Dutch is a very logical language. If you know how to see it, you can clearly see that Dutch has a very logical system of its own when it comes to vocabulary. The only thing that you may have to do is to stretch your thinking or association skills now and then.
Let’s take the word licht. This means light in the sense of not dark and in the sense of not heavy and sometimes it can also mean not difficult, just like in English. So… do you have any idea what verlichting could mean? Just for fun, let’s play a little….
First of all verlichting is everything that gives light. You can get it from a bulb or a candle. And why not? If you like, you can also use it in a spiritual sense…verlichting is something that you can translate with enlightenment. Therefore in Dutch, it is very easy to find enlightenment… Any lamp could do the trick! But of course, it does not stop here….
All the things you can do with light…..
But of course, it does not stop there… if you like you could also get it from an Aspirine. Verlichting could also mean that you experience less pain. Verlichting is also something that many polititians love to promise… if they lowered taxes then somehow life would be less heavy (but then surprise, surprise after the elections they never do it)
Here is another typical Dutch way of looking at light… Do you have any ideal what voorlichting could mean? The idea is that someone shines a light in front of you, when you are in complete darkness. Therefore you could translate it with information, education and even raising awareness. In Holland you can find voorlichting about many different things…. about starting up your own business, how to raise children and if you like, even about sex… So therefore, the next word should be easy for you to guess… voorlichter… Yes, that is right… it is the person or institution that gives the information, so that you do not have to be in the dark anymore….
Always be careful when you interpret things!
Can you see how logical Dutch works? There are many more associations that you could make. But… always be careful, because Dutch is full of surprises… How would you translate the next sentence? Ik licht je op. If you think in English, then probably you’ll think that it is something positive, but…. in this case it is not! Remember that light also means not heavy… so in this sense it means that someone takes things away, often money… If a person takes all your gold, then sure you will feel lighter, but not in the positive sense of the word! Therefore, een oplichter is more like a thief, taking money from you with lies and tricks…. But… now that you think about it, is also makes sense right?
Here is the positive message… Many people struggle certainly with Dutch vocabulary, because they don’t know that there is a system. But… once you know that a certain system exists, it will be far easier for you to understand much more and to learn loads and loads of new words rapidly! That is why it is easy to make Dutch light… just start to see it in a whole new light!