Corporate Dunglish – not so easy!

OK, it could be worse, but the big bad Dutch phone company has every resource imaginable at its disposal to crank out proper English for tourists at the Netherlands’ Schiphol Airport. We’ve talked about this before, big corporations not understanding the difference between adverbs and adjectives, as they are written the same way in Dutch.

Nevertheless, this is sloppy and there’s no excuse this time.

– Getting online is simple and easy!
– Get online simply and easily!

And the rest: That nasty Dutch habit of writing 3,- (no hyphens in English, it’s totally useless, just € 3 will do, we know there are no cents) and then the twisted sentence afterwards with no cause and effect, known as the ‘missing link’). It should read ‘To purchase time online with your credit card, just click the top button’.

Shame on you, expensive monopolistic Dutch phone company!

(Photo: Jeroen)

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9 Responses to “Corporate Dunglish – not so easy!”

  1. Koos says:

    I was actually about to ask whether you posted this late at night, but apparently it was 2:59 PM. So that doesn’t explain your “We’ve talk about this” or “coporations” 🙂

    But back to the KPN Dunglish. The “Internet on our PC” doesn’t feel right to me either. “Internet on Your PC” would make sense, but as I understand it the hotspot isn’t so much public Wifi, but rather a public PC (Judging by the monitor).

    That kinda makes me feel that they meant “Internet” to be a verb here, “to internet”. Not sure, but I don’t think to internet is a valid, or at least not a very commonly used verb. “Use the internet on our PC” or “Browse the internet on our PC” sounds a lot better to me.

    Bit of a grey area, I would advise them to play it save and change it so you KNOW it’s correct.

  2. Natashka says:

    I can’t spell! I need a ‘vacashun’ 🙂

  3. English as she is spoke « Style and Substance says:

    […] I’m willing to cut small businesses some slack, I totally agree with the person who shared this image: there’s really no excuse for the largest Dutch telephone company to print stuff like this. […]

  4. Larry says:

    Blechh. KPN’s too cheap and/or stupid to realize this is not something a random employee of theirs can dash off just because he or she knows English.

    Of course, their excuse is probably going to be ‘Oh, it’s not really for native English speakers, just for anyone who understands English, and anyone can understand it, so what’s the problem?’.

    The whole approach is just so … sorry, can’t think of an English word that works here, except maybe ‘dorky’. Knullige vertaling, lullige uitstraling.

  5. Tom says:

    THANK YOU for mentioning that hideous habit of writing “€4,-” instead of just “€4.” I thought I’d lost that battle.

  6. Remco says:

    I guess KPN threw out all native speakers because of the crisis.

  7. Expat in Holland says:

    It is not so easy, but very hard!

  8. Brian Barker says:

    There seems to be an argument for Esperanto here.

    If you have a minute see

  9. Pauls says:

    Hm, well, I’m an American and I use the hyphen for a whole monetary amount. The comma IS distressing, however.

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