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New Van Dale abbreviations lexicon
Thread poster: Ken Cox
Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:16
German to English
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Jul 30, 2003

Van Dale (the leading Dutch publisher of dictionaries) has just released a new abbreviations dictionary (Afkortingen, van Dale, ISBN 90-6648-991-X) which is simply excellent (naturally, you have to understand Dutch). It includes just about every European abbreviation the authors were aware of, and it's a treat for the eye as well (the internal layout and graphic design are by Peter Matthias Noordzij, which should say enough for anyone interested in typography).

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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:16
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
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Don't forget . Jul 31, 2003

Just a reminder of this useful site for Dutch abbreviations.

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Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:16
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German to Dutch
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Thanks Aug 1, 2003

In the meantime I've found out that you can order it online at Intertaal:

Unfortunately I couldn't find it in the normal list (typ "nederlands" under "Kies de door uw gewenste taal" and select "woordenboeken", but it appears in the yellow scrolling bar under the screen. When you click on "Van Dale afkortingen", you can order it.

Van Dale states: abbreviations are usefull: theay save both space and time. I disagree with them. Abbreviations were discovered in an era where both paper and writing were extremely expensive, and the reading public was quite delimited. OK, they still save a little time for the author, but I fear that in the whole process of transfer and application of information (including the time for learning their meaning and interpreting them or looking them up (if possible anyway) and the confusion they give when reading a sentence in which one sees an unknown abbreviation or is left with an unknown one and the confusion that due to misinterpreting abbreviations) they cost time, instead of saving time. Even used in the proper way they may a sentence do look messy, especailly when there are for instance numbers, units, special characters and "emoticons" in that sentence. I fear some people don't even know how to write them in the most usefull way. In my opinion it's not usefull at all to abbreviate the German word "und" to "u.". Besides that some abbreviations are borrowed from foreign languages: in Dutch "BTW" (by the way) is borrowed from English, cause it looks cool. It means actually "Belasting Toegevoegde Waard" (Value Added Tax = VAT) however; but this is an example of purely wrong use of an abbreviation. The Dutch word "bijvoorbeeld" is abbreviated in several ways (bijv., bijv, bv, b.v.). Well, a bv is a besloten vennootschap is a private limited company or a close company.
I only use them when there is really too little space to write a certain amount of information (and of course I use some really common ones like NATO, OK and so on).

I guess it was better they were never "invented" at all.
Anyway, we have them now and have to live with them.

In my opinion "" is not really extensive.

Some online sources:


site with much abbreviations:,289930,sid9_alpP,00.html


You know some more usefull sites? I'll be glad to hear from them you.

[Edited at 2003-08-01 15:37]

[Edited at 2004-01-02 18:10]

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