How to translate imprint into Dutch? What should be in the imprint? And how is it in the Netherlands with warnings?
Published on 07-09-2017 in: Idioms& Vocabulary Last updated 27-07-2020 // 28 comments.
No website without imprint. This is the situation in Germany. But how do you call imprint in Dutch? And apply there also so strict rules?
The situation in Germany: imprint obligation
Each Website, which pursues also only rudimentarily business purposes, needs a so-called offerer marking. Thus it prescribes the legislator in Germany in §5 of the telemedia law. It contains information about the operator, such as contact details, but also, depending on the company, a lot of additional information. For this kind of information, the term has become established in German Imprint enforced.
And in Dutch?
The quick answer?
A one-to-one translation of Imprint does not exist.
Does one know then in the Netherlands no imprint obligation?
Yes, even in my home country there is a duty to inform for website operators. It is specified in the Civil Code. Who would like to know it exactly, finds the details there in Boek 6, titel 5, afdeling 2B Bepalingen voor overeenkomsten tussen handelaren en consumenten.
Just as in Germany, the information must be easily, directly and permanently accessible on the website.
Under which term and where exactly to place them, this is much more relaxed regulated in the Netherlands than in Germany, where there are countless court cases that deal with the issue.
The imprint. Who has none in Germany, lives dangerously.
No competitor or lawyer in the Netherlands will come to the idea to warn a company because of errors in the imprint, as it is unfortunately common practice in Germany.
So what does a Dutch imprint look like?
First of all: Where to find it?
The provider identification on Dutch websites can usually be found in the footer area. There it appears for example under Over ons (About us), Klantenservice (customer service), Bedrijfsgegevens (information about the company) or simply under Contact at.
And what does it say?
In principle, a Dutch imprint should contain the following information:
- Company name, legal form
- Address (location)
- phone number, if necessary. Fax number
- E-mail address
- KvK-number (roughly corresponds to the entry in the German commercial register)
- Btw-number (the Dutch VAT identification number)
Information on professional liability insurance, as required in Germany for service providers by the DL-InfoV, is not required in the Netherlands – neither the name and address of the insurer nor information on the geographic area of coverage.
A fast and direct way to contact
So also Dutch websites must have an imprint. It serves to show customers and prospective customers who they are dealing with and to offer them a direct possibility of contact. The most important information in it is the same as in Germany.
The designation of this provider identification is less strict than in Germany, where – to avoid confrontations with warning lawyers and courts – it is best to use only the terms Imprint or Contact used.
Imprint in Dutch – the vexed translation question
Direct translation of the word Imprint bad. If you look in a renowned German-Dutch dictionary like Van Dale looks up, finds colofon. However, this refers only to the publishing industry. It is written for example in Dutch magazines. On websites is colofon out of place.
By the way, this is not only in Dutch, but also in English. Also there is no real equivalent to Imprint. It is definitely not called Imprint, as one unfortunately often reads. Rather appropriate are Legal Notice or About this website.
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So also dutch websites must have an imprint.
Zoals ik de Nederlandse wet lees, geldt het vooral voor webwinkels. Dus hopelijk niet voor bijvoorbeeld freelancevertalers zoals ik. Ik doe weliswaar niet geheimzinnig over mijn identiteit, maar woonadres (=bedrijfsadres) en telefoonnummer (zowel zakelijk als prive) zet ik niet op mijn website.
Complicatie is ook dat bij de rechtsvorm ‘eenmanszaak’ (staat dat zo in de wet? wat als de ondernemer een vrouw is?) het btw-number grotendeels bestaat uit het burgerservicenummer (vroeger sofinummer, sociaal-fiscaal) en dat moet je, om identiteitsfraude de bemoeilijken, nou juist NIET overal rondstrooien.
De staatssecretaris is met dat probleem bekend, maar weigert er iets aan te doen. Ik maak mijn eigen keuze en vermeld dat nummer beslist NIET op mijn website.
Ik maak mijn eigen keuze en vermeld dat nummer beslist NIET op mijn website.
