"It is not important."
Translation:Het is niet belangrijk.
No. That would not be correct.
Actually, depending on the pronunciation and the punctuation, it can mean the opposite! In some languages (also in Dutch) a sentence can be followed by a (retorical) question with a negation in it.
- English: 'It is important, isn't it?' or maybe even shortened: 'It is important, no?'.
- Dutch: 'Het is belangrijk, is het niet?' or shortened: 'Het is belangrijk, niet?'.
I had the same question as /u/jpippoj, and although your answer is thorough and makes sense, I now have a follow-up question:
In the examples shown to us in duolingo thus far, it is common to add "niet" at the end of the sentence when one wants to declare the negative. I am sorry I don't recall specific examples, but that (and the language's similarity to German, with which I'm quite familiar) led my decision. I am trying to say that there are obviously cases where your explanation doesn't apply (again, sorry for the lack of examples).
What would be the distinction between those cases and the one here?
how do you pronounce 'belangrijk' and 'moeilijk' (misspelt probably - sorry)?
the dutch spelling "ij" is pronounced sort of like the english "ey", but longer and slightly different tone.Think of the Fonz saying "eyyyyyyy", it's a little like that.
To add to this, "-lijk" is 'special' in the sense that it doesn't have the usual ij-sound. It sounds like "u" in "bus".
This includes words like "moeilijk", "makkelijk", "letterlijk", "smakelijk", etc.
Oooh, this is one part I have to remember to discard, because my Flemish wife always makes fun of Dutch people who she hears pronounce "smakelijk" like that.