University level Dunglish
As sharply pointed out to me by Reinier (thanks!), this just hurts: a Dutch University offering Dutch language courses to foreign students who couldn’t even be bothered to use proper English on their website.
Some painful examples:
– What time are the colleges? (colleges = lectures)
If you do not know Dutch already – the whole point to these courses! – there’s a huge chance you have no clue what they mean. The sentence is not brilliant either.
– You learn to communicate well, as well as in the cafe as in the classroom.
Direct translation from Dutch grammatically and culturally. Pain.
– Staffmember, targetgroup, etc.
No so bad really sticking words together, at least you know what they’re on about.
Not convinced? Pretend you’re Chinese, have never been to Europe, speak some English and are trying to find out what they’re on about.
The argument I sometimes hear with Dutch universities is that you’re suppose to know some Dutch if you come to study here. That’s not true: the requirement is that you can function in English and are encouraged to learn Dutch, which I would encourage everyone to do. However, the Dutch gets in the way of the English, and in this case, the English gets in the way of the Dutch. Now I’m confused.
Tags: Dutch, language courses, Utrecht University
November 11th, 2008 at 2:55 pm
The English version is also confusing because there is no clear difference between the example questions (can I have two coffee?) and the questions that are meant to determine whether you need this course (are you stuying at this university?). The Dutch version does separate those, but the English version does not.
November 12th, 2008 at 8:10 am
I wonder: what would James Boswell think of it?
November 19th, 2008 at 9:43 pm
“The sentence is not brillant either”? Tsss… guess you’re human too 🙂
November 20th, 2008 at 9:17 am
Hey thanks! I still get confused with French 🙂
November 25th, 2008 at 11:47 pm
yeah that’s funny, but it’s sad that I hear and read these kind of things every day in my university in The Netherlands. We’re planning on doing a research project about the teacher’s English level..do you have any suggestions where to find literature about it? Or maybe similar research projects that have already been done about it?
December 9th, 2008 at 7:03 pm
Actually, I showed this to my *Chinese* co-worker and all he could say was: Woooooot? 😀
December 12th, 2008 at 7:12 pm
Funny, I just finished my first Dutch class at JBI. When I registered for the course back in September, the confirmation materials that they sent me were in Dutch. At that point, I would have been happy to know what time the colleges were.
Needless to say, I’m looking elsewhere for Round 2.
January 12th, 2009 at 3:10 pm
Examples of Dunglish I frequently come across as an academic are:
fundamental research(i.e. basic research)
top institute (i.e. center of excellence)
It appears that every qualified institution, person, or what not is referred to as ‘top’ in the Netherlands!