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What's wrong with Holland?
Thread poster: Yngve Roennike

Yngve Roennike  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:04
Danish to English
+ ...
Dec 7, 2007

Forgive the provocative caption, but I am indeed baffled by two incidents related to the Netherlands that have occurred, one recent and one some time ago.

a) When requesting that SDU and another company that are now publishing the two dictionaries from Kluwer on CD ROM, i.e., technical and commercial Dutch/English and Legal Dutch/English, provide a patch that will make my older CD versions compatible with Windows Vista, I get the odd and uncompromising answer that of course [sic] they will not provide any support for older CD versions. These came out in the late 1990s - early 20s, and were even then rather passe, in that they required a floppy drive for verification purposes. I even had to buy a separate floppy-disk drive to install the program on a more recent computer running XP. Now, with Vista, I can't even install anymore using this attached floppy drive.

They charge something like 300 euros a pop for these CDs, so it's no mere trivial matter. They furthermore say that they've updated the terminology on these CDs, although for my purposes they were quite sufficient, implying that one really ought to purchase these new CDs, now that they've done this updating. They've offered a 10 percent discount, since I already have the older versions.

I think actually that part of the reason is the alleged ownership change, but I still find it unconscionable.

Van Dale, in contrast, did provide an update/patch to Windows XP from Windows 98, and says their program will work under Vista, if run as an administrator.

b) I have requested several times of de Volkskrant, an excellent daily newspaper published in Holland, a subscription to the US for once-a-week delivery. They flatly and repeatedly have rejected this, saying it's either every day, or not at all. However, in the other countries of Europe where I've requested this, there never was a problem with providing once-a-week delivery. The thing is that I simply cannot consume/read a foreign newspaper every day, so it would go into the waste basket and contribute to the pollution of the environment, nor can I afford it (the paper is quite heavy).

After this, I ponder, what's up with the Netherlands, why this outlandish, quirky and odd behavior?

Comments invited.


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Jacqueline van der Spek  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:04
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
Why don't you read the paper on line? Dec 7, 2007

You can read the Volkskrant and all other Dutch newspapers on line as well, although to read some of them you need an internet subscription. I have been doing that for years. Easy and no waste of paper.

I really don't see your point here.

Jacqueline


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 07:04
French to Dutch
+ ...
Ask NRC Dec 7, 2007

The only newspaper which had a 6 days printed international edition in the past was NRC, it was for businessmen abroad. I stopped subscription years ago, it was very expensive (the argument was that it was only supported by subscriptions and that there were no ads, and that compilation was expensive).
It still exists: http://abonnementen.nrc.nl/index.php?type=56 .

As Jacqueline says, why don't you read newspapers on internet.

See also http://kranten-historisch.startpagina.nl/

As for Van Dale, I installed the patch to upgrade from Windows 98 to XP. Did someone try the Vista update patch?

[Bijgewerkt op 2007-12-07 22:15]


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Wilmer Brouwer
Netherlands
Local time: 07:04
Member (2006)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Just two companies Dec 7, 2007

I don't think that there is so much wrong with the Netherlands, you just happened to meet two companies that weren't very helpful. As to your newspaper issue, why don't you try the NRC? Their newspaper is currently free to view on-line and they have a special edition called De week for Dutch people living abroad which they send once a week.

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Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:04
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Mijn advies: ga failliet en vraag het NRC Handelsblad Dec 7, 2007

Mijn bijdrage was eerst in het Engels, maar ik heb je profiel even bekeken en zie dat je Nederlands beheerst, dan lijkt het me juist "outlandish" hier in het Engels toe te spreken. De kans dat iemand zonder Nederlands zich in deze discussie mengt is aanwezig, maar klein.

