police [noun] [de politie, <no plural>]

The Dutch police is divided in 25 regional police forces and one national police force (the KLPD). More information on the organizational structure and the several ranks can be found at Wikipedia.

– "Er is een ongeluk gebeurd! Bel de politie!"
("There has been an accident! Call the police!" The word "ongeluk" appeared earlier in 129. File.)

– "De politie heeft een 38-jarige man gearresteerd op verdenking van moord."
("The police have arrested a 38 year old man on suspicion of murder.")

Note that "politie" is singular in Dutch ("heeft" is the singular conjugation of the verb "hebben"), opposed to plural in English ("have", not "has").

– "De politie is je beste kameraad."
("The police is your best pal." A really old Dutch song about the police being one’s best friend. How times have changed…)

– "Laten we de weg even vragen aan die politieagent."
("Let’s ask that police officer for some directions." Literally: "Let’s ask that police officer for the road.")

Note that the word "even" is not really translated. Literally, it would translate to "briefly" or "shortly". In Dutch it is used frequently though to indicate that a certain activity will not take long. In spoken language, "even" is often corrupted to "effe".

– <de ene zakkenroller tegen de andere>: "Kijk jij effe of er politie in de buurt is…"
(<one pickpocket to the other>: "You go see if there’s police around…")

Related words:
– "Arresteren": to arrest.
– "Politieagent": police officer.
– "Zakkenroller": pickpocket.

In times of polical campaigning, the following slogan can often be heard: "Meer blauw op straat!", which literally translates to "More blue on the streets!" Since the Dutch police wear blue uniforms, this slogan obviously stands for the intention to have more police officers patrolling in the streets.

2 thoughts on “Politie

  1. For the real Dutch language enthusiasts, this is a list of informal “street” synonyms for “politie” that I have come across in my life:
    “de wouten”
    “de juten”
    “de kit”
    “de flikken” (Flemish)
    There will probably be more, but hey, I was an innocent child… 🙂

  2. flic is French slang for a policeman.
    U.S. synonyms:
    John Law (okay, I’ve only ever heard my late grandmother say this, but it still counts)
    The Man
    the heat
    Most of these I’ve never heard outside of the movies. Cop used to be derogatory and now it’s just casual.

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