1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Dutch
  4. >
  5. "De laan."

"De laan."

Translation:The avenue.

November 18, 2014



Would 'lane' also work for this. I don't know if there is a difference in English between lane and avenue, I see them both as a long road leading somewhere.


Sure. In Dutch a laan is a street lined with trees. If you ever see a street named …laan in the Netherlands without trees, you can be quite sure the trees were cut down at some point.


Really? In the US a boulevard is a "Wide street lined with trees". Avenues are usually just dotted with trees from what I know.


Yes, really. A boulevard in Dutch is different, see below. Below the types of street in the Netherlands, roughly from most common to least common (based on a personal guesstimate).

  • straat = street, usually in towns
  • weg = road, usually outside towns
  • dijk = road on top of or next to a dijk (levee), very comon everywhere where there are polders, so in big parts of the country and mostly outside towns
  • laan = street lined with trees
  • pad = path, usually a small road, cycling path or walking path
  • gracht = street with a canal (gracht) on one side and houses on the other, only present in older cities
  • steeg = alley, the tightest of streets, basically buildings lining it are higher than the street is wide
  • singel = street alongside a singel (similar to a gracht but not a steep quay-like wall, but a loped bank with grass and often trees and bushes)
  • boulevard = a street along the beach, usually a 'walking promenade', I guess almost all Dutch cities by the beach have one or a wide street in cities (think Paris, not very common in the Netherlands)
  • kade (or kaai) = quay, so a street along the water where boats can moor

Avenues don't exist in Dutch.

If there is no water next to a street called …gracht, …singel or …kade, you can be sure the water was filled up (removed) at some point (similar to the laan and tree thing).


Pretty much agrees in England if you take laan as an avenue, a lane usually is (more often was) a publicly owned drive, as in, it leads to a building, but is maintained by the council.


By that I mean there are words for all of these things, but I don't really have the inclination to go through them.


Brilliant - thanks for the time you put into this. For me (a Brit) the word "lane" conjures up unmarked roads in the country ('my mum lives down a country lane'- echt!); an avenue is rather grand. But sometimes those two words (land and avenue) are used by developers of housing estates who want to make the roads sound rather grand!


Please allow me to correct you, since I'm Dutch. "Dijk" isn't a road at all, it's just the dike, but sometimes there are indeed roads built on top of them, but they don't have a specific name. And also "gracht," same story, it's not the name of the road, it's just another word for canal. The word "kade" would be a better word for what you meant here, but that's more commonly used for harbours. I've never heard of the word "kaai" though, but I might exist.


I think Susande is talking about streets that have "gracht" or "dijk" or "singel" in their name, like "Prinsengracht", "Zeedijk" and "Catharijnesingel". The word "kaai" is used mainly in Belgium, but I'm sure you know it from a Dutch saying: "Vechten tegen de bierkaai" (https://onzetaal.nl/taaladvies/advies/vechten-tegen-de-bierkaai). Kade is a hypercorrection of the Middledutch word kaey which is connected to the English quay (http://www.etymologiebank.nl/trefwoord/kade1).


I am wondering that the phrase "de laan" is then derived to Javanese "dalan" which means "a street", instead of the avenue.


It seems very likely that lukman.A is right. "Dalan" could very well be a Javanese loan word from the Dutch "de laan." Remember, the Dutch were in Java as traders and then as conquerors for more than three hundred years before they were kicked out in 1945. (Also notice that he wrote "derived to," not "derived from.")


oh, I read that wrong then, sorry. In that case yes, it's pretty possible. (Btw the Dutch surrendered in 1949 after retaking large parts of Indonesia, due to anti-imperial pressures from the UN and US.)


I used lane, it works


Can you say 'Ik ben op de erste laan"? (I'm on First avenue)


"The alley" should be correct, isn't it?


An alley is a narrow lane/path/passageway which in Dutch most commonly is referred to as steeg(je) and in some cases laantje.


Why is it lan in a sentence and laan in another?

Learn Dutch in just 5 minutes a day. For free.