Toen ik student in Eindhoven was en een kamer had gevonden, deed ik de auto uit de wegenbelasting en probeerde hem te verkopen. De verkoop wilde niet vlotten, en ... je raadt het al: de belastinginspecteur was het niet eens met mijn volgorde van stopzetting en verkoop. Ik belde het NRC Handelsblad en vroeg zonder omwegen of ik mijn jaarabonnement kon omzetten in een kwartaalabonnement, teneinde het abonnement daarna op te zeggen. Vonden ze ongewoon, maar ze maakten wilden een uitzondering maken! Misschien zijn ze ook bereid jou uitsluitend de zaterdageditie toe te sturen. Bij de Telegraaf lijkt de kans me nog groter dat je een speciaal abonnement voor de zaterdag/zondageditie krijgt, maar ik vind het ook een zielige krant.
1) Een interneteditie heeft absoluut niet de waarde van een papieren uitvoering, maar voor 10 minuten of zo per week blijft het volgens mij toch dé mogelijkheid.
2) Verder zou ik toch ook de andere mogelijkheid in overweging willen geven. Ik verplicht mezelf min of meer iedere dag minimaal 5 minuten de papieren krant te lezen, waar ik na afloop van die 5 minuten nooit spijt van heb. De oude krant gaat altijd bij het oud papier. Hoewel de hergebruikmogelijkheden in Noord Amerika veel kleiner zijn, zijn of komen ze er wel. Met een aantal enthousiastelingen weet de een of andere vereniging op die manier toch nog 2000 Euro op jaarbasis bij elkaar te halen. Misschien moet je zelf het initiatief nemen. Milieubelasting door het drukken en transport blijven natuurlijk aanwezig.
3) maak een afspraak met een Nederlander: jij betaalt gewoon het abonnementsgeld voor de Volkskrant, en hij / zij stuurt jou de ongelezen zaterdagedities ervan en leest de rest zelf.

In 2006 heb ik in de VS gefietst. Steeds meer krijgen wegen daar een "shoulder": verharde strook naast het weggedeelte voor gemorotiseerd verkeer. In de staat New York schijnt het verplicht te worden. De Noord Amerikaanse automobilist leeft verkeersregels nauwgezet na, en niemand waagt het om die shoulder onwettelijk te gebruiken. Algemene veiligheid, vriendelijkheid en algemeen rijgedrag zijn vele malen beter dan indianenverhalen willen doen geloven. Maar dan heb je de "tuinstaat" New Jersey: daar gebruiken bezorgers van kranten en ander drukwerk de shoulder als een grote brievenbus voor hun product: gewoon een gesloten, doorzichtige plastic tas eromheen, en daar ligt-ie op de shoulder te wachten tot de consument hem opraapt. Tonnen kranten en gouden gidsen liggen er. Ik kwam er achter dat een dreun in je schouders en een schop ergens anders werd veroorzaakt door de 2006 editie, terwijl de zachtere uitvoeringen daarvan je vertelden dat ook de 2005 editie niet werd gebruikt om een vuilnisophaalbedrijf te zoeken.

Ik ben het met je eens wat betreft Kluwer

[Bijgewerkt op 2007-12-08 10:15]


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Yngve Roennike  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:04
Danish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Online experience vs. the real thing. Dec 7, 2007

Thanks for all the comments!

Reading online is actually like wearing gloves, etc., you know the rest.

Also, you don't get the same in-depth articles, and you don't for instance serendipitously stumble across articles the same way, as when flipping through the pages of a real "brick-and-mortar" newspaper, call me old-fashioned if you like.

You now also can get books in electronic format stored in a small tablet. Not surprisingly this is not really catching on with many.

Actually, I don't know what to do with the Kluwer situation. I don't think I'll get very far with them. Why don't some of you in Holland make some inquiries and point out their intransigence. Maybe they'll come around then. I can hardly be the only one facing this predicament.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:04
Dutch to English
+ ...
What's wrong with the States? Dec 7, 2007

Sorry, couldn't resist ...

I realise this is Europe, but even when I'm in Portugal (where my family is based), I can go to a newsstand and pick up the major Dutch newspapers and that's in a small town, way off the beaten track, with only a few local Dutch residents.

Don't the US newsstands stock anything from this side of the pond?

[Edited at 2007-12-07 16:53]


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Yngve Roennike  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:04
Danish to English
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Volkskrant vs. the rest of the pack. Dec 7, 2007

Wilmer Brouwer wrote:

I don't think that there is so much wrong with the Netherlands, you just happened to meet two companies that weren't very helpful. As to your newspaper issue, why don't you try the NRC? Their newspaper is currently free to view on-line and they have a special edition called De week for Dutch people living abroad which they send once a week.


Thanks for your comment, Wilmer.

The fascinating aspect of de Volkskrant is its bulkiness, its glossy photos, its analytical in-depth articles. You hardly get any of that in the thin synoptic papers sent to Dutch readers abroad, in fact that would just be a substitute for reading online.

