Native speaker principle

Why have corrections done by a native speaker?

A translator must have a thorough command of both the source and the target language of the translation. However, it’s impossible to master a second language equally well as one’s native tongue. This phenomenon is called the native speaker principle.

Native speaker principle

According to the native speaker principle, people not only have a larger vocabulary and a better intuition about syntax in their native language, but they also have a greater feel for subtle nuance and stylistic differences. This means that a native speaker generally writes better texts in his or her own language than someone who's learned the same language later on in life.

Native translators

Translators are no exception to this principle, and consequently are best at translating into their own native language. For native speaker quality, an accomplished non-native translator can have his or her translations corrected by a native translator* with good text revision skills.

*A native translator is a translator who translates into his or her mother tongue.

Is it necessary to have all of my texts translated or revised by a native translator?

No, not if...

you only need to know what the content of a document is, for example when you receive a letter from a customer or a report from a business partner that only you will read.

Yes, I do recommend this extra check if...

your text will be read by people on whom you want to make a positive impression, such as customers, business partners, potential employees or investors. This includes product leaflets, your corporate website, direct mail, user manuals, books, and so on.

You need these texts to create a positive image, to distinguish yourself from your competitors and to convince the reader to do something (buy your products, apply for a position in your company, recommend your product to other customers and so on). The text has to hit the right note and inspire trust. It’s not enough to just say the right things; they need to be said in the right way. It has to be linguistically and stylistically correct right down to the last detail.

Are you in doubt about what your text needs? Feel free to ask for more information without any obligation.


Did this explanation raise doubts about your own Dutch texts?

Don’t worry. I also like helping to improve Dutch texts so that they’re not only correct, but also clear and persuasive. Read more about this here.