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UnTranslate with Van Dale

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A friend of mine will soon be studying Dutch so she bought the Van Dale Nederlands Engels dictionary to look up Dutch words. Van Dale is comparable to the quality of the Oxford English Dictionary when it comes to Dutch. I naturally did what you usually do when you get a dictionary, I went to look up dirty words … they are in there.

I was however surprised to see that they don’t understand how dictionaries work, at least for non Dutch speakers. There are two translations which caught my eye: Hibiscus and Hoax. See the definitions below:

hibiscus – hibiscus

hoax – hoax

To further confirm, it’s not just in the H:

indiscreet – indiscreet

lotus – lotus

ohm – ohm

If the words are identical in both languages you would at least explain what it is. In the English – Dutch version the words are explained, with the exception of indiscreet. So I assume that they are specifically targeted at the Dutch speaking market, not at the English speaking one.

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

July 16, 2008 at 5:13 pm

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