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Dutch-English Translation Forum

This is the place to post your translation requests in English or Dutch and to help others with your skills and knowledge. Important: Always give the context of your enquiry!
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{pl}/{mv} » answer
by Windfall (GB), 2009-10-08, 18:11  like dislike  Spam?  
I can't work out what the rule in the guidelines is that means it's correct to tag woorden as {mv}, but the translation words doesn't get the tag {pl}. Does anyone know? Is it that if you tag a plural in Dutch, you shouldn't tag the English one? If this is the case, what is {pl} for? Is it just for cases where the Dutch is singular, but the English equivalent is plural? Does that happen? And if it does, is it impossible for it to happen the other way round?
by pike (NL/PE), 2009-10-08, 18:23  like dislike  Spam?  
From what I always understood, the English {pl} tag can be used for words which are the same way spelled in both singular and plural. Example: diersoorten {mv} - animal species {pl}
The English tag {pl} can be used for entries that are plural in English, but singular in the other language  #466941
by Paul (AT), Last modified: 2009-10-08, 18:26  like dislike  Spam?  
Hmmm  #466944
by Windfall (GB), 2009-10-08, 18:32  like dislike  Spam?  
But if it's obvious that all the other English words corresponding to Dutch plurals are plurals, isn't it logically obvious that these must be as well?

The very use of {mv} and not {pl} demands a certain level of Dutch from English speakers that I'd guess many don't have. Or is the assumption that seeing a plural in English, we work out that {mv}  must imply a plural in Dutch, but if we don't see an unambiguously plural word in English and that's the sole time we've used the dictionary, we won't guess {mv} might indicate a plural?
Paul  #466945
by Windfall (GB), 2009-10-08, 18:35  like dislike  Spam?  
So is there going to be a singular tag ({sg}?) in case that happens the other way round, or is it definite that it doesn't? Either way, could you include this rule in the guidelines, as I wasn't able to derive it from the guidelines as they stand at the moment. Also, does that mean that labelling animal species {pl} for diersoorten {mv} would be wrong?
Seems like we've never needed a singular tag.  #466951
by Paul (AT), 2009-10-08, 18:58  like dislike  Spam?  
And no, I don't think labelling animal species {pl} for diersoorten {mv} would be wrong, but I don't think it's necessary. But you're right, we're lacking clear rules here. I'll have to think about it. Suggestions?
Personally I'd like to see the English plurals labelled  #466953
by Windfall (GB), Last modified: 2009-10-08, 19:03  like dislike  Spam?  
- sheerly because {mv} in this dictionary is a far less clear tag than {pl} in the German one is for the English speakers. However, if you think that labelling these is excessive (and I admit, I'm usually the one arguing for a lighter touch on the labelling), I suggest:

{pl} should only be used to tag English terms where the corresponding Dutch term is in the singular or where the English singular is identical to the English plural.
I'm not even sure about the English singular/plural distinction.  #466957
by Paul (AT), 2009-10-08, 19:17  like dislike  Spam?  
If an English native speaker learning Dutch would search for "animal species", getting the following results page ...

animal species ... diersoorten {mv}
animal species ... diersoort {de}

... wouldn't it be become clear which entry is plural and which is singular?
Paul  #467084
by Windfall (GB), 2009-10-09, 10:19  like dislike  Spam?  
It all depends how much Dutch and/or language/grammar knowledge you assume they have. Maybe it is safe to assume that if they cared they'd look up what mv stands for in the guidelines, then look up meervoud in the dictionary. Maybe they will put two and two together that if all other nouns are labelled het or de, mv must indicate a plural. My own view is that it's not obvious. But then I'm not a beginner or someone who doesn't speak any other languages (and haven't been for quite some time), so maybe I am assuming too little of beginners. I am simply working on the basis that I remember finding dictionary entries in paper dicitionaries hard to interpret in my first three or four years of learning foreign languages and that abbreviations only being present in the foreign language made things much harder. Don't forget, many native speakers of English haven't even been taught English grammar, let alone grammar in foreign languages. I guess it all depends who you're aiming the dictionary at.
Laura  #467101
by muhamed (BA/AT), 2009-10-09, 11:17  like dislike  Spam?  
I think that Laura's suggestion for the use of the {pl} on the English side is a feasible one - {pl} when plural entries correspond to singular ones and when the English plural is the same as English singular. As singular entries are per se the default, we don't need a {sg} (or sorts) tag.

animal species {pl} ... diersoorten {mv}
animal species ... diersoort {de}
would be perfectly acceptable when it comes to entries.

