NAAR 1. To go somewhere, like in the example: Wij gaan niet naar Nederland.
AAN 1. "at" (location), as in "sit at the table" - "zit aan tafel". If you want to indicate a location, you usually use "op" though. 2. "on", as in "de radio staat aan" - "the radio's (turned) on". 3. "to", as in "een brief aan jou" - "a letter to you".
They are related, in a weird way. The Proto-Germanic was nēhw meaning 'near' and became nach in German. The Dutch naar is actually a comparative - so 'going nearer' = 'going towards' = 'going to'. English near is the same but not used for motion towards. That means that English nearer is a double comparative. D
Nederlands means Dutch, both as an adjective and a noun. For example:
- Hij spreekt Nederlands. = He speaks Dutch.
- Dat is een Nederlands meisje. = That is a Dutch girl.
Nederland, without an s, is the Netherlands, the place.
As you can see, Nederland and Nederlands have two rather different meanings and are not interchangeable.
When a 'd' is the last letter of a word in Dutch, it is pronounced like a 't'. Is it possible that you are interpreting this 't' sound as an 's'? When I listen to the female pronunciation of this sentence, it sounds correct to me.
Here are some other examples of Dutch words ending in 'd', with audio you can listen to: https://www.heardutchhere.net/DutchPronunciation.html#end_of_word_D
It doesn't it is just a clear (as opposed to soft ) ending of the d (which sort of becomes a t, because that is a harder sound)
After relistening to the female I have to admit, she nearly makes it an s. I ve already noticed before that she isn't a native speaker, she mightve overdone it with imitating our distinct t sounding ending.
(98 procent of the times her pronounciation is good and indistinguishable from a native speaker though. The male speaker makes a mess of it though making loud raspy overarticulated sounds. Perhaps he ís native but normal has an accent and now trying to compensate for it, but almost making it sound like a parody)
This part of Europe, which is low lying has been called 'the low countries' or the equivalent in different languages (e.g. 'the nether lands' in English, 'les pays bas' in French etc. for centuries. Because the area has been split into different countries in different ways over this time, the terminology is very confused. See this Wikipedia article.
The official name of the sovereign state is Koninkrijk der Nederlanden which translates literally as 'Kingdom of the Netherlands'. This means that The Netherlands is actually correct, either as an abbreviation of the name of the sovereign state, or as the old name of the region. Note also that it is quite normal to use the article with countries that have plural names (The United States, The United Arab Emirates, The Philippines etc.)
But this translation ignores Dutch grammar. Der does not mean 'of the'. In fact there is no 'of' in the Dutch. This 'of' is a word that is often used to translate genitives in various languages, almost always resulting in complete confusion about the definite article. But at least it allows us to abbreviate Kingdom of the Netherlands to The Netherlands. But * Der Nederlanden would be completely wrong. It should be De Nederlanden. I believe this has been used at some times in the past, but the Dutch have decided that their state should be known colloquially as the singular Nederland, with no article, as you would expect for a country with a singular name.