Read Babel by Louis Couperus in Dutch

In Interlinear, the Dutch text is followed by an English translation below each word or phrase.

How the Interlinear translation method works
How the Interlinear translation method works, vertical display

Interlinear is like subtitles for books…

Explanation of the Interlinear method in two steps
Explanation of the Interlinear method in two steps
More about Interlinear

What is Babel about?

Babel is a fiction novel written by the Dutch writer Louis Couperus and published for the first time in 1901. The novel is full of symbolism, phantasmagoric and historical elements. It tells the story of the building of a great tower, while also conjuring up a dystopian society and also indirectly offering a critique on the society at Couperus' time.

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One of the most famous writers of the XXth century!

Louis Couperus is a Dutch novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most accomplished and well-known Dutch writers of all times. A prolific traveller and author, he wrote lyric poetry, psychological and historical novels, dystopias, fairy tales and many other kinds of literature. In 1923, he won the quinquennial (awarded every five years) Tollens Prize for his works that were deemed to have the highest literary value in the preceding five years.

How was this Dutch translation made?

Literal but understandable

Like all of our other Interlinear translations, we have translated words literally and individually as long as such translation is still comprehensible. See this example sentence if translated individually:


Most words are easy to understand and the sentence still makes sense. Well, except for "Hoe zij ook", which is an expression. In this case, we would translate "Hoe zij ook" together as a single unit and the rest of the sentence individually in order to make sure that we translate at the minimum unit of meaning that makes sense:

Hoe zij ookNo matter how much they

It is notable that Dutch and English are remarkably structurally close languages, and hence we have managed to stay very literal for most of the book.

Embracing cognates

Just like in our other Interlinear translations of closely related languages, we have tried to use cognate Dutch and English translations whenever possible.

For example, we translated bevrijder as freer (and not liberator), zwermden as swarmed (and not flocked), dik as thick (and not fat, corpulent or similar), grondvestte as grounded (and not basedfounded), etc.

We hope that this may help highlight the sound changes between English and Dutch and also help learners remember words.

However, we did such highlighting of cognates with the knowledge that there are also false cognates or simply situations where the meanings of words in Dutch and English have diverged too much to be useful. In those cases, we did not use cognates.

Accompanied by audio

This product is accompanied by a free Dutch audiobook. The audiobook comes as a collection of mp3 audio files, which can be downloaded and played on your computer, phone or other device.

Translated by Steffen Haugk.

This Interlinear book includes:

  • 137 standard-book pages
  • over 22 thousand translated words and expressions
  • original text with updated Dutch & aligned Interlinear translations
  • a separately available Dutch-only version of the text to get additional practice after having read the text with the Interlinear translation
  • files in the printable or electronically readable PDF format, as well as MOBI and EPUB format files for Kindles and other e-book readers, tablets, and phones - all immediately available to download
  • a free audiobook recorded by a native Dutch speaker included!

Available to order right now.


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