In principle I see it the same way as you. However, this is an attitude that one can allow oneself in the Netherlands, but not here in Germany.
If you are an entrepreneur, your address is a mandatory information on your website. if you have your office in your home, you can’t avoid giving your private address, according to the law.
The problem with btw/bsn-number for freelancers I know. I can’t give you legal advice, but again it seems like you have to give it.
Mooi woord, warning mania!
Het woord ‘impressum’ bestaat theoretisch in het Nederlands ook, maar het wordt inderdaad zelden of nooit gebruikt. Invoeren as Duits leenwoord dan maar? Anyway at all een goed idee.
a very interesting article, also because I haven’t seen this information written so clearly anywhere before. Last year, when I partially translated the website into Dutch for my company and mainly maintained the content, I also had a hard time naming this area. Now I actually named him (as you write wrong) as Colofon. I will try to correct that then. However, contact and about us is already occupied with other information and separated from the "imprint". The webshop is based on a German template…
Glad I could bring some light into the dark, Stephanie.
If you already have a contact and "about us" page, Dutch customers will find you for sure.
Thank you, Alex, for this detailed and important article!
Your blog is not only about language and here is another proof that language is more than mastering vocabulary and grammar.
Important? Well, perhaps not all readers of the blog will be as enthusiastic as I am, because it is a technical and legal essay. And it is also "only" about the small print in books and websites, which is seldom considered.
But it is worth for all readers to read at least 1 time to the end. Because the topic is an example that there is a small world hidden behind every word. Neither a good dictionary nor Google can help there.
… that behind every word hides a small world
Nicely put, Michael I wanted to write this article much earlier. As a translator of websites from German to Dutch, the imprint keeps running across my path.
the expression ‘Impressum’ is once again a typical German daswarschonimmerso im-pressive example, to take over a preferably Latin ductus from imperial times 1:1, and to carve it in stone for all times, even if nothing is printed anymore.
Of course there is then also by the legal obligation a lot of fodder for the Abmahn-law mafia. Halay business, by the way, can also affect (non-profit) associations, when I took over the home page of our small imprint-less paddling club in 2000, I reflexively added an imprint as a first act of state.
And I still catch myself looking quickly at new sites for the Afdruck, which would also be the halay correct literal translation in Dutch.
As I’m planning a short trip to Amsterdam on my way back from Brittany, I will of course scan all nederlandse geboorte-pagina for their proper marking, maybe there’s still a chance for some extra income
Breton greetings Jo
Imperial? But it is true, Imprint is already a mighty impressive word, with which also to me the expression "chiseled in stone" had already come into the sense.
That with the extra income unfortunately nothing becomes, since the business model with the warnings does not function in the Netherlands. There one sets on rather on a direct, clarifying communication with one another – without lawyers.
An interesting entry. Had myself once a weblog. This is probably once again a TYPICALLY GERMAN phenomenon. This it MUST… It must be called best imprint or contact….and…and..
Probably this is a typical German way of thinking. If you do not regulate and prescribe something, but let people decide for themselves, it will inevitably get out of hand.
How is that actually, do private sites also need an imprint?
My own weblog (it was only about "this& that") I had given up. The fear to be warned because of something was too big for me. Unfortunately there are many possibilities for lawyers in Germany to make fast money.
How is that actually, do private sites also need an imprint?
No, but the problem is that according to German law hardly any website is classified as purely private.
It is a pity that people refrain from starting a blog due to the enormous legal uncertainty that exists here in Germany in terms of the Internet, or leave it alone for this reason.
Such a circus one makes probably also only in D-country with. De rechtsspraak is niet lekker in Duitsland. Fits this?
Yes unfortunately. I would like to start a blog with NL reference. But for that I would have to secure myself thoroughly first. Otherwise it would probably be legally like russich rouilette play and that would have no relation to D or NL.
De rechtspraak is niet lekker in Duitsland. Fits that?
No, unfortunately not, Julian. In that case a Dutchman would not use "lekker".
