1. path, pathway, walk, track [noun] [het pad, de paden]
The Netherlands are well-known for the ubiquitous bicycle paths, in cities and in the countryside.
The fact that all is flat here of course stimulates cycling in the first place, however the Dutch seem to make a point out of creating the infrastructure as well. If you find yourself cycling where there is no bicycle path, you are in principle allowed to bike on the street but of course you have to use common sense here. Sometimes it is obvious that you shouldn’t! In any case: biking on the pavement is prohibited, the fine is 30 Euros 🙂 .
"Pad" is a word that can have both "de" and "het" as an article. However, mind that the meaning changes with the article! See the second translation below.
– "Dit is een voetpad. Hier mag je niet fietsen!"
("This is a foot path. You are not allowed to bike here!")
– "Ik fietste naar het werk, en toen hield plotseling het fietspad op!!"
("I was biking to work, and then suddenly the bike path ended!!")
– "Het pad naar de verlichting is niet geplaveid!"
("The path to enlightenment is not paved!")
– "Het gaat niet om het doel, maar om het pad ernaar toe."
("It is not about the goal, but about the path leading to it." The word "ernaar" is like "to there".)
– "En langs het tuinpad van mijn vader…"
("And along the garden path of my father…" This is a line from the song ‘Het dorp’, performed by the famous Dutch cabaret performer from the 60s-70s: Wim Sonneveld. He is an icon of Dutch comedy/variété.)
– "Op pad gaan.": lit. "to go on path" this is said when you are going outside for some kind of activity that involves travel, like a daytrip or excursion. Example: "Kom, we gaan op pad!".
– "Zebrapad": pedestrian crossing.
– "Voetpad": foot path.
– "Fietspad": bike path.
– "Stoep": pavement, sidewalk.
– "Trottoir": fancy synonym for "stoep"; adoption of French "trottoir".
2. toad [noun] [de pad, de padden]
Marc and I have been training lately for the CPC-run that will be held in The Hague this coming Saturday. Part of the track is uphill through a bit of a woody area with a pond down the hill. In the evening the road is closed off because of the so-called "paddentrek", which is the toads’ (spring)
migration (literally it translates to something like the "toads hike"). We are no experts, but apparently, in spring, toads leave the woods during the night to do some kind of business in the pond. The road is not closed off for pedestrians, but you still have to watch out not to step on one!
– "Niet iedereen is bekend met de ‘paddentrek’. "
("Not everybody is familiar with the ‘toads’ migration’. ")
– "Ik weet niet of een pad ook in een prins kan veranderen als je hem zoent."
("I don’t know if a toad can also change into a prince if you kiss it.")
– "Kikker": frog.
My wife Tina is familiar with the fine. She was stopped for biking down the Langstraat shopping area in Wassenaar. It’s not too fair — that street is full of fietsers, although most of them are kids.