We used to get here at one local international newsstand the NRC, a rather dour paper in my view. We used to get also the Algemene Dagblad, and most international newsstores, well the few that exist, will stock the Dutch tabloid-like broadsheet, argh, the name escapes me right now (shows you how little impression it has made on me).

The Library of Congress has cancelled its subscription to Volkskrant, maybe it was too liberal (that means left-wing in US parlance) in their opinion, I don't know. All they have left now is some Flemish paper issued in Brussels, and I am sorry I don't recall its name either at the time of writing.

But I'll certainly try out your links.

YR

[Edited at 2007-12-07 17:20]


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Yngve Roennike  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:04
Danish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Stateside broadsheet situation Dec 7, 2007

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

Sorry, couldn't resist ...

I realise this is Europe, but even when I'm in Portugal (where my family is based), I can go to a newsstand and pick up the major Dutch newspapers and that's in a small town, way off the beaten track, with only a few local Dutch residents.

Don't the US newsstands stock anything from this side of the pond?

[Edited at 2007-12-07 16:53]


It's really only the major hubs that do, i.e., New York, Washington D.C. and perhaps Chicago, Boston, etc., but it's still hard to get anything there outside the main European languages, i.e., German, French, Russian and Italian (I am not including Spanish, which is de facto now a second official language in the US, and so no longer foreign). The miniature international newsstands that I frequent say they simply cannot afford these other EU languages since they won't sell.

Sometimes you can drive to ethnic neighborhoods, e.g., I just found a Russian one, which a Russian cab drives explained to me, and get your daily shot of foreign news from there, but as for downtown news outlets, it is a tough bargain.

Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Arabic papers also abound, of course.


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:04
English to Dutch
+ ...
Kluwer Dec 7, 2007

They charge something like 300 euros a pop for these CDs, so it's no mere trivial matter. They furthermore say that they've updated the terminology on these CDs, although for my purposes they were quite sufficient, implying that one really ought to purchase these new CDs, now that they've done this updating. They've offered a 10 percent discount, since I already have the older versions.

I think actually that part of the reason is the alleged ownership change, but I still find it unconscionable.


Look, the Kluwer dictionaries really have been taken over by SDU.
And just because they serve your purpose, you can't expect Kluwer/SDU to keep supporting all the versions. Products change, it's as simple as that.

I'm sure you've had to adapt to Vista in a lot of ways, and didn't you buy Vista yourself? Didn't XP serve your purpose?

As for the dictionaries, terminology changes and evolves. I think it's only professional to try and keep up with that. That does mean spending money from time to time.

I don't mean to be nasty or anything, I'm just really, really surprised. The more so because you say they were passe when you first bought them seven or eight years ago. They've been modernised, and now you disagree?

I checked your profile, it says you work in 40+ language pairs. I'm sure it's a costly affair to keep your resources up to date for so many languages, but if that's what you do for a living, you'll have to make investments.


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Albert Stufkens  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:04
Member (2008)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Update Dec 7, 2007

It is about time to update your hardware as well as software!

Yngve Roennike wrote:

These came out in the late 1990s - early 20s(??), and were even then rather passe, in that they required a floppy drive for verification purposes. I even had to buy a separate floppy-disk drive to install the program on a more recent computer running XP. Now, with Vista, I can't even install anymore using this attached floppy drive.
Comments invited.


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:04
English to Dutch
+ ...
De Telegraaf? Dec 7, 2007

Yngve Roennike wrote:

We used to get here at one local international newsstand the NRC, a rather dour paper in my view. We used to get also the Algemene Dagblad, and most international newsstores, well the few that exist, will stock the Dutch tabloid-like broadsheet, argh, the name escapes me right now (shows you how little impression it has made on me).



I think you mean De Telegraaf.


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:04
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Nothing wrong with Holland Dec 7, 2007

There is nothing wrong with Holland persé. You will find companies in every country that are unhelpful and/or inflexible. For example, there are many companies in the US that will not ship merchandise to Canada (despite our so-called free-trade agreement).

In the two incidents you name, I think you may have expected a little too much accommodation to your personal wishes. With regard to Kluwer, the question is how long can they be expected to support older versions. With regard to newspapers, I would assume that much of their shipping procedures are automated, so it would be difficult to make an exception to their routine, just for one person. Instead of paying for a subscription, you could spend that money on printing any articles that interest you.

