Translation:Both Saskia and Willem are from the Netherlands.
I find this easier to remember when i remember it like 'It is so that Saskia, just as Willem, comes from the Netherlands.'
I know that's verbose but the grammar is just different in Dutch so it is hard to think of the literal translation.
"Als" doesn't mean "and", it can translate to "as" or "if" for example. In this construction, similar to the English construction "as well as", the " zowel ... als" as a whole translates to "both ... and" or "as well as". You wouldn't take every word literally in the English construction either just understand the construction as a whole.
In English, "... as well as" is not a conjunction, therefore Saskia and Willem do not combine to become plural. We would say "Saskia, as well as Willem, comes (not 'come') from the Netherlands". Is that not the same in Dutch, so that the verb is 'komt' instead of 'komen'? (The problem is, so many English-speaking people get this wrong in English that I imagine some won't even know what I'm talking about!)
Thansk for the explanation! I'm from Germany, but I made the same mistake.
The sentence can also translate to "Saskia as well as William are from the Netherlands". "Zowel" would mean "as well" and the "als" would mean the second "as".
I put "as well as Saskia, Willem comes from the Netherlands" -- why is this incorrect? I feel that it means the same thing as the suggested translations.
Not so, Willem is still the subject on its own thus a first which makes comes as the only correct response in Ariazi's translation.
So, how would you say : "both Saskia and Willem are coming from the Netherlands?"
Would it not be a better translation to say. "Both Saskia and Willem come from the Netherlands."