Barrel shoppe


This was taken in a supermarket in Utrecht, a city swarming with students and conference-goers where I imagine tons of people speak some English. This wonderful sign is of course tough to understand. You get to imagine a Chinese tourist trying to sort this out instead of a Brit. They could have simply left it in Dutch.

‘Borrelshop’ means absolutely nothing unless the person has some rudiments of Dutch. Liquour shop, booze corner, drinks & stuff, please give us something with a clue. That was sarcasm.

‘These is usual opened’ deserves an entire paragraph of explaining, but do I have to?

‘Report this’, report what? It sounds like a police station. I’ll pass.

Being a fan of shameless plugs and all, allow me to point you to a serious article I wrote in Dutch (don’t get too excited it was corrected by a real pro) about small Dutch businesses communicating in English.

(Photo: Erik)

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3 Responses to “Barrel shoppe”

  1. Larry says:

    Even the Dutch is a little wonky. Wat moet ik nu precies bij de servicebalie melden zodat men voor mij klaar staat?

  2. Maurits says:

    Ik ben het met Larry eens. ‘Deze is gewoon geopend’ ?
    Hoezo deze? Kan het ook ongewoon geopend zijn? Bedoeld men niet ‘We zijn gewoon open’.
    De Englese vertaling lijkt rücksichtlos uit Babelfish te komen.

  3. Emerald Rose says:

    *sigh* Sounds all too much like something my students would write in English.

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