Especially when isolated like in this example, I, too, can't really see the settlement aspect in "plaats". My lexicon gives tranlations like "place" or "position" for it, "town" would be "stad", "village" would be "dorp".
I can imagine someone walking around a town, saying "dat is een leuke plaats", meaning the whole thing, but surely that would depend on that context and you'd probably have no difficulty understanding a slightly different usage in that particular situation.
So, is "plaats" an idiomatic way of saying "town" that hasn't made it into my lexicon (yet)? Or is the translation here a little diffuse?
Hi "optional". Very surprised to have 'town' as 'place', I consulted the Internet (Van Dale), and got 7 meanings for the word PLAATS: 1.Binnenplaats (court) 2.Plein (square) 3.Dorp, stad (village,TOWN !) 4.Ingenomen ruimte of positie (space or position occupied by a person) 5.Taak door iemand verricht (function or job invested by s.o.) 6.Punt in de ruimte (a definite or fixed point in a space, on a map, on your body ecc.) 7.Punt in een volgorde (a position in a sequence). So, even without context, <officially> "plaats" can be replaced by "town". But as Dutch speaker, I didn't know that either.Best wishes, Lu.
Hi Agermeister. It depends on the context and the pratical situation. But sincerely, a town is first called "town" (stad) village called "village" (dorp) and afterwards, in repeating talks can be even expressed by "plaats". Though it is unlogical and sofisticated to translate "plaats" as "town" here. To do that, we would need a context. Cheers.
I know that "square" has its own equivalent but the task was not to find the best translation for "square", it was to translate "de plaats" so if one of its meanings is "square" indeed, I feel like my answer shouldn't have been marked wrong.
I'll reply here to your latest comment.
What Lucia is referring to is van dale and that is grand, similar to that if you look in an English dictionary it says that place can refer to a square (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/place).
However, this would only be the case in a specific context. In this case that specific context is not present and hence you cannot use square as a translation for plaats.
- The square = het plein.