One other area where {pl} should be added IMHO are plural-only english words (such as scissors), as this is where many of the beginners tend to stumble and usually look up information in dictionaries, as in:
scissors {pl} ... scharen {mv}
scissors {pl} ... schaar {de}

If this is fine with everyone, we'll amend the guidelines so as to clarify this point accordingly. :)
Okay - I added this to the guidelines (language-specific section)!  #467164
by Paul (AT), 2009-10-09, 14:07  like dislike  Spam?  
Paul  #469827
by Windfall (GB), 2009-10-22, 15:15  like dislike  Spam?  
I've finally found what looks like it might be an example of singular in English, plural in the foreign - admittedly in the Polish dictionary.

sztućce {} = cutlery
I feel there should be some way of marking that the English is singular. How about {sg}?
Btw, I've put this here because it relates to this discussion. Would you like me to put this post in the Polish forum, as that's the language it relates to?
Laura  #469835
by muhamed (BA/AT), 2009-10-22, 15:43  like dislike  Spam?  
ermmm... IMHO I don't think that we need a separate {sg} tag here: we mark words in English {pl} only when they (a) have the same plural form as the singular one (and, cutlery being a weird example in terms of countable/uncountable, we also show it as singular through the inflections bar - which shows cutlery | cutleries), or (b) when the foreign word is singular (which then also doesn't get a special mark that says "{sg}"), and as the Polish word is properly tagged as plural, I think it's quite clear that the English word is indeed singular. :-)
muhamed  #469838
by Windfall (GB), 2009-10-22, 15:57  like dislike  Spam?  
Is it clear that it's singular because it doesn't end in a s? I suppose I hadn't really thought about that (although that sort of assumption can be misleading - e.g. sheep, children, premia). However it is an anomaly and I was thinking we should make clear that it's "the cutlery is" rather than "the cutlery are" - especially as this seems to be a very unusual situation. Still, as you are a non-native speaker of English, I agree that your opinion on what is and isn't important to non-native English speakers carries more weight than mine.
Additionally ...  #469855
by Paul (AT), Last modified: 2009-10-22, 16:29  like dislike  Spam?  
If we had a tag for singular, some people would most probably be unsure about when it should be used. So we'd get some regular singular entries including this tag and some similar entries without it. That would lead to confusion.
In the rare occasions where additional clarification would be needed, we could also solve this with some kind of comment in [square] brackets.
Laura  #469856
by muhamed (BA/AT), 2009-10-22, 16:31  like dislike  Spam?  
Well, not because it doesn't end in an s - that thought hadn't honestly crossed my mind at all; I rather thought it was clear because it didn't carry a tag and because the inflections bar showed me that it was singular :-)

Mind you, irregular plurals aren't all that common in English - apart from the whole Latin/Greek bunch of words (think dogmata and fungi, or premia you mention), a sprinkling of terms from other languages, and the small number of -en/ablaut plurals (oxen and geese), all others are as regular as life - which is just yet another argument in favor of having (and using) the inflections bar :-)
Because it's such an anomaly  #469860
by Windfall (GB), 2009-10-22, 16:40  like dislike  Spam?  
I shall probably either tag it [singular] or avoid voting on it.

None of the English plurals which are translations of Polish plurals have been tagged {pl} except where it might be ambiguous not to have done so, so my view is that the logic of the dictionary suggests that unless tagged otherwise, an English word which corresponds to a Polish is plural.

