1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Dutch
  4. >
  5. "Dit is een historisch moment…

"Dit is een historisch moment."

Translation:This is a historic moment.

December 6, 2014


Sorted by top post


"Historic" (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/historic) versus "historical" (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/historical)

"As such, historic is used to describe people, things, and events that are or will be considered important by future historians, while historical is used for people, things, and events in the past, whether important or not. A "historic event" is an important moment past, present, or in the future; a "historical event" is some moment in the past."

According to the above then, "This is a historical moment" means "this is a moment in the past", which doesn't make much sense (unless we have time-travelled). Also, "This is an historic moment" means "this is an event that will be considered important by future historians", which makes much more sense.

March 29, 2015


Absolutely. Thanks for the clear explanation. The English translation given is incorrect and should be changed.

March 30, 2015


Done. Thanks, all.

March 30, 2015


Did you also pick up the use of "an" as the indefinte article before "h". It used to be the only correct version. Although it is not often heard now in conversation, it should still be allowed as an alternative as it will frequently be seen in literature.

That does not apply only to this sentence, of course. Applying it across the whole of Duolingo might be a challenge!

[edit] On reflection, I have never seen "an hat" or "an house", even in literature; so it may be more of a challenge than I thought! Maybe you shouldn't bother!

March 30, 2015


Yes, I think I added that one a while ago. Apart from the comments in this thread, there were also a bunch of reports with "an". Since we're not teaching English, I don't think it's a problem to accept both here. There haven't been many complaints in other sentences, as far as I know.

March 30, 2015


You wouldn't use 'an' before all words beginning with 'h'. With 'hat', because it has a hard 'h' sound (like a consonant) at the start, it's 'a hat'. The same goes for 'house'. 'Hotel' can be said with a softer 'h' so could be 'an hotel' (with the 'h' sounding more like a vowel).

March 30, 2015


When I saw this I knew the comments would be about "a" vs "an."

General rule as I understand it: us "a" if the following sound is a consonant (such as hat or h-istoric), use "an" if the following sound is a vowel (such as 'at or 'istoric). If you pronounce the "h," you drop the "n."

Here's data on real-world usage of "a" vs "an:" https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=an+historic%2Ca+historic&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=5&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Can%20historic%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ca%20historic%3B%2Cc0

April 9, 2015


What it often boils down to is whether the first syllable is stressed or not. The first syllable is unstressed in "historic," which results in the h not being pronounced much like an h. In "history," the first syllable is stressed, so the h is pronounced. You wouldn't say "an history."

Of course, as always, it also depends on what dialect you speak.

September 29, 2015


What should the sound of "sch" be here, exactly?

I know that at the beginning of words it should be spelled /sx/ (x being IPA for the same phoneme as the "ch" in toch, doch, etc.), but here I expected it to have an English "sh" - ʃ - sound, but I can only hear a faint s (as if it were a word ending in -is).

Does anyone have any clues regarding this issue?

November 13, 2015


I imagine it may vary depending on which dialect of Dutch you're speaking, but in my experience it's just an [s] sound. I know when I started taking Dutch classes in Belgium, the little bit of German I'd studied years before kept interfering and I'd say [ʃ], but it's not that. So that's Flemish, anyway, but I lived with a Dutch family, and I'm fairly certain they pronounced it [s] as well.

November 13, 2015


the dutch say [s] aswell

March 14, 2016


Ok, thank you for your input :)

November 13, 2015


The ch is not pronounced at all in words ending in "-isch" or "-ische". For example, biologisch (organic) is pronounced as if the spelling were biologies, rhyming with precies (exactly). There have been discussions in the past to change the spelling accordingly.

April 19, 2016


For those people who don't know why, you can use "an" before an H-word where the stress is on the second syllable:

  • a history of the world
  • an historic day
  • a hero
  • an heroic act
  • etc.

See http://english.stackexchange.com/q/629/73636

February 28, 2017


Having used English as my primary language for 74 years, I never knew that!


February 28, 2017
Learn Dutch in just 5 minutes a day. For free.