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  5. "Ik ben ondernemer."

"Ik ben ondernemer."

Translation:I am an entrepreneur.

December 20, 2014



Technically, "ondernemer" means "under+taker"... kind of a false friend there! In English, an undertaker is a funeral director. I looked it up, and in Dutch, a funeral director is a "begrafenisondernemer."


I thought this too, but starting a business can be a big 'under taking' haha


Former Dutch prime minister Joop den Uyl once remarked that "the Dutch are a nation of undertakers"!


My understanding is: onder (Dutch) = under (English) = entre (French); nemer (Dutch) = taker (English) = preneur (French)

Therefore ondernemer = entrepreneur


Would ondernemer also mean CEO?


No, CEO, is directeur (or informally baas). The term CEO is also used in Dutch, especially in bigger companies.


Can bestuursvoorzitter or topman be used for CEO, too?


Topman/topvrouw for sure, used a lot, especially in the media. Bestuursvoorzitter is specific. Bestuur = board, voorzitter = chairman, so you can use it for companies which actually have a chairman of the board. However this probably isn't the best word to use whenever the actual structure of a company is unknown or not relevant.


Thanks for the insights! :)


Probably it's a stupid question with an obvious answer, but why is it not "een ondernemer"?


Changes the meaning in Dutch sightly, but if translating from English both probably should be accepted. Without 'een', it implies it is your (main/sole) profession, with 'een' it could be something part of your character. Which of those two would be a (more) 'true' entrepreneur depends on values/outlook, so it is tricky to interpret.


just imagine the confusion when someone who has not yet learned this word but knows what onder and nemer mean on their own comes across ondernemer..


https://www.etymonline.com/word/undertaker In Dutch we still use 'begrafenisondernemer' for this profession...

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