There isn’t one in English. However, German and Dutch speakers sometimes misuse the technical one for “diameter” because the word is the same.
Category Archives: Dual meanings
Security and safety
Dutch authors can be a bit woolly about security (protection against threats) and safety (eliminating risks and hazards), or blur the lines between them.
Insulation and isolation
Both are ‘isolatie’ in Dutch, so it can cause confusion. Especially as there are cases where both get used in English (e.g. electrics).
As you ought to realise
Realising mostly means comprehending rather than creating something: getting the picture, not painting it.
Biological or organic?
Environmentally-aware agriculture is organic in English, not biological.
Only use this to mean someone’s acquired skill and knowledge in English, not as a term for a valuation or checkup or other professional opinion.
Don’t get personal
Remember that ‘personal’ often has overtones of private, intimate and secret and not merely ‘related to the individual’.
A word that takes diametrically opposed meanings, depending on the context, can’t be translated with a one-size-fits-all solution into a language where different words are used for those meanings.
Power, force and strength
Three concepts with distinct, interrelated meanings in physics. And lines that are blurred in everyday usage in differing ways in the different languages. Tricky.
Different from what?
If you can answer that, “verschillende” can be translated as “different”. Otherwise, “various” is often the better solution.