Agreed. I didn't know what the distinction was until I started learning Dutch. What put it in perspective for me is thinking, what if the entire rest of the world called all Canadians "Ontarians", and figured there was no difference or nothing wrong with that. Western Canadians would be mighty annoyed, and I bet Atlantic and northern ones too, to say nothing of Quebec.
I don't think so. Netherlands means lowlands and was formed in the same way. We say "in the Netherlands" for the same reason we say "in the lowlands". It's just how nouns ending in -lands are treated.
And this is of course why it's Kingdom of the Netherlands, not 'Kingdom of Netherlands'.
This is not correct.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is made of 4 independent countries: the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. They all share the same head of state, currently the monarch Willem-Alexander. They also share defense and foreign policy.
Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten are not territories of the European Union.
Yeah, as a native English speaker, I can say that it will usually be heard with "the" precedeing Nederlands, however, I would argue that it's not required. Likewise, I suspect there are English speaking Canadians that would also argue the same point.
English speaking Canadians frequently drop "the" where Americans employ it. Hospital is an example where Canadians don't use "the" and Americans do. However, Americans drop "the" before "jail".
Americans might say "I live in Ohio" (no "the"), but "I live in THE Netherlands". I would argue both phrases with or without the "the" are correct and acceptable with the difference being what one native English speaker is accustomed to hearing versus grammatical correctness.
I agree. This is just an example of terminal devoicing: In Dutch, northern German and Russian and quite a few other languages, consonants at the end of a syllable are devoiced. In particular:
- -d is pronounced -t
- -b is pronounced -p
- -g is pronounced -k.
- -v is pronounced -f.
You may be familiar with this from the typical accent of (northern) German speakers. ("Can you giff me a hant?")
In particular, Nederland is actually pronounced as Nederlant. In the Middle Ages, speakers of German (which then still included Dutch) changed the spelling to reflect this, but this practice has fallen out of use, making the spelling more regular but slightly less phonetic.
Cause Nederland is a country in "het Koningkrijk der Nederlanden" or in english "The Kingdom of the Netherlands". The Netherlands consists of a couple of countries. In short:
So Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten are countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, And Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba are Provinces within the country Nederland
The historical name comes from "the nether [opposite of upper] lands". Many lands, not just one, because it was literally a collection of many little countries.
Nowadays these nether lands are divided mostly into the main constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (the other constituent countries being in the Caribbean and hence not actually part of the nether lands) and the Kingdom of Belgium. (The remainder is Luxembourg and some parts of France.) The nether lands in this old sense are nowadays referred to in English as the Low Countries and in Dutch using the plural as "Nederlanden".
The European constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Koninkrijk der Nederlanden) is called "Nederland" (singular) in Dutch and "The Netherlands" (plural) in English. The Dutch term makes sense because the singular is technically more correct for a single country, and it permits short and crisp distinctions between the three concepts Low Countries, Kingdom of the Netherlands and the country in which the two intersect. English has been slower to adapt to today's political realities - probably in part because they are not so well known to English speakers, in part because the etymology has become less transparent in English, in part because in English it is natural to treat "the Netherlands" as a singular even though it is plural in form, and in part because English-speaking historical scholars needing to talk about the Low Countries can do so by modernising nether to low. (In Dutch this doesn't work. The closest option would be to use neer instead of neder, but neder is well established as the part of geographical names translating to lower in English, and neer isn't used in this way.)
Sort of. Holland accounts for only 13% of the area of the Netherlands and 38% of the population. But it contains the three biggest cities and has come to represent the entire country. Surprisingly few Dutch people are offended if you call them Hollanders, but it does happen.
It's like referring to the UK as England, but in a more homogeneous cultural context. (I.e. without the cultural baggage of 'nations' - a word that is used in a non-standard way in the UK context).
Holland is a very general term that is used for fruit and vegetables and sports. It's a nice gesture that the government is trying to switch to the more neutral "The Netherlands", but I doubt if it will change the way we talk about food, or how we label products or the way sports fans cheer.
