Is there anything wrong with, "It is nearly 4:00"? I know that it's not a perfect translation, but neither is switching to the future tense just so you can keep straks as "soon." As far as I'm concerned, soon and nearly have exactly the same meaning in this context, even if a separate Dutch word exists for the latter (bijna? haast?). The difference is that nearly allows you to preserve the present tense while soon requires the future tense. Either way, a literal translation is impossible, so both should be accepted.
At 3:55 all of the following apply:
It will be 4:00 soon. It is nearly 4:00. *It is almost 4:00.
Just replied with "nearly", and had it rejected. Have reported it, as, in my opinion, "nearly" and "almost" are synonyms, so if "almost" is accepted (it's actually one of the suggested answers), I can see no reason to reject "nearly". Either is slightly more idiomatic than: "It will soon be...", which is not incorrect, but sounds a little forced.
Oh - just one more thought: I'd never translate times as digits, if they are spelt out in words in the original. So I'd definitely use "four o'clock" here, and not "4:00" or "16:00". But that is incidental to your point about "nearly", which I agree with entirely.
Four o'clock or 4:00 are translated as "vier uur" or "4 uur" when in the morning. Try reporting it. http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-dutch/4%20o%27clock/
It's not idiomatic - just the wrong word order. You've turned it into a question with a very unusual (but not totally incorrect) word order - normally we'd say: "Will it soon be four o'clock?"
The Dutch sentence is a statement, so the translation is either "It will soon be four o'clock" or "Soon it will be four o'clock" or "It will be four o'clock soon".
All those usages (and positions of "soon" in the sentence) are fine and not uncommon.
However, the poster didn't say: "Soon it will be...", but: "Soon will it be...". That is a very odd and archaic word order. I think English used to allow it, and probably still does, if you're wanting to be a bit poetic about it, and/or create an atmosphere of times gone by. That's why rhhpk admits it's "not totally incorrect". You can do it, but it's odd, and generally only used for special effects. Nobody would say to their grandchild: "Soon will it be...", unless intentionally teasing.
Firstly, not with that spelling. (It's "uur", not "urr"). But secondly, I'm NOT Dutch, but that word order sounds off to me. English allows "soon" to be placed at the end, but I'm not sure Dutch does. I see a similar question has been posed five months ago, above. Perhaps a native Dutch speaker can help us out here, but it sounds/feels wrong to me. I could be persuaded that: "Het is straks vier uur" might be OK, but not: "Het is vier uur straks". Sounds like an English speaker speaking Dutch, when we want to sound like a Dutch speaker speaking Dutch. ;)
I am a native dutch speaker. This sentence "het is vier uur, straks" is correct dutch, though a little bit off, i agree. It is like somebody wants to say: "it is four o'clock" and halfway the sentence he realizes it is quarter to four, so at the last moment he adds "straks" It is "spreektaal", like in normal conversation people use single words or half sentences, because that is all that is needed to get the message across. What is actually the english word for "spreektaal"? It (het is vier uur straks) can also be a warning, like: "It is four a clock in a few minutes" We have to hurry up. etc changing the order of words in a sentence changes the meaning of the sentence.
Thank you for this input. Although it's not wrong, I'm reassured that I'm developing a sense it sounds...strange. Oh dear, I'm not sure what "spreektaal" would be in English, although I understand the word perfectly. ;) I don't know if we even have a special word for it. It's not slang, exactly, because you can speak in part-sentences without it necessarily being slang. I'm not sure it's colloquial English either, because again, you can speak in partial sentences without necessarily using any colloquial expressions. Maybe we would just say: "English as it is spoken"? I suppose "street English" is another possibility, but that's too much like slang. If I have got the sense of "spreektaal" correctly, even an educated/literate person might use it - it doesn't relate to a particular subculture, or anything like that? It's just the difference between textbook Dutch and what real people say?
I think you get is perfectly. There is the formal language, the queens english, and what the men in the street speak. Sometimes also using words you never see written, because they are never written. Colloquial is a good translation i think, thanks. Colloguial has a little bit a negative connotation. Spreektaal is not negative.