Category Archives: Common errors, false friends and Dutchisms

This category is for posts relating to common mistakes made by Dutch legal professionals when working in English, including dutchisms, false friends, word errors and confusingly similar words.

“Fiscal” does not mean “fiscaal”

One of the English legal words that Dutch professionals tend to overuse and misuse is “fiscal”. Fiscaal is not the same as “fiscal”. “Fiscal” is a “false friend” The Dutch word fiscaal often refers to “tax”. The English equivalent “fiscal” tends to be incorrectly used as the English equivalent. However, English speakers do not use… Read more


An English-speaking lawyer working with Dutch legal professionals soon notices that certain English words tend to be overused and used in ways that do not seem conventional. One of those words is “legalise” or “legalisation”.  (Some would spell this as “legalize” and “legalization”, especially in the US.) Legalise = to make lawful In everyday English,… Read more

Advice & advise

“Advice” is uncountable One of the most common mistakes made by Dutch lawyers is to forget that the noun “advice” is uncountable. This means that “advices” and “an advice” are always wrong. Reframe it as uncountable. Refer to “our advice” or “the advice”. You could also express adviezen as “letters of advice” or “advice letters”…. Read more