world Iconspeaker_3 Wereld
[de we-reld, de we-rel-den]

“Wereld” may refer to our planet as a location in general (e.g. the countries of the world), all the people on our planet (e.g. the whole world knows), or the group of people indicated by a determination (e.g. the world of football)

“Wereld” can also be used as a prefix to a noun to express the fine quality of something: “een wereldbaan“(a great job), “een wereldgozer” (a great guy), etc.

– “Hoeveel landen zijn er in de wereld?” – “Joost mag het weten…” 
(“How many countries in the world are there?” – “Heaven knows…”)

– “Ik ben verliefd, en de hele wereld mag het weten!” 
(“I’m in love, and the whole world can know!”)

– “De wereld van het internet kent geen grenzen.” 
(“The world of the internet knows no boundaries.”)

– “Geef de kinderen een wereld waar het goed is om te blijven.”  We_are_the_world
(“Give the children a world where it’s good to stay.”)

– “Genees de wereld, maak het een betere plek.” 
(“Heal the world, make it a better place.”)

– “Wij zijn de wereld, wij zijn de kinderen.” 
(“We are the world, we are the children.”)

– “Het is een kleine wereld”: it’s a small world after all.
– “Ter wereld”: in the world.

– “Het hoogste gebouw ter wereld.”
(“The highest building in the world.”)

– “Ter wereld brengen”: to give birth to (lit.: to bring into the world).
– “Naar de andere wereld helpen”: to launch into eternity, to kill (lit.: to help into the other world).
– “Een man/vrouw van de wereld”: a man/woman of the world.

Related words:
– Aarde: earth [noun] [de aarde, <no plural>].
– Wereldkundig: public, universally known, known to the world [adjective].

– “Frank heeft zijn beslissing om het bedrijf te verlaten nog niet wereldkundig gemaakt.”
(“Frank has not made his decision to leave the company public yet.”)

– Planeet: planet [noun] [de planeet, de planeten].
– Iedereen: everybody [pronoun].

9 thoughts on “Wereld

  1. The translation of wereldkundig needs to be corrected: instead of “know to the world” it should be “known to the world”. Also, “notorious” in not a correct translation because in English, notorious means “famous for bad reasons” e.g. a notorious criminal, a notorious gambler, a notorious womanizer. You can’t say a notorious good guy (unless you’re being sarcastic) because that would mean “a bad good guy” (which is a contradiction in terms). You can say that Prince Bernhard was a notorious liar but not that Queen Juliana was a notorious helper of people, because notorious only means “known because of a bad quality” and not simply “well known” or wereldkundig.

  2. @ Thomas
    ‘…notorious means “famous for bad reasons”…a notorious womanizer’
    Depends on your point of view I guess! 🙂

  3. Exactly (which, I was told the other day, is not ‘genau’, as I guessed (from German) but ‘precies’ in Dutch). And if your point of view is that you hate do-gooders, you COULD say that Queen Juliana was a notorious helper of people.

  4. Dutch Gurus, that’s an interesting point Peter makes.
    I had the idea that “Exactly” as Peter was using it above – an exclamation or interjection – would be “inderdaad”?
    And the “exactly” when used in a “precies” sense would be found more in a statement like “ik weet niet precies”, that is to express inexactitude.
    Can you lighten my darkness?

  5. Hi Chris,
    “Inderdaad” can be used here; it is to confirm what you expected, or that it is as expected, or that you agree (while confirming it was as expected).
    I could for example say:
    “Chris, inderdaad kun je hier ‘inderdaad’ gebruiken.”
    “Is de bus al vertrokken?” – “Ik zal even voor je kijken. O, ik zie dat hij inderdaad al vertrokken is.”
    However, you can use ‘precies’ as in ‘yes, that’s the way it is’ without necessarily implying that it was as expected.
    Don’t know if it makes sense, the difference can be subtle, and as my second example shows, you can’t just replace ‘inderdaad’ by ‘precies’.
    Hope this helps,

  6. @Peter – Quite often you can derive a Dutch word from a German word (or vice versa 😉 ), but (‘inderdaad’) it doesn’t always work. It can be in fact a dangerous bet (and a frustration for Germans learning Dutch). In the case of ‘precies’, it is obviously closer to English.
    It is interesting to notice that Dutch words seem to be ‘in between’ German and English. There are of course also words that do not resemble German, nor English.

  7. Thanks Sander, that clears it up for me.
    By the way, I fully agree with your analysis of Dutch/German/English. I’ve often landed in trouble by trying to apply my German knowledge to Dutch!
    The downside of knowing Dutch and German I find is that one starts to use Dutch words in a German conversation. “Mogelijk” instead of “möglich” was a recent example 🙁

Comments are closed.