About your project: Please don’t be intimidated by the uncertain legal situation in Germany. That would be a pity!
‘Indruk’ of ‘Impressie’ zou als vertaling kunnen, maar heb ik nog nooit gezien. ‘About’ of ‘Over’ worden het meest voor dit doel gebruikt. Deze vraag zou Iusmentis ook eens kunnen behandelen. Op zijn site heeft hij er bitter weinig werk van gemaakt.
Zelf heb ik wel ooit m’n eigen versie bedacht, maar dan met de insteek dat iedereen alles van me mag lenen. Daarbij is het een hobbyblog onder pseudoniem zonder KvK-nummer.
He, wat raar, op Iusmentis vind ik inderdaad niets over het Duitse Imprint.
Hobby blogs under a pseudonym are no problem at all in the Netherlands. In Germany almost everyone falls under the imprint obligation.
In times of fake news and whistleblowers I would like to make a remark about the German imprint obligation, which may sound anecdotal. But I have something against anonymous publications and the German press law has a meaning and a history!
Freedom of the press, just like freedom of opinion, includes the civil courage to stand by one’s opinion or publication as a person and to be held responsible, in extreme cases even to take legal action against oneself. Like Martin Luther: Here I stand and can’t help it!
In old Prussia and at the time of the Kaiser, every newspaper had a "seat editor", who was named in the masthead as the responsible editor and who, in case of a conviction for libel, went to jail (prison sentence). This was never the best man in the team, but for him serving such punishments was a contractual part of the job. No matter whether the message was basically true or false. The judgement was to be accepted, the work of the newspaper went on in the meantime. For there have always been, just as today, people of influence who had the power to suppress criticism or the disclosure of inconvenient or embarrassing facts.
I have also nothing against an imprint obligation in itself. The problem is the way it is abused here in Germany by Abmahnanwalte to make people pay for getting lost in the thicket of rules – and the uncertain legal situation regarding the internet, which (u.a.) has arisen from it. I think they are extremely anti-innovation.
Besides, there are enough cases where you don’t want to be on the internet with your real name and address. What if you write about a controversial topic, for example, or about a disease that you don’t want the whole world to know you have ..
I see that like you Alex.
What would actually happen if a German in Germany hosts his blog with a Dutch provider??
If I am not mistaken, neo-Nazis host their websites in the USA to be safe from the German legal situation.
On the subject of lekker. Okay, I learned something again. I thought one can write that something is not lekker and/or. wanted to do. So the opposite with lekker so it is not lekker does not go?
I will not be dissuaded from my blog. But I don’t have time to start yet.
What would actually happen if a German in Germany hosted his blog with a Dutch provider??
I assume strongly that the German conditions apply then nevertheless.
To use lekker there is a separate article here on buurtaal:
Much can lekker be and things can indeed be lekker lopen (or just not). What lekker what can be and what not, but you have to develop a feeling for that – and that takes time
A South African woman once told me (she knew Afrikaans) roughly you can use it with everything that is positive.
in NL blogging seems to be not dangerous and fun. Look here:
So it is possible
When do you start?
Depends on if it’s worth it. At the moment I have a few other things to manage. I couldn’t offer any NL related posts yet ;-). Even if I have been there.
There was once a great Dutch blog provider named: web-log.nl. Made me happy to read a few blogs that I came across.
Oh, it occurs to me, however, that prison sentences in Prussia’s time were often coercive measures to prevent the betrayal of sources or. to force informants!
At the latest with this aspect of the freedom of the press it becomes serious.
Much better than the Google or Bing translator: Deepl.
In some respects indeed better, but not relevant for this topic
look nevertheless times here: Where is the imprint, I can’t find it!
Hi Martin, there seems to be none. I don’t find it either (not a rarity on Dutch and English language websites).
Since 2009 the buurtaal blog gives Dutch tips for Germans& German tips for Dutch people. Away from the cliches and always with a pinch of Dutch irony.
I am Alexandra Kleijn, a Dutch woman in Germany, and the woman behind buurtaal.