Dutch Literature in Hungary

“I am a sincere friend of the Hungarian-Dutch cultural understanding”, stated Hedrik Colijn during his visit to Budapest in 1926 to a Hungarian journalist. In the interview the ex-prime minister of the Netherlands expressed an enthusiastically positive evaluation about the long historical and cultural contacts between the two countries. However, when asked about the literary contacts, he continued in a more pessimistic tone: “the barrier to a closer literary connection is that the languages ​​of the two nations are not world languages ​​and are limited to the national borders.” In general, his statement is a valid analysis of the difficulty of literary transfer between small languages, or what in the terms of translation sociology would now be called peripheral languages. Especially of two languages that are nor linguistically related to each other, spoken in countries which have no geographical proximity or strong economic ties. Nevertheless, at closer observation one must conclude that Colijn was wrong, the translation history between Dutch and Hungarian is rich and has a long history.