heaven(s), sky [noun] [de hemel, de hemelen] Iconspeaker_3

"Hemel" is used for the place where the good people (supposedly) go after they die, as well as for the sky that covers the earth.

– "Onze Vader die in de hemel zijt."  Heaven
("Our Father who art in heaven.")

– "Zijn ze niet mooi, al die sterren aan de hemel?" 
("Aren’t they beautiful, all those stars in the sky?")

– "Ken je ‘De ontdekking van de hemel’ van Harry Mulish?" 
("Do you know ‘Discovery of heaven’ by Harry Mulish?")

– "In hemelsnaam, ga niet!" 
("For heaven’s sake, don’t go!")

– "De zon staat hoog aan de hemel." 
("The sun is high in the sky.")

– "Mijn/lieve hemel": good heavens. Lit.: My/dear heaven.
– "Hemeltjelief": good heavens. Lit.: Little heaven’s dear.
– "In de zevende hemel": in a state of total bliss, in heaven. Lit.: in the seventh sky/heaven.

– "Grace is in de zevende hemel. Ze is helemaal verliefd op Will."
("Grace is in a state of total bliss. She’s completely in love with Will.")

– "Hemel en aarde bewegen": to move heaven and earth, to leave no stone unturned.

Related words:
Engel: angel [noun] [de engel, de engelen].
– Hel: hell [noun] [de hel, <no plural>].

– "Goede mensen gaan naar de hemel, slechte mensen naar de hel…"
("Good people go to heaven, bad people to hell…")

Lucht: air, sky [noun] [de lucht, de luchten].
– Ster: star [noun] [de ster, de sterren].
– Aarde: earth [noun] [de aarde, de aardes].
Hemelvaart: ascension [noun] [de hemelvaart, <no plural>].

4 thoughts on “Hemel

  1. Hello guys,
    I think the translation of the expression “In de zevende hemel” is not very accurate.
    “Head in the clouds” denotes someone who is distracted, while “in de zevende hemel” (according to my Dutch colleagues) applies to someone who’s extremely happy.
    Anyway, you are doing a great job!
    Thanks a lot for DWOTD!

  2. Thank you Egor,
    You’re right: If a person has his head in the clouds, they have unrealistic, impractical ideas. And this is not what “in de zevende hemel” means…
    I changed the translation according to your suggestion.

  3. As far as I’m concerned “zevende hemel” is translated as “cloud nine”.
    Zij is in de zevende hemel. (Dutch)
    She’s on cloud nine. (English)
    (to be on )cloud nine actually means :
    (to be) in a state of blissful happiness.
    There are 2 theories ongoing its derivation:
    A commonly heard explanation is that the expression originated as one of the classifications of cloud which were defined by the US Weather Bureau in the 1950s, in which ‘Cloud Nine’ denotes the fluffy cumulonimbus type that are considered so attractive.
    Another explanation is that the phrase derives from Buddhism and that Cloud Nine is one of the stages of the progress to enlightenment of a Bodhisattva (one destined to become a Buddha).
    Please keep in mind I’m not sure whether it’s British or American English. I personally choose American.

  4. An even better translation: “in a state of blissful happines”. I changed it into ” a state of total bliss”…

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