My beautiful balloon


Even though Schiphol Airport has been praised for its English signage, the shops at the airport do not always follow suit. I guess if you sell flowers at the airport and they sell well, communicating with the millions of non-Dutch speakers that buy your flowers is not important.

This obviously irritated one Dutch person (Hans) who surely knows better.

Does ‘as long as we understand what they mean, it doesn’t matter’ apply here? Would someone from, say, Japan or Senegal understand this with a limited knowledge of English? And if it really doesn’t matter, why put up a Dunglish sign at all? Why not let the flowers sell themselves?

(Photo: Hans)

4 Responses to “My beautiful balloon”

  1. Yorien says:

    New Year Intentions 2007
    1 learn dutch 2 learn really dutch 3 get a dutch language course now

  2. Natashka says:

    1. **New Year’s resolutions**

    2. **Take** an English course.


  3. Larry says:

    It’s like a compendium of all the aspects of the slapdash attitude to translation that is prevalent in the Netherlands:

    – failing to get someone knowledgeable to do it
    – doing it without consulting a dictionary or other reference
    – complete ignorance of/disregard for typographical conventions in other languages

    But someone did make the effort of having it laminated …

  4. Natashka says:

    Looks, eh 🙂

    I read somewhere recently that many Dutch people stick to the conventions they know in Dutch because it’s just not taught in school. I wouldn’t know. It isn’t easy.

    What bugs me is the assumption that it’s all the same. The intelligent assumption is that it has to be different. The Dutch conventions are very different.

    I had to learn two different systems (English and French), so I am used to it. I’m very fortunate.

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