Dutch Language Blog

Dutch Word of the Month May: De Verademing Posted by on May 27, 2019 in Dutch Language, Dutch Vocabulary, News

In this blog series, we choose a Dutch word of the month. We may tie the word to current events, or just choose one as we see fit. If you have nominations for Word of the Month, please leave them in the comments, and we will consider them. But now, the Word of the Month of May: De Verademing.

Click here for previous Words of the Month

What does it mean?

Een verademing (Image by Eli DeFaria at Unsplash.com)

De verademing is a zelfstanding naamwoord (noun) of the werkwoord (verb) verademen. You would barely ever use the word verademen as a verb, but rather use the zelfstandig naamwoord verademing, or use the onvoltooid deelwoord verademend.

A verademing can be translated as a “regained breath”. The werkwoord verademen means “to breathe again”. Een verademing, then is a breath of fresh air, relief or respite. The beautiful thing of this word is that, no matter in what meaning it is used, the word adem (breath) is always in it. It clearly refers how a verademing comes after a time of pressure, when it was hard to “just breathe” and calm down. It introduces a time or moment in which you can inhale deeply, and think for a moment. The English translation “breath of fresh air” includes that part of the meaning too, but not the other translations.

And you can’t always use “breath of fresh air”, either. A sudden deadline extension is a relief, not a breath of fresh air. Yet, that is een verademing.

You can also use the onvoltooid deelwoord (present participle) verademend, so that you are not bound to use a noun. Again, English has equivalents like “to relief” and thus “relieving” for this. But if you want to use “breath of fresh air”, what verb gives you the same tone and meaning?

Let’s look at some examples to see how nicely it flows:

Na een aantal stressvolle weken is de deadline dan toch uitgesteld. Het is een verademing voor ons bedrijf.

(After a number of stressful weeks, the deadline was extended in the end. It is a relief for our company.)

Mijn nieuwe fiets fietst feel fijner dan mijn oude. Het is zo een verademing!

(My new bike is much nicer to ride than my old one. It is such a breath of fresh air!)

Een nieuwe baan kan erg verademend zijn.

(A new job can be quite relieving.)

Relevance to May

Image by Wai Siew at Unsplash.com

It is May, a month in the Netherlands in which finally, the temperatures are going up and the zon (sun) shines the way we know and love from zomer (summer). However, we are not yet in the punishing hitte (heat) of the zomer. As opposed to the blistering cold of the winter (winter) and early lente (spring), this nicer weer (weather) is quite a breath of fresh air – quite the verademing.

What do you think of the word verademing? Do you have a word like it in your language? Do you have nominations for other words of the month? Let me know in the comments below!

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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.