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Is it really necessary to make a distinction between Flemish and Dutch?
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:49
Flemish to English
+ ...
Sep 29, 2006

Taken from the new profile : "You can enter more languages if you wish, but note that outsourcers commonly limit their search to your top or top four language pairs".

I entered English,French, German,Spanish> Flemish
I also entered the same language into Dutch.

Outsourcers limit their search to our top or top four language pairs.

Dutch and Flemish are one and the same language with the same syntax, spelling rules and grammar. Only the Dutch tend to use more foreign words and write words apart which should be written together.


Is it really necessary to make a distinction between both languages? It only increases the number of languages pairs.


[Edited at 2006-09-29 18:13]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-10-04 00:13]


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:49
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Yes, it's really necessary Sep 29, 2006

Not for linguistic reasons, of course, because Flemish isn't a language, but for commercial reasons. Translators who advertise translation into Flemish too are Belgians. I know of one Dutch ProZian who actually emigrated to your beautiful country and who now is 'bilingual'.

I'm sure you can find bad translators in any language pair, and failing to adhere to the official Dutch grammar we've agreed upon between Surinam, Belgium and the Netherlands is reprehensible. Dutch translators who don't know how to spell are bad translators. This has nothing to do with the Dutch language. Our language should be spelled the same wherever it is used. It's true that the Dutch admit more foreign words than the Belgians, but once they are official the Belgians are allowed to use them too.

What it all boils down to: customers with a translation request for the Flemish market should look for 'Flemish' translators at ProZ. The current languages system at ProZ doesn't allow for any better method. Customers who need a translation for Surinam, Belgium and the Netherlands might be better of with a translator who only translates into Dutch.

We might have a common language and a common grammar, but I've done enough proof-reading and retranslating by now to state we don't translate the same. It's a lot of work to make a 'Flemish' translation palatable for the Dutch.

Regards,
Gerard


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:49
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The advised spoken and written standard is Sep 30, 2006

the language as used by the Flemish radio and tv, VRT and for Holland: the NCR-Handelsblad. How can you make a language palatable for...? There is only 1 dictee der Nederlandse taal, 1 syntax and some semantic differences, that is it.

But that was not the reason for posting: the reason is : it is advisable to choose 4 languages in your profile, but if you are using twice the same language with a different name, you get 8 languages. If, like many Dutch speakers, you dare to sin against the first commandment of translation: "You shall translate into your native tongue only" and you translate from Dutch into English, you get more than eight combinations with the same language

[Edited at 2006-09-30 07:45]


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Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:49
German to English
+ ...
Yes, it's the same language, and no, it isn't Sep 30, 2006

Yes -- the same grammar, syntax, spelling (at least in principle)

No -- distinctly different vocabularies and usage.

The difference may not matter all that much for technical texts, but it is crucial for PR, advertising and the like (hence Gerard's remark).

By the way, this issue has already been raised on more than one occasion, and people have remarked that the same considerations apply to national and regional variants of other languages (e.g. English, French, Spanish, Portuguese).


PS: my apologies for the (nearly) duplicate posting. If someone can tell me how to delete the redundant one, I'll do so.

[Edited at 2006-09-30 12:19]

[Edited at 2006-09-30 12:19]


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Richard Creech  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:49
French to English
+ ...
"Language" is a political determination Sep 30, 2006

Whether something is a "language" in its own right, or is instead a "dialect," is a political, not a linguistic issue. It is a function of the historical process of state-formation and cultural identity, and clearly the Flemish and Dutch have not yet worked out this question (and no one anywhere has ever worked it out for ever, as it is always an ongoing process of formation). Technically, no two people speak the same "language," everyone speaks his or her own "idiolect." There therefore are not one, or two, Netherlandish languages, but a number equal to the number of speakers, each of whom speaks an idiolect which is mutually intelligble with the idiolect of other speakers to greater or lesser degrees.

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Ronnie Halpern  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:49
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Sub-languages Oct 1, 2006

I am not involved with either Dutch or Flemish, but I looked at your posting because I thought it might be related to a topic I have taken up with the Proz developers.
In my case, I do localization from US>UK English, but I could not find a way to add this "language pair" to my languages. I raised the question of being able to add sub-languages with Proz and they said they would look into it.
It seems to me that your problem could well be addressed by the same facility. If you think it is, it would be useful to contact Proz about it, because the more people request a facility the more likely it is to be implemented.


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Timothy Barton
Local time: 02:49
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Same problem with Catalan and Valencian... Oct 1, 2006

We have the same problem with Catalan and Valencian. I really should add Valencian to my source languages, as it's the same language. Unfortunately the Valencian government does not agree with us linguists, and they say it is not the same language.