I do agree with you on one point: I can't read a newspaper, or anything else for that matter, online either - it's too hard on my eyes. And not only is it more fun but you find more things of interest when you can browse through a hard copy.


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Yngve Roennike  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:04
Danish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
If you ain't got the right car, get off the highway, huh? Dec 7, 2007



Look, the Kluwer dictionaries really have been taken over by SDU.
And just because they serve your purpose, you can't expect Kluwer/SDU to keep supporting all the versions. Products change, it's as simple as that.

I'm sure you've had to adapt to Vista in a lot of ways, and didn't you buy Vista yourself? Didn't XP serve your purpose?

As for the dictionaries, terminology changes and evolves. I think it's only professional to try and keep up with that. That does mean spending money from time to time.

I don't mean to be nasty or anything, I'm just really, really surprised. The more so because you say they were passe when you first bought them seven or eight years ago. They've been modernised, and now you disagree?

I checked your profile, it says you work in 40+ language pairs. I'm sure it's a costly affair to keep your resources up to date for so many languages, but if that's what you do for a living, you'll have to make investments.


I actually don’t believe there is any connection between the upgrade of the dictionary software and the operating system. It just so happens that SDU’s software needs to be upgraded at one point to Vista, and they’ve decided to do it only to the newest version of their dictionary programs, thereby forcing others not yet onboard to upgrade to that newer version. It’s seems entirely political to me, and the wrong decision in my view that can only alienate the consumer. I cannot recall any other country where they refused to provide a patch, except for Denmark, but that was essentially because the prior software company that provided the platform had gone bankrupt, and they no longer had the source code. Even so, I was miffed that not more could be done to alleviate the economic disadvantage it put me in.

The “older” version that I have was actually purchased ca. 2003, but was published - like I said - much earlier, and came with both a CD and floppy disk for verification purposes. In that sense it was obsolete already, which is what I meant by passe, however, I had no choice in the matter.

Whether I need to upgrade or not, should be my own decision. I upgrade in the sense that I annotate continuously. There is absolutely nothing passe about the glossary in Kluwer’s dictionaries going back some seven years, it was quite extensive already.

The author of the legal dictionary says that he’s now incorporated a whole complement of real-estate terms, so that I would get a combo deal, so to speak. He has yet to provide a patch for Vista, and furthermore, he will have nothing to do with his previous CD, i.e., the one I have. I even spoke with him personally.

Imagine what an uproar it would create, if an upgraded highway were to prohibit older models of automobiles from using the highway. The comparison is apt, because we really have no choice as to the operating system, we either go with the flow, or we get left helplessly behind in terms of computing power, etc., which however has no bearing on less memory-intensive programs such as electronic dictionaries.

Actually, come to think of it, VanDale had me buy a new disk in order to run under XP. That newer version seems to me pared down in relation to the older version, so it was like adding insult to injury, you could say.

So that makes three wrongs inflicted by NL on the rest of the world. Not bad for a small country.

My two pennies!

YR


[Edited at 2007-12-08 04:53]


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Yngve Roennike  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:04
Danish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Subscription options AWOL Dec 7, 2007

Tina Vonhof wrote:

There is nothing wrong with Holland persé. You will find companies in every country that are unhelpful and/or inflexible. For example, there are many companies in the US that will not ship merchandise to Canada (despite our so-called free-trade agreement).

In the two incidents you name, I think you may have expected a little too much accommodation to your personal wishes. With regard to Kluwer, the question is how long can they be expected to support older versions. With regard to newspapers, I would assume that much of their shipping procedures are automated, so it would be difficult to make an exception to their routine, just for one person. Instead of paying for a subscription, you could spend that money on printing any articles that interest you.

I do agree with you on one point: I can't read a newspaper, or anything else for that matter, online either - it's too hard on my eyes. And not only is it more fun but you find more things of interest when you can browse through a hard copy.


Yeah! Reading a newspaper online is like doing thesis research. You need to be able to kick back, listen to your favorite music, drink hot coffee, and enjoy. These elements are woefully absent when it comes to online enjoyment.

I believe the arguments you provide regarding de Volkskrant were the very same they provided. But, again, I've subscribed to many newspapers throughout Europe where sending the Sunday (or Friday's) edition presented no problem, whatsoever. In fact, you could probably obtain a combination of subscription options in Holland proper, at least you can here in the US, e.g., Sunday only, weekdays plus or minus Sunday, etc.


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