How professional is your business writing really?

Have an expert brush up your writing and learn how to write emails, reports, memos and minutes of meetings with confidence in three individual intensive half-day workshops.

‘Dunglish’ pitfalls

Certain Dutch users have a tendency to over-translate Dutch terms causing a literal, sometimes incomprehensible, translation of the Dutch term into English.

Here’s a typical example: The word eventueel in Dutch means potentially (like eventuel in French) and not eventually, which is uiteindelijk in Dutch. This mistake caused a row between the Scottish and Belgian football associations when the Belgian football association invited delegates from various associations over for the “eventual qualification of the Belgian national football team” before the play-offs against Scotland started. While the Scottish federation accused the Belgians of sheer arrogance, the Belgian association had actually meant to hold the drink after a “possible qualification”

Here are a couple to avoid:

  • ‘Do you have good contact with him?’ Makes you think about physical contact! It should be ‘Do you get on well with him’
  • I was with 5 people in the meeting? ’ This sounds as if there were 6 in total. It should be ‘There were 5 of us in the meeting.”
  • ‘Where are you thinking of / Where are you laughing about?’ Should be ‘What are you thinking of/laughing abou? ”
  • ‘I know him for 5 years.’ It should be ‘I have known him for 5 years.’
  • ‘If he would have worked harder, he had succeeded.’ It should be ‘If he had worked harder, he would have succeeded.

Of course translating expressions word for word can cause hysterical results. This video called “The ‘inburgerings’course ” illustrates the point perfectly.

Contact for Enquiries

Please contact our course coordinator on 06 156 94 629.

Alternatively, you can mail us (contact form).