Drs. I.W.M. (Isabelle) van de Calseyde-Hattink

  • Researcher
  • Economic French
  • Juridical French
  • Language learning

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2125
E-Mail: i.w.m.van.de.calseyde@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Leiden Univ Centre for Linguistics, LUCL diversen


As I do not have a permanent office, please contact me on this number: 00 31 653 38 98 25.

Fields of interest

In my current work, I find it fascinating to investigate together with students the diverse facets of French society, in particular within the business sector and the legal world. Using contrastive analysis, students can discover how people express themselves in different environments: how does a Dutch businessman negotiate with his French trading partner, for example? And how does a French-speaking suspect defend himself in a Dutch lawsuit?

Curriculum Vitae

Born in Brugge of Dutch parents and having grown up in Belgium as well as in the Netherlands, I was, from a young age, confronted with two separate languages, Dutch and French, with their respective variants of Flemish and Walloon. Coming into contact with different languages, and consequently with different cultures, so early made me aware of the fundamental diversity in the customs and ideas of both societies.  Through my study and work experiences as a teacher of the French language in the Dutch corporate sector and as a court interpreter for the police and the Justice Department, I considered it an exciting challenge to teach the language on the one hand, and on the other to let Dutch businessmen and lawyers experience how closely language and culture are interwoven.  

  • Responsible for relations with the Paris Chamber of Commerce and CCIP examinations.  
  • Awarded the honour of «Chevalier dans l’ordre des Palmes Académiques» by Claude Allègre, Minister for National Education, 1998.
  • Each year, on the occasion of the "Dies Natalis", the Student Council of Leiden University presents examples of excellent teaching skills, and rewards them, to inspire all teaching staff. Over 30 study associations have nominated their best teacher for this award. I was greatly honoured to receive the LSr-award 2012.

As of 1 November 2014 I am working on the following research project

Cultural Differences in Dutch and French
Single-Bench and Full-Bench Criminal Courts

Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights Act, paragraph 3, reads: “Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights: (a) to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him”. As a court interpreter working in the area of criminal law, interpreting from Dutch to French and vice versa, one always has to keep in mind both French and Dutch culture. In this context there are  two situations, that of a French-speaking defendant in a Dutch courtroom and that of a Dutch-speaking defendant in a French courtroom. In both cases we have to deal with a clash of cultures. My central research question is: How do cultural differences determine the verbal interaction between all the parties involved? These are the « foreign » defendant, the judge, the prosecutor, the registrar, the court usher, and the attorney. To better understand the two cases mentioned above, it is of crucial importance to compare both judicial systems and to view defendants in the context of their home country. My research will focus on verbal interactions during court sessions of the single-judge courts and the full-bench, which I will subject to a sociolinguistic analysis. In this analysis I will examine the practice in court sessions in equal-sized cities. To obtain the necessary material for this sociolinguistic analysis, I will ask for permission from the presidents of the respective courts to make live recordings. Prior to this research, I will investigate judicial practices in both countries and, subsequently, in a «crossed sociolinguistic analysis», the situation of a French-speaking defendant in the Netherlands and that of a Dutch-speaking defendant in France. With this research I hope to contribute to better mutual understanding between the various parties involved in Dutch and French court proceedings.

Kenniscentrum Frankrijk-Nederland

Currently, I am also a member of the Board of the KFN. The aims of this centre are valorisation of knowledge and advancing the dialogue between the scientific community and Dutch society in general. We try to combine and market expertise in the areas of French-Dutch relations and the French nation. Most of our members are researchers, interpreters/translators or teachers. Together with our partners (Institut Français, Levende Talen, Table Ronde, Cercle Français de Rotterdam etc.) we organise specific activities for these groups. We strive to expand our network to include private enterprises and other sectors in which the French language and/or culture may play a role. Membership of the KFN is free. A newsletter appears four times a year (see our website  www.ru.nl/frankrijk).

Last Modified: 11-12-2015