Les Intraduisibles: Dutch-English


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.

Rutgers Mark 3/7/2002