"Er is veel gebeurd in het verleden van het land."
Translation:A lot happened in the history of the country.
I would definitely have expected "A lot has happened..." The entire history of a country is such an overwhelmingly long period of time that it doesn't make sense to use the simple past. "A lot happened yesterday", yes, but not "in the history of the country"...
"Het verleden" is "the past" and "geschiedenis" is "history". I think they mostly match up pretty well with the English usage. "Verleden" could be about any time in the past (and the things that occurred in that time), and also for "past" as in the background of someone or something (e.g. "dingen uit mijn verleden" = "things from my past"). "Geschiedenis" can be used to indicate the total of past happenings, or the records and studies of past events. Sometimes they can overlap a little, such as in this example, where "a country's past" and "a country's history" in both Dutch and English cover about the same in meaning. As a rough guideline, I'd say "verleden" focuses more on the time frame and "geschiedenis" more on the story of past events.
Hi James. In Dutch the difference is a bit more clear than in some other languages, though! That is because "histoire"/ geschiedenis has a lot of meanings and is very frequently used in colloquial speaking , f.i. in French and Italian. Vb. "Ik vertel je mijn verleden" is more regular than saying "Ik vertel je mijn geschiedenis". You can say that, sure, but sounds posh and less natural. But "Je raconte mon histoire" is a current and normal way of saying it in France....
Hi James. I wrote my contribution because I am a Dutch speaker who lives in Italy and studied a lot of French in my school and youth time. "Raconter ton histoire"/uw verleden vertellen: sure,this is about the past. The difference in register, you have that in Fr/It very clearly, where it is currently and conversational used in the meaning of a story/ een verhaal. "Je connais bien cette histoire! "=I know that story (pretty well)! And yes, in that context it is more about something actual than telling the past. Hope that helps. Lu
The distinction I am thinking of is the Latin distinction between historia and gesta, which I have seen in other languages, though it escapes me at the moment which. The gesta or acta are the actual deeds, what actually happened in the past. The historia is a narrative about the past. Of course, over the history of the language, those terms were often used interchangeably as well. Another instance might be the Hungarian terms történet and történelem. The former is used for a discrete story, for instance the history of an event, while the latter is generally used for the entire subject of history or, for instance, the entire history of a country. Neither of these sound like the kinds of differences in meaning between the Dutch verleden and geschiedenis. Could one speak of het verleden van Nederland or middeleeuws verleden, though?