Quick—where is Dutch spoken? Most people can probably guess the Netherlands and Belgium, the two shining stars of the Dutch-speaking world. Some people might even be able to identify Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten as further Dutch-speaking territories—though technically part of the Netherlands, they’re located in the Caribbean and are considered at least partially Dutch-speaking, despite relying mostly on English or Papiamento. But there’s one more Dutch-speaking country that only the geographically savviest could guess—that’s Suriname.
Suriname is a relatively small country hugging the northeast coast of South America, sandwiched between Guyana and French Guiana. The territory was originally inhabited by the indigenous Arawak and Carib peoples, both major tribes throughout South America and the Caribbean, until Dutch and English settlers colonized the land in the 17th century. Though Suriname gained independence from the Netherlands in 1975, Dutch remains the only official language, with eight indigenous languages recognized as regional languages. About 80% of Suriname’s 600,000-odd population speaks Dutch, with around 60% of the population speaking it as a first language, meaning there are roughly 500,000 speakers of Surinamese Dutch. That’s still not enough for most translation companies to build a dedicated Surinamese Dutch translation team—but here at TranslationServices.com, we’re proud to serve this oft-overlooked Dutch dialect.
Why not message us today and ask about a free quote for our Surinamese Dutch translation services?
Dutch’s role in multilingual Surinamese society
Suriname is a linguistically diverse country, with several languages unique to the land. One of the most common languages is Sarnami (or Caribbean Hindustani), a mixture of Indian languages Bhojpuri and Awadhi that developed through communication between indentured servants from India. Javanese and varieties of Chinese, specifically Hakka and Cantonese, are also common in the country for the same reason. Several indigenous languages are still spoken by thousands of people in Suriname, and six Maroon languages—English-based creoles with heavy influences from African and indigenous languages—are found throughout the land.
In daily life and business, Surinamese people tend to use Sranan Tongo, an English-based creole unique to Suriname that functions as the country’s lingua franca. But more than half of the population are native Dutch speakers, with a good 20% or more learning the language as a second language, and Dutch is the language of education, media, and government. Most Surinamese people are bilingual in Dutch and Sranan Tongo, with Sranan Tongo used in less formal settings and Dutch regarded with prestige. Suriname is a member of the Nederlandse Taalunie (Dutch Language Union), and the Surinamese dialect is dotted with unique vocabulary, collocations, and grammar, differentiating it significantly from the Dutch spoken in Europe.
Let us translate to and from Surinamese Dutch for you.
Most times, when you hire a Dutch translator, you get a professional from the Netherlands or Belgium. But Surinamese Dutch differs from European Dutch in a number of ways, so European Dutch translators simply can’t deliver the quality you rely on if you’re looking for a Surinamese Dutch translation. That’s why we compiled our own Surinamese Dutch translation team, dedicated to working with this unique Dutch dialect.
We’ve selected the top Surinamese Dutch translators from all over Suriname, compiling the country’s best translation talent onto a single team. Passionate about their language, our Surinamese Dutch translators leverage the experience they’ve amassed from a multitude of past translation projects—everything from business plans and white papers to academic theses, bestselling novels, and smartphone app localizations—to bring you a professional, accurate Surinamese Dutch translation service specially tailored to your unique needs, whether you need translation to or from Surinamese Dutch, no matter the content.
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