"De sterke mannen houden van kleine, zachte dieren."
Translation:The strong men love small soft animals.
In French, adjectives are placed in the order beauty, age, number, goodness (or badness), size.
Does a similar rule apply in Dutch? If so, what is the preferred adjective order?
It really depends on the context.
If you see a comma between the adjectives, it means that both adjectives are equally "important", so you can switch them. If there is no comma, they are ordered in a specific way for a reason.
The most inherent adjectives are the closest to the noun (e.g. material), and contrasting adjectives (depends on the context) are placed in front of other adjectives:
- Deze dure Italiaanse auto koop ik niet, omdat ik niet zo veel geld heb. - I do not buy this expensive Italian car, because I do not have that amount of money. ("dure" is contrasting here, because you are looking for a cheaper car)
- Deze Italiaanse dure auto heb ik liever dan die Duitse dure auto. - I prefer this expensive Italian car over that expensive German car. ("Italiaanse" and "Duitse" are contrasting adjectives in this sentence)
Is the Dutch statement about all strong men in general, or only about some strong men previously mentioned (or otherwise known to the speaker and hearer)?
If the Dutch statement is about all strong men in general, then the correct translation into English is "Strong men love ...", not "The strong men love ... ".
Or, to put the matter another way, how does Dutch say "Strong men love animals"? Does it use a definite article?