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  5. "In de Eerste en Tweede Kamer…

"In de Eerste en Tweede Kamer kijkt men naar de wetten."

Translation:In the First and Second Chamber one looks at the laws.

March 20, 2015



Considering the hints, why not "In the Senate and in the House of Representatives one looks at the laws"?


By that logic, you should allow the terms 'upper and lower house', 'upper and lower chamber', 'senate and assembly', 'house of lords and house of commons', &c.

I think in this case, it's better to translate the Dutch terms directly into English.


The only reason why I would think that sentence is not correct is the double use if "in the" whereas the Dutch sentence only has one "in de".

"In the Senate and House of Representatives one looks at the laws" should be correct I'd say. If not report it and moderators can have a look at it.


Thank you very much!


On naming the chambers:

Keep in mind that senaat and senatoren are sometimes used instead of Eerste Kamer and Eerste Kamerleden. However huis van afgevaardigden and afgevaardigden are never used for Tweede Kamer and Tweede Kamerleden. Dutch people will likely think you are talking about the American House of Representatives in that case.

You can use Kamerleden, parlementsleden (members of parliament) or volksvertegenwoordigers (representatives of the people) for members of either or both chambers. Het Parlement is used for both chambers or for just the Tweede Kamer I don't think it's often used for the Eerste Kamer. The two chambers combined are called De Staten-Generaal (van het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden)

On the workings of both chambers:

The Tweede Kamer is the most important chamber, has 150 members and is chosen directly every 4 years. The Eerste Kamer has 75 members and only meets one day a week, and is chosen indirectly (by the members of the 12 States-Provincial, which are chosen directly by the people). The Eerste Kamer only has the right to accept or reject legislative proposals, but not to amend them or to initiate legislation.

Sometimes both chambers meet in Verenigde Vergadering (joint session), usually for ceremonial sessions, e.g. inauguration of a new king, the opening of the parliamentary year.

On Prinsjesdag:

The latter happens on Prinsjesdag (Prince's day), the third Tuesday in September. On that day the King addresses the Staten-Generaal, he reads them the Troonrede (Throne Speech) written by the prime minister, which sets out the main policy plans for the upcoming year.

The king rides from palace Noordeinde to the Ridderzaal (Knight's hall, where the session is) in the Gouden Koets (Golden Carriage), escorted by other members of the royal family in one or two more carriages and a military honorary escort. Lots of people line the streets of the route for the parade. After the session the parade drives back to palace Noordeinde and the ceremonial part ends with the royal family waving to the crouds from the balcony.

Later on the day the Minister of Finance proposes next year's budget, called Miljoenennota in the Tweede Kamer. This is followed by important debates in the Tweede Kamer, called algemene beschouwingen

Edit: woops, it's the third Tuesday in September, thanks for spotting that bemk92. :)

  • 1538

Little footnote, it's the third Tuesday in September, not the second.

Other than that, the explanation looks fairly accurate.

Also, if this sort of thing sounds interesting to you, there's a constitutional amendment (grondwetswijziging) in progress right now.

The BES islands (formerly part of the Nederlandse-Antillen, a nation much like the Isle of Man is to the UK) chose to become a part of the Netherlands, unlike islands like for example Curacao, which is now a sovereign nation within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.*

The BES islands don't belong to a province, but the Eerste Kamer is elected by the Staten-leden (Members of the provincial state parliament), and thus the BES island inhabitants don't have any representation in the Eerste Kamer.

In order to resolve this issue, an amendment has been proposed in order to give the Island councils (Eilandsraden) the ability to take part in the Eerste Kamer verkiezingen. According to the current planning, the amendment will be in place for the 2023 elections.**

  • The Nederlandse-Antillen dissolved after a referendum, on the 10th of Ocotber, 2010. 3 Islands decided to become part of the Netherlands, the others split up and continued on as sovereign countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Before this time, they had their own government, languages and currency, but foreign policy was set by the Netherlands.



Thank you both so much for all this information about Dutch government and culture!


Thanks for spotting my mistake, I edited the post.


Thank you for this excellent explanation! It's always great to learn more about how things work in the Netherlands!


Thanks, I started just writing on the naming, and then I added Staten-Generaal, so I started explaining Prinsjesdag. But then I thought, maybe I should explain the general workings as well, since Prinsjesdag is just the one exceptional day for the chambers. :)


Susande: thank you so much. That is all very enlightening!


I have some doubts that "one looks AT the laws" is a proper translation. Making or amending laws is not done by looking at them, not in Dutch and even less so in English. How about examine, scrutinize, discuss, debate?


Yes, the English "correct answer" is very awkward. I put "examined" and it was marked wrong.


Yes, kenmerk, "examine" is a much better word, suggesting a degree of dedication and seriousness that "look at" does not convey.


I did not use 'one' because although correct, it sounds so stilted to me, so used 'they' instead but this was not accepted.


House, Chamber, Senate, First Chamber, Second Chamber, second house, first house--the translations suggested in the prompts are all over the place, so when you use one of them and are marked wrong, and then you use a different one and are still marked wrong,, it's a bit frustrating. My questions are: if DL wants literal answers, doesn't it need to suggest literal answers only? If it wants answers that approximate the meaning of the words, shouldn't it suggest those, instead?


It does not only accept literal translations, though it also does not accept a random mixture of the suggested translations. Without your sentence it's hard to judge why your answer was rejected.


Thanks. I ordinarily put my own translation in my comments. I'm not sure how that escaped me yesterday. Of course, it's now lost forever. Will be more careful in the future.


very broad meaning this looking at they 'd rather be reviewing the laws

[deactivated user]

    A small point; shouldn't "Chambers" be used?


    No because the names are "de eerste kamer" and "de tweede kamer" so adding them would make "de eerste en tweede kamer" because it is still referring to the name and not the fact that it is a chamber. So that's why it is singular.


    "In the senate and the lower house one looks at the laws"


    I'm not sure about the Dutch, but in English, if you have the first and second of anything, it is plural. In English, it should be "the First and Second Chambers." I wasn't marked wrong, but I'll report it.


    That is confusing: one time Eerste Kamer = Senate, then again First Chamber!!! The same with Tweede Kamer , sometimes Second Chamber then again Houses of...!!!???????


    How about "the MPs examine the laws" rather than simply looking at them?


    English speakers tend to only use "one" in this sense as a last resort. How about "the members" ? (with a plural verb of course)


    "Upper and lower houses" -- easily understood.


    Why the ridiculous "one" and not the more precise "the members"?


    Because it's the proper translation of "men". "One" is only "ridiculous" in English because it's fallen out of fashion, but there's no other good ways to translate this kind of thing short of rephrasing it to use the passive voice, using a plural pronoun (which is problematic as it changes the meaning). "The members" is in no way more precise because now you're making a reference to an agent the original lacked.


    The courses own translation says differently! The responses are misleading.

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