Actually, I've just thought of another one negociacje (plurale tantum), for which we're currently (or were last time I looked) trying to decide whether negotiation (singular) is an appropriate translation or whether this can only be translated with negotiations.
Using "[singular]" sounds good ...  #469871
by Paul (AT), 2009-10-22, 17:01  like dislike  Spam?  
Agree!  #469872
by muhamed (BA/AT), 2009-10-22, 17:02  like dislike  Spam?  
Guideline update: Articles, proper names and so on » answer
by muhamed (BA/AT), 2009-10-08, 15:13  like dislike  Spam?  
After some discussion on the English-Dutch and German-Dutch forum on the way of handling proper nouns such as country names, or month names, or the feminine gender, and after the confusion which had aroused, Paul and I discussed this at the office this morning and decided to ammend the guidelines so that the article is now to be entered even with those words which use it only eventually.

This is in line with the existing practice in the German-English dictionary (which is a lot like the situation in Dutch: Indien {n}, Peru {n} and Palau {n}). This provides for consistence and guidance if people eventually have to use an article with a country name, as in Wouter's example.

When it comes to feminine nouns, gender categories on are built up according to actual article usage (which is why,...
» show full text
OK  #466933
by pike (NL/PE), 2009-10-08, 18:07  like dislike  Spam?  
We have a clear rule on this now.
niet ontvankelijk verklaring » answer
by Windfall (GB), Last modified: 2009-10-08, 13:03  like dislike  Spam?  
Het oordeel van de Ondernemingskamer houdt in:
   * niet ontvankelijk verklaring van VEB c.s. in haar verzoek tot het vaststellen van een billijke prijs op de voet van artikel 2:80b lid 1 Wft.

Here are the bits I'm not having a prblem with:

The judgement of the Enterprise Chamber.....VEB in its petition to establish a fair price on the basis of article 2:80 paragraph 1 b of the Act on Financial Supervision (Wft).
I found a solution in Van Dale  #466859
by Windfall (GB), 2009-10-08, 13:21  like dislike  Spam?  
The judgement of the Enterprise Chamber includes:

* dismissal of the appeal of VEB in its petition to establish a fair price on the basis of article 2:80 paragraph 1 b of the Act on Financial Supervision (Wft)
No gender for months? » answer
by Windfall (GB), Last modified: 2009-10-08, 12:25  like dislike  Spam?  
Why did the gender designation I added to various Dutch months get removed? They have a gender designation, so what makes them special such that people feel that for this sort of noun gender shouldn't be specified?

And for that matter, wouldn't it make sense to specify whether common gender nouns are masculine or feminine?
by wdconinc (BE/US), 2009-10-08, 16:03  like dislike  Spam?  
There has been quite some discussion about articles with months/countries etc.  They are not used commonly in Dutch (cf. months in German: im Oktober; countries in French: la France).  There is now a guideline 11,, to specify the article even on those entries.

So I got it right by putting them in  #466918
by Windfall (GB), 2009-10-08, 16:19  like dislike  Spam?  
and was outvoted by people who hadn't read the guidelines? Should I reopen the voting?
by wdconinc (BE/US), 2009-10-08, 16:24  like dislike  Spam?  
The guideline was only added yesterday, so don't be too harsh on them ;-)  I might have been among those outvoters...  Reopening would be fine, I guess.
by pike (NL/PE), 2009-10-08, 18:16  like dislike  Spam?  
Wouter, de regel hierover is nu helder en zo maar gewoon even uit nieuwsgierigheid: weet jij een voorbeeld te bedenken hoe een lidwoord te gebruiken met de naam van een maand?

