Quick Tip – Use Google Translate App to Translate Publications

Did you know you can use the Google Translate app on your phone to translate publications? Just click the camera icon in the app and point it at a printed text. Google Translate will show the translation in place. I first saw this when one of my clients used it to translate a Dutch plaque next to a monument and a Dutch menu. You can also use it … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Use an old Dutch-English dictionary

Older Dutch records often use words that no longer exist in modern Dutch, or that have changed meaning. Modern dictionaries or automatic translators will often get it wrong. Using an older Dutch-English dictionary may help you understand the meaning. One such dictionary is A Large Dictionary English and Dutch, where the second half is … [Read more...]

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...]