Thanks for your feedback. If I remember correctly, initially I only commented when a specific question had been unanswered for several months, which was quite common as there weren't many native Dutch speakers active here. This may have changed by now, so maybe I should in fact just stop commenting at all unless I have a question myself. Thanks for pointing this out.
In this particular case I am slightly puzzled as I don't think what I wrote is very different from the information you can find here, for example:
- https://www.holland.com/be_nl/toerisme/informatie/algemeen/nederland-vs-holland.htm .
Onze Taal is quite explicit that Holland is a pars pro toto term for the Netherlands and is used more liberally as such in English than in Dutch. Please note specifically the second paragraph under that link. Here is my English translation:
"Dutch people themselves also often use Holland when they mean (all of) the Netherlands. Not every Dutch person agrees with this. Van Dale reports explicitly that Zeelanders, Groningers, Frisians, Limburgers and Brabanters use Holland to refer just to the Netherlands outside their respective provinces. Therefore the inhabitants of these provinces often feel that they do not live in Holland."
Moreover, according to international press reports from October 2019, the Dutch government decided to standardise on exclusive use of the English term Netherlands for the country in all contexts. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/04/holland-the-netherlands-dutch-government-rebrand
Sorry, Johaquila, my comment came out much harsher than I meant and I'll remove those parts. I guess I see so many opinions uttered by non-natives that are half-truths or even nonsense, that it is getting to me at times. But everyone is here to help, of course. The Onze Taal quote is interesting in this discussion, because it shows that people from provinces other than Noord- and Zuid-Holland often refer to a much larger part than Noord- and Zuid-Holland as "Holland". In the southern provinces, "Holland" often means: The Netherlands north of "the big rivers", as they call it (Rijn, Maas, Waal). In the eastern provinces, "Holland" is often all of the western provinces (including Utrecht and Zeeland). All in all, it's far too restrictive to limit "Holland" to Noord- and Zuid-Holland. It differs according to one's viewpoint within the country..
You probably just didn't notice that Duolingo presented the correct spelling to you. Here is approximately how it works:
- Suppose you enter a sentence that is almost in the database of correct answers in the sense that - completely ignoring all punctuation - it only differs from it by writing two words together or splitting a word or changing or adding or removing a single letter.
- Suppose also that your change does not produce a word that also occurs in the database of correct answers in the target language.
- If both conditions are satisfied, your answer is accepted as almost correct (i.e. except for an insignificant typo), and (what Duolingo considers) the correct spelling is shown to you.
The first condition was true for your sentence because you only mistyped an o for an i. The second is also true because on is not a Dutch word and therefore does not appear in the database of correct Dutch answers. Therefore Duolingo's algorithm 'guessed' correctly that this was just a typo rather than you erroneously writing the wrong word.
This also works when translating to English. For example, Duolingo courses consistently use the eccentric spelling "goodnight" for the greeting. (Of course it's perfectly standard and good style to write it this way in words such as "goodnight kiss". "He wished her goodnight" is OK but not necessarily good style. What is eccentric is "He said: 'Goodnight!'" But this is how it appears in courses.) But there is no way to report this problem because the better spelling is also accepted. What is annoying is that the poor spelling is presented as a typo correction.
Yes, at which point Duolingo ALWAYS throws up a "you had a typo" message. It didn't this time, hence my post... I screenshotted it. I've noticed since Duolingo updated with the horrible new "easy to read" front end the last few days it has stopped giving error messages for typos.
Nope, sorry. 'Niet' comes before prepositional phrases, as far as I know, and in Nederland is a prep. phr., as it's headed by in, which is a preposition.
If any native speaker could give us some insight here and clarify whether what I said is right or wrong, that would be very helpful. Thanks in advance!
This is a very interesting thread. As I am trying to learn the rules of dutch, I see than the neuter "het" is used for all countries (e.g., het Belgie). But using Google translate, "the Netherlands" translates to "Nederland". I really like the example of "the hospital" vs. "hospital", as a native (american) English speaker it just sounds so wrong to say "he went to hospital", but it sounds so correct to say "he went to jail". I appreciate the posts from native speakers, sometimes it is simply a matter of how the language is commonly used, rules aside.