Of course, like with Dutch and Flemish, what Catalans and Valencians write is no exactly the same, and so it is perfectly conceivable that a client might specifically want a Catalan or a Valencian (or a Balearic Islander), but then, a client might specifically want a British English or US English translator, and we don't add these separately to the list. I have brought up the Catalan/Valencian issue several times, but nobody seems to be taking any notice.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:49
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Job specification. Oct 1, 2006

Add to that the 25 "types of Spanish" in Latin-America: the Spanish used in Mexico is not the same as in say, Argentina or Peru.
And the Aussie-English or English used in Singapore or India is not quite the same as Queen's English...
That's why I think it is best to use only English, Spanish, Dutch as languages to choose from and not their sub-languages. This can always be specified in a job-spec.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
Good Thought, Richard Oct 1, 2006

The fact that "no two people speak the same language" is something to keep in mind as we go about our daily work.

There are actually as many languages in the world as there are people, and in our effort we seek to break through this natural division to find as much unity as we possibly can.


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Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:49
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
"C'est la vie" versus "leaver dea as slaaf" Oct 2, 2006

As to Flemish versus Dutch, you might consider this difference reflected in the French and Fries sayings "C'est la vie" versus "leaver dea as slaaf". The difference is more folkloric, cultural, religious, geopolitical or whatever.
2000 year ago the territory of the nowadays Belguim fully was part of the Roman Empire, whereas the Romans not really succesfully crossed the Rhine river. Next tot that, I thought the Belgians are Franks (which gave their name to France), whereas the Dutch are Franks in the south and Frisians and Low-Saxon in the north. Speaking frankly, Anne Frank was no Frank and Frisian means "person with curling hair", I don't know whether it really is a differtn tribe).
In the 16th century the whole Dutch & Belgian region and also Luxemburg and parts of France more or less were a Spanish province, so Romanic in political and religious sense. Some Flemish cities started to disobey and went protestant. However, trade with the Romanic world made the "old system" more profitable and they quickly re-embraced the papal system.
C'est la Vie! The munks really brew excellent beer!
The north-Rhine Germanic Frisians ans Low-Saxons had different thoughts about Romanic influences. The inter-Frisian way of greeting might speak volumes
First person: Eala Frya Fresena = Hail Free Frisians
Second person: leaver dea as slaaf = better dead than slave
Anyway, the Dutch kicked out most Romanic influence, quite untouched incorporated the sentence "I've always honoured the king of Spain" in their national hymn (same counts more or less towards Israël) and go their own way.
C'est la vie. You can make beer in a factory as well!
So, the Dutch now together with the Filipinos constituonally honour the Spanish Monarchy.

Many Dutch (and some Flemish as well) did emigrate to Canada, enjoying that beautifull CanAda, but not being abel tot discover who is that Ada, they don't wait till they'll be sure whether she can or not and go their own way, making the Canadians groan
"wooden shoes, wooden heart, wouldn't listen".






I think Proz.com does treat Dutch and Flemish with distinction, because the political case is closed a long time ago, which isn't the case for:
1) Spanish and Catalan
2) UK-English and the English spoken in the US: you can debate whether English is the official language of the United States. In some states it is and, well, if you're in a state .... you're in the United States! Anyway, as far as I know in the USA English isn't constitutionally the language of the United States.

I guess Proz.com has a policy not to interfere in separation cases or other difficult political cases untill there's a certain agreement reached between the parties, for which reason there's nowadays one more Middle East country on the list than some years ago.




As to the difference between Flemish and Dutch, the grammar is the same, but since the political and economic heart of The Netherlands lies in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-The Hague-Utrecht region (the "Randstad" = "Fringe-City"). This region is highly trade-orientated and accepts a lot (far too much, in my opinion) English words.
Belgian is bilingual and I guess the political and economic heart lies a little above the bilingual Brussles, towards Antwerp. Flemish clearly has some Gallicisms and Gemranisms that a Fringe-Citier from The Netherlands never will understand.


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Maria Rosich Andreu  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:49
Member (2003)
Dutch to Spanish
+ ...
Just a quick note Henk Oct 5, 2006

Henk Peelen wrote:

I think Proz.com does treat Dutch and Flemish with distinction, because the political case is closed a long time ago, which isn't the case for:
1) Spanish and Catalan


The case (if it ever was open) is very much closed for Catalan and Spanish, the only open matter on our front is Catalan / Valentian.



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Timothy Barton
Local time: 02:49
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
As Maria pointed out... Oct 9, 2006


I think Proz.com does treat Dutch and Flemish with distinction, because the political case is closed a long time ago, which isn't the case for:
1) Spanish and Catalan


Nobody at all doubts that Spanish and Catalan are seperate languages. It is perfectly clear. The problem is with Valencian. Some people (particularly certain politicians) want us to believe they are completely different languages, despite all linguists agreeing that Catalan and Valencian are one and the same, albeit with variations.

As this site is for linguists, I think we should be allowed to implement what linguists agree on: that Catalan and Valencian are the same language. If this is not sorted out, then why don't we just s add Mallorcan? It would be just as ridiculous. PLEASE sort out this anomaly!


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