Quick tip: Beware that you don’t translate names

boy looking at paper of boy sitting next to him

Boy cheating in class, 1937. Photo: Wiel van der Randen, collection Nationaal Archief

Many genealogists who don’t speak Dutch use Google Translate or Chrome to translate Dutch websites into English. But sometimes, these programs translate more than you want.

A person named Van der Molen might become From the Mill or a Dhr. Timmerman becomes Mr. Carpenter. The same could happen with geographical names: a village called De Rijp might become The Ripe and a street address Haven 5 might become Harbor 5.

Next time you see an English name in a translated text, check the original text to see what it says.

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for 20 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

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