Quick tip – Don’t rely on automatic translators

Automatic translators like Google Translate can be a big help if you don't speak Dutch. However, many older records use terms that no longer exist in modern Dutch, or that have shifted meaning. Automatic translators are also notoriously bad at translating words that may have multiple meanings. An example is the sentence: "Zijn neef was zijn … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Are your translations accurate?

A client sent me a translated marriage record, identifying a nephew as a witness. She had searched for the nephew but could not find any siblings of the person of interest.¬†When I looked at the original marriage record, the witness was called a neef, a term that is used for both nephew and cousin. As it turned out, the witness¬†was a first cousin … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Beware that you don’t translate names

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 … [Read more...]