Fish glue

Here’s a Dunglish combo, which I assume was meant to sound familiar. “Haring” is “herring” in Dutch, but the words are compounded &#224 la hollandaise. Grabbing a quick herring sandwich with pickles and onions is tasty, but not really common practice outside the Netherlands. That was what Branko thought when he spotted this stand.

haring shop

5 Responses to “Fish glue”

  1. Scrubs Scrubman says:

    Oops, posted in the wrong place. Sorry, it actually belongs here.

    The correct English name would be ‘the herring shop’, with a space between ‘heering’ and ’shop’. Likewise ‘flower shop’, ‘toy shop’, etc.

    But I always wonder about ‘bookshop’. Is it the exception which proves the rule or is there more to say about this fixed assembly?

  2. Natashka says:

    English speakers also have a tough time with compound nouns. According to Burrough-Boenisch in Righting English that’s gone Dutch, “compound nouns evolve from being hyphenated to being solid”. Dutch people have a tendency to create compounds instead of using hyphens, leading to really long words you’d never see in English. This is why “Dutch and Engilsh readers have different ideas about what is an acceptable compound and how frequently solid compounds should be formed and used.” And sometimes there is more than one correct way to spell a word, without getting into British or American spelling.

    The best thing to do is to run it through your spellchecker, as it accepts variants.

    A few purely intuitive tips:
    -If the word is very familar, such as “bookshop”, it will most probably be compounded, but not always. Use the spellchecker.
    -If the compound is hard to read in English “scubadivingshop”, it has to be wrong, and Dunglish.
    -When an English speaker learns Dutch it takes time to read long compound words, as you first need to understand the individual words. “Tewerkstellingsvergunning” was important and very tough to read when I first got here.
    -Hyphens are also being used less and less, so watch out for the incorrect use of hyphens as well.
    -And don’t just follow Dutch grammar rules in English, as you will produce Dunglish 🙂

    Have a look at this previous posting, which has Dunglish compounds all over the place.

  3. Novi O'Magum says:

    More and more Dutch people are using the English rules about compound words in their own language: they put spaces between the different parts of words that actually should just be one word, like the word “tewerkstellingsvergunning” that you mention. If spaces are put in these Dutch words, this often results in phrases that have a meaning other than what the writer meant (for example “hoge temperatuurovens” versus “hogetemperatuurovens”, where the first one means that the temperature ovens are high, and the second means ovens that reach hight temperatures). The SOS (Signalering Onjuist Spatiegebruik) collects examples of incorrect use of spaces:

  4. Larry says:

    Perhaps somewhat obvious, but:

    – English compounds never feature more than two nouns!

  5. G says:

    It wouldn’t have looked all that bad had the shop owner used De instead of The. Maybe I’m becoming more tolerant of Dunglish 🙂

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