De juli waarin het allemaal gebeurde, De koudste januari die er ooit is geweest. Zoiets?
Please see the guidelines! [context]  #466938
by wdconinc (BE/US), 2009-10-08, 18:23  like dislike  Spam?  
I would have suggested your second example, yes.  I don't know if there are any better examples.  These are rather 'exotic' cases, but it is good that there is a guideline now.
by pike (NL/PE), Last modified: 2009-10-08, 18:40  like dislike  Spam?  
Please see the guidelines! [context]: Huh... what is there to be read regarding my question?
by wdconinc (BE/US), 2009-10-09, 05:06  like dislike  Spam?  
Sorry, clicked the wrong button ;-)
i need a way to distinguish verb forms! » answer
by chrishuff (US), 2009-10-05, 20:44  like dislike  Spam?  
in the case of the word zweren :

there are two meanings with differing verb forms.
zweren (zwoor; gezworen) meaning fester
zweren (zwoer; gezworen) meaning swear

how do i add this information in the dictionary?
by pike (NL/PE), 2009-10-05, 21:26  like dislike  Spam?  
I think that it's supposed to be done here:

No idea how it exactly works, though.
Please ask Paul!  #466235
by -Rob- (DE), 2009-10-06, 05:35  like dislike  Spam?  
This is a question for Paul,'s creator. You can email him at paul4;
- - - - - - -
Das ist eine Frage für Paul, den Betreiber von Schreib bitte an paul4;!
I added the information, so you can see what it looks like: zweren  #466302
by Paul (AT), Last modified: 2009-10-06, 11:06  like dislike  Spam?  
Here is how to do it:

1. Open the review form for "zweren = to swear [oath]".
2. Click the [+] button to open the inflection tool
3. Click "add inflection information"
4. Enter one of the inflections
5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 for the other inflection
6. Click the [+] button once again, then use the radio button to assign the correct inflection.

For the other two translation entries just open the respective review form and assign the correct inflection (as in 6.). You don't need to submit the review form after assigning the inflection entry.

The same inflection entries also appear on the German-Dutch site now: zweren
This may be a silly question... » answer
by Don (NZ/GB), 2009-10-04, 23:25  like dislike  Spam?  
It seems as though één is written as Eén when the first letter is capitalised. I assume there is no capital letter for é , like ß in German. And is één the only word which uses é, or are there others?
Good question actually...  #466189
by pike (NL/PE), Last modified: 2009-10-05, 21:21  like dislike  Spam?  
I had to look up the answer...

Op een hoofdletter schrijven we nooit een accent, behalve bij uitheemse woorden die met accent op een hoofdletter ontleend zijn, zoals Dáil Éireann.

(We never apply an accent to a capital letter with the exception of those on foreign words, such as Dáil Éireann.)

Eén is right now the only example that comes to my mind.
Thanks Jan.  #466197
by Don (NZ/GB), 2009-10-05, 22:10  like dislike  Spam?  
That's brilliant. Dáil Éireann is definitely a foreign term, except to the Irish!
by pike (NL/PE), Last modified: 2009-10-05, 23:43  like dislike  Spam?  
I read your last question too quickly; één is the only word that comes to my mind which has an accent on the first letter. Some other words with accents are: hè (isn't it?, right?), hé (hey), café, paté, defilé (parade in honour of somebody; mostly a foreign head of state).
Place names » answer
by Catesse (AU), 2009-10-03, 04:43  like dislike  Spam?  
Names of countries and cities are definitely nouns: Proper Nouns. My eleven-year-old grandson would know that.
The problem on the Dutch site is that the gender has to be indicated by 'de' or 'het', even though the names would hardly ever be used with 'the' in front of them. However, gender can affect the form of the adjective used. Therefore it needs to be shown.
Can the leading members of the site come to some agreement before this ends in a lot of outvotes and loss of good will? (And make sure that those who have voted before this agreement have time to withdraw or alter their votes?)
by pike (NL/PE), Last modified: 2009-10-03, 17:30  like dislike  Spam?  
To everyone it's clear that country and city names are proper names, and to my knowledge, all such names are verified with a noun tag. Whether we also add the (superfluous) articles to them has nothing to do with it. I'm against for the reason that it is virtually impossible to use such a name with an article in front. The only exception is the one Wouter mentioned: Het Vlaanderen van 200 jaar geleden, het Duitsland van voor Hitler, het Engeland in de tijd dat Darwin leefde, het Parijs in de tijd van de impressionisten, etc. Personally, I don't think that this is worth the hassle to tie a 'het' article to each and every country and city name.

