Asking for it


The more I read this, the more I realise it’s not standard Dunglish. ‘P/T’ is a crafty abbreviation for ‘part-time’ (took me a minute), while ‘m/v’ (‘man/vrouw’) is Dutch for ‘man/woman’. Yes, emancipation is not upon us yet, as it still needs to be pointed out in 2009 that jobs are for both men and women. Before someone dares brings this up, it’s simple: if you don’t specify anything, it’s always for both sexes. That’s what they do in emancipated countries.

The typical Dutch ‘asking a question’ tone is totally lost in this Dunglish jungle, and the ‘very well salary’ and ‘have you been interested?’ is funny.

The ‘we in search for you’ and ‘let you register’ has an ebonics ring to it, which is not a good thing.

I’m impressed they got ‘collective labour agreement right’ British spelling and all (priorities, eh), but otherwise this is terrible. Clean up on aisle 5!

(Photo: Linda)

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12 Responses to “Asking for it”

  1. Emerald Rose says:

    This takes Dunglish to a whole new level o_O I don’t think that any of my (former) students wrote English this badly.

  2. Larry says:

    ‘Let you register’ doesn’t sound like ebonics to me, just a clumsy way of trying to translate the Dutch passive structure, which doesn’t need to be passive in English.

    It looks like these people will be hiring a cleaner who speaks better English than they do.

  3. Interesting Aside says:

    I noticed the same m/v looking at job postings recently and figured it meant man/vrouw – what I found funny was that I’d just exclaimed at the level of equality between sexes in Holland. According to global indexes it has the lowest rate of sexual discrimination in the world. Definitely struck me as odd when I saw the m/v after reading that…

  4. Natashka says:

    Three quarters of women work part-time (!) and earn less than men even when they work full-time, so I wonder where you get this impression.

    And many women stay home after their first child, few women run major companies, etc. It’s the 1950s here!

    Never mind men and fathers trying to get time off for their children – women do that!

  5. Alex says:

    The m/v addition is necessary in Dutch where certain nouns have a separate version for female or male. For example: a female cleaner is a “schoonmaakster” and a male cleaner is a “schoonmaker”. If you’re advertising for a cleaner, you can’t advertise for a “schoonmaakster”, because that’s only women, nor for a “schoonmaker” ’cause that’s only men. So, advertisements tend to be for “schoonmaker (m/v)”.
    It is sometimes acceptable to bracket out the letters that make the difference, but with “schoonmaakster/schoonmaker” that becomes too convoluted: a “schoonma(a)k(st)er”. Hence “schoonmaker (m/v)”

  6. Yoastie says:

    I always understood the M/V to be a legal obligation when posting job ads…

  7. Karin says:

    I don’t have a problem with the m/v part, here in the States it’s standard to use “EOE” (Equal Opportunity Employer,), specifying that there’s no discrimination based on gender, ethnicity etc. P/T was obvious to me as well, although it could also mean “physical therapist” or “physical training”,but, in the context of a “Wanted” ad, it’s clear what it means.
    I giggled hysterically over the “Employee cleaning”, it sounds like the job entails washing people! I guess they have some dirty employees at this company.
    The entire ad is a mess, starting with the “Asking” and ending with literally translating “Laat U registreren”.

  8. Branko Collin says:

    I love the “have you been interested!” I don’t know if it is proper English, but if it is I predict a great future in advertising for that sort of construction.

  9. Tomas says:

    This must be the worse Dunglish I’ve ever seen!

    The ‘collective labour agreement’ part might just have been a lucky 1-on-1 translation from ‘Collectieve arbeidsovereenkomst’. Judging from the rest of the text, I doubt they’ll only get that part right 🙂

  10. Tomas says:

    *or worst, rather 🙂

    The M/V thing is quite funny too. Didn’t they realise they had to translate that too? The whole text seems to be a complete 1-on-1 translation from Dutch (just replace each Dutch word with the English counterpart and you’re done!)

  11. Gábor says:

    I think they used google translate..

  12. RareVerhalen says:

    Stupid, they always promise loads of gold, but when you see your paycheck it always s*cks ;P

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