Les Intraduisibles: Dutch-English

Term Author Discussants
Administratie Rutgers Mark
'Administratie' is not equivalent to the English 'administration'. It has a much more limited meaning and refers primarily to 'the record office', such as captured in 'financial administration'.
Agentschap Rutgers Mark
In public administration 'agentschap' refers to a unit of central government that has a different financial regime from the central department, but does still resides under ministerial responsibility. Generally speaking 'agentschap' refers to a branch office (for instance a 'postagentschap' can be a small postoffice run by some local entrepreneur as part of his/her shop). In this sense it can be equivalent to 'agency'. See also 'agency' in the English-Dutch dictionary.
Besturen Rutgers Mark
To govern, rule, run (a country), manage, administer, steer (a ship, motor car, bike: see also "sturen"). "Besturen" of a car involves all activities involved in driving, wheras "sturen" commonly only trefers to the changing of direction (the actual turning the steering wheel). Similar in organizations, "besturen"(steering, managing) (by "het bestuur", i.e. the board of directors) concerns the management of an organization, whilst "sturen" of an organization is only used in relation to determine, for instance, the goals, i.e. to have things working a specific direction: to direct.
Koninklijk Rutgers Mark
At face value this is translatable as royal, regal, or kingly ("koning" means king). But royal may also be similar to national or state. It is the prerogative of the crown to allow some organization to be named "koninklijk" (royal). Thus the "Koninklijk Concertgebouw" (Royal Philharmonic), de "Koninklijke Luchtvaartmaatschappij" (KLM, royal airlines) or any "koninklijk" approved firm, or association by no means has to be governmental, but is allowed this prefix of "royal approval" as a favor of the Dutch monarch. This is not determined by elected politicans (yet, the monarch can formally not act without ministerial consent, so strictly speaking it is subject to political approval). In the case of the "Koninklijke Luchtmacht"(royal airforce), we are clearly dealing with a branch of the state. There is, however, also a legal "koninklijke goedkeuring" (royal approval), which implies that the members of the board of some society (an amateur drame company or so) cannot be held personally responsible in the case of some (financial or other) mishap. In this case the monarch has nothing to do with it whatsoever, but the decision to give this approval is purely administrative.
Medebewind Rutgers Mark
'Medebewind' ('co-governance') refers the carrying out of tasks and making of regulations by local and regional government and other public authorities as required by higher authorities (the central governement, most of the time). The lower authorities are obliged to carry out the tasks ('medebewindstaken'; particularly regarding the registry office) or to make rules and regulations in a specific area.
Openbaar Rutgers Mark
Public (but there is also "publiek" which means "public", but is used partly in different contexts, thus a "public debate" can be both an "openbaar debat" and a "publiek debat". The first may imply that evrybody can participate in the debate, the latter that everyone can listen to it. But this is by no means fixed ). "Openbaar maken": to make public, to announce, to publish, to expose.
Rijk Rutgers Mark
State empire, kingdom, realm, domination (koninkrijk = kingdom) (also: rich, wealthy, opulent). "Rijks-" refers to governmental, not necessarily royal. Thus the Rijksmuseum is the national museum (but certainly not royal "koninklijk" museum). "Rijk" and "rijks" is often prefered to state ("staat") and national ("nationaal") and has a diffent meaning (whereas in German it is "Staats..", i.e. as in Staatsmuseum). Royal as a prefix ("koninklijk") is more rare and much more specific (see the entry "koninklijk"). "Rijksambt" is a government office, and "rijksbeheer" is state administration, "rijksbelasting" reads federal tax, and "rijksbestuur" is government of the country. "Rijksdienst": state service, but "Rijksluchtvaartdienst" is the Civil Aviation Authority, "Rijksmunt": coin of the realm or Royal Mint. As the examples illustrate, "rijk" refers to something as belonging to, being part of the state or central government.
Sturen Rutgers Mark
To steer, send, drive, guide. The inverse "stuurloos" means out of control, without direction. In the study of public administration ("bestuurskunde") a school of thought distinguishes between "besturen" and "sturen" as to the difference between all the intellectual activities involved in "steering a car" versus the "act of steering". Compare the difference between the captain of a ship who plots the course and decides what to do, versus the "stuurman" or steersman or navigating officer who "merely" implements the captain's orders.