It is remarkable, by the way, that you seem to be occupied with this noun issue, and at the same time you suggest a deletion for the noun - zelfstandig naamwoord entry.
Wikipedia(NL): Zelfstandig_naamwoord
Wikipedia(EN): Noun
Noun  #465898
by Catesse (AU), 2009-10-04, 00:12  like dislike  Spam?  
At the time of writing, I was reviewing some of wdconic's entries, especially for 2 October, where the original entry and one verification had a place name as a 'noun', and he entered a contrary vote as 'none'.I therefore refrained from either confirming or changing the entry. Upon further consideration, I think it is possible to classify a word as a 'noun', without entering either 'de' or 'het'. This would seem to be a satisfactory way out of the difficulty.
Re the entry: 'zelfstandig naamwoord': I deleted my review entirely, because I did not want to get into an argument as to whether it should be 'naamwoord' or 'zelfstandig naamwoord'. The change of 'noun' to 'none' was accidental.
I think I shall have to abandon the Dutch site for a while; apart from the fact that I am working on some seven other sites, I have a seminar presentation to prepare. However, I shall try to work through some of the new entries. I have to work fairly slowly, as I feel it necessary to check virtually everything with a dictionary.
Just » answer
by Catesse (AU), Last modified: 2009-10-03, 04:07  like dislike  Spam?  
There are four entries for English 'just', with four different Dutch versions.
These need disambiguation. Which ones mean: only, merely, correct, fair, etc.?
all four.  #466184
by chrishuff (US), 2009-10-05, 20:41  like dislike  Spam?  
juist {adj} = just, exact, correct
net {adv} = just, precisely
pas {adv} = scarcely, hardly, only, (just)
slechts {adv} = only, just, merely, but
Proper names/Nouns » answer
by muhamed (BA/AT), 2009-10-02, 18:43  like dislike  Spam?  
Hi everyone,

I just noticed that in English-Dutch Vlanderen has been entered without a gender/an article (, whereas in German-Dutch, it's classified as a neuter noun ( In fact, wdconinc even suggested that it shouldn't be in the noun class.

Last I knew of Dutch grammar, (geographic) proper names such as, say, Brussel are nouns, but do not carry grammatical gender ( Brussel). Given that here on the English-Dutch side we seem to have various options of handling this, it would be great if we agreed on just one way of going around this - if only for the sake of uniformity :-)

Groetjes, Mo
by wdconinc (BE/US), 2009-10-02, 21:25  like dislike  Spam?  
Sorry, my mistake; Vlaanderen is definitely a noun in Dutch.  I really had to think to come up with a sentence where it has an article though:
  In het Vlaanderen van de vorige eeuw ...
  In last-century Flanders ...
No idea about what would be the appropriate guideline.
by pike (NL/PE), 2009-10-02, 23:09  like dislike  Spam?  
Wouter's example works for all countries and regions in the world! I think it is better, however, to show the gender only to those geographical names which do need an article in regular use; het Verenigd Koninkrijk (the UK), de Verenigde Staten (the US), de Britse Maagdeneilanden (the British Virgin Islands), de Filipijnen (the Philippines), de Kanaaleilanden (the Channel Islands), or official country names such as het Groothertigdom Luxemburg (the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg), het Koninkrijk Spanje (the Kingdom of Spain) en de Tsjechische Republiek (the Czech Republic). That way, we emphasize that the use of an article to those names is needed.
Pike  #466724
by muhamed (BA/AT), Last modified: 2009-10-08, 13:18  like dislike  Spam?  
There seem to be a kazillion questions on this issue, and a kazillion possible ways of going around it. Wow.
Guidelines? See German forum! » answer
by Paul (AT), 2009-08-03, 23:12  like dislike  Spam?  
Please use the German forum for questions about guidelines, at least for the time being, as most of the discussions about rules are the same for German and English and we need to discuss them in one place.
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