a second professional proofreader (who is not the translator). If the translation is for internal use and reference purposes only (i.e. not to be published, distributed or used in a court of law), or you simply don’t wish to have proofreading, we can remove the proofreading stage.