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"(issue) a positive advice" (is this correct?)
Thread poster: Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer

Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:38
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Aug 29, 2010

OK, here is my question. I want to know if the following is correct:

----------------------->
"The organisation issued a positive advice."

"My bank manager issued me with a positive advice."

"There are thousands of unhappy customers out there and it would not take much money from each customer to obtain a sizeable fighting fund to challenge the agreements through the courts. This may not be to everyones liking but subject to a positive advice from a Barrister, further action could be taken."

"Following a positive advice from the jury, the thesis was sponsored by the Commission for publication in the UK in the form of a book, 'The European Community and Indo-British Trade Relations' (Gower, England, 2003)."

"Today, the BEL20 presented the best results on the stock market since 10 mars 2009, all thanks to KBC, whose stocks rose by 15,4 per cent. This was mostly due to an increase of capital by Société Générale and a positive advice on buying European bank shares."

"The backlog in payments of 2006 and 2007 will also be paid as soon as the Council for Financial Supervision CFT renders a positive advice."


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:38
Member (2008)
Italian to English
No. Aug 29, 2010

No. It should just be "positive advice".

In some of the instances given here, "favourable" might be substituted for "positive".

A third possibility (if the advice is given in the form of a document) would be "advisory note" in which case it would be correct to apply the article ("an advisory note").

There are other errors too, such as "everyones liking" (missing apostrophe) "mars" (should be "March"), "15,4 per cent" (should be "15.4" per cent).

[Edited at 2010-08-29 15:42 GMT]


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Helen Matthews  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:38
Member (2008)
Italian to English
+ ...
No - advice is an uncountable noun Aug 29, 2010

as Tom said

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Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:38
Italian to English
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A positive ... Aug 29, 2010

Agree with Tom.
Where did you find this btw?


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:38
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Oops, didn't notice that my post was sent too early... Aug 29, 2010

It should have ended with:

The reason I am asking is that in Dutch, there is a very common phrase "een positief advies", and I was wondering about "a positive advice", but people tell me that it cannot be used like this, i.e., you can issue advice, but not an advice.

However, I come across it quite often, and have always wondered whether it was not in fact correct in some mysterious and complicated way I had never heard of;)

Can someone please help me to clear this up once and for all?

Thank you,

Michael J.W. Beijer

NB The examples above are copy/pasted straight from the internet and so contain spelling errors.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:38
Member (2008)
Italian to English
My previous reply Aug 29, 2010

My previous reply still stands.

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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:38
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everyone! Aug 29, 2010

That's what I always thought. The main reason I asked is that ever since moving to the UK I have come across a slightly different way of using the word "advice" than I was accustomed to. Most notably by my British bank and accountant, who both have odd ways of phrasing certain things. Or at least, they sound odd to me. I'll try and locate on of them and report back here!

I found all these examples by Googling "issue an advice".

Michael

[Edited at 2010-08-29 16:36 GMT]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:38
English to Spanish
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USA Aug 29, 2010

I have seen "an advice" used, which is something we would never say in the USA. So I am gratified to see that it is not UK usage either. It is merely a common error made by non-native users of English.

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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:38
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Some further discussion here: Aug 29, 2010

http://www.englishforums.com/English/IssuePositiveAdviceCorrect/xvnpj/post.htm#1192991

This is where I initially posted this question. Someone wrote:

"A side note: I worked for a Dutch/English company, and the management was often required to get the sanction of Staff Council on proposed management changes that would affect the employees.
This was always called "a positive advice" when the Staff Council approved the change. It did not mean the content (the advice) itself, but "a positive ruling."
So I think this might qualify as an example of Clive's "unusual contexts." It is most likely a direct translation from the Dutch."


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:38
Dutch to English
+ ...
advies Aug 29, 2010

Advies in Dutch means a lot more than advice does in English. I tend to translate it more often as opinion or recommendation and tend to avoid using advice.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:38
Member (2008)
Italian to English
ahh Aug 29, 2010

Marijke Singer wrote:

Advies in Dutch means a lot more than advice does in English. I tend to translate it more often as opinion or recommendation and tend to avoid using advice.


Ah, I see. So perhaps "opinion" would be a much more accurate translation of "advies". That would certainly work much better in the text submitted by Michael, which would now read:
__________________________
"The organisation issued a positive opinion."

"My bank manager issued me with a positive opinion."

"There are thousands of unhappy customers out there and it would not take much money from each customer to obtain a sizeable fighting fund to challenge the agreements through the courts. This may not be to everyone's liking but subject to a positive opinion from a Barrister, further action could be taken."

"Following a positive opinion from the jury, the thesis was sponsored by the Commission for publication in the UK in the form of a book, 'The European Community and Indo-British Trade Relations' (Gower, England, 2003)."

"Today, the BEL20 presented the best results on the stock market since 10 March 2009, all thanks to KBC, whose stocks rose by 15,4 per cent. This was mostly due to an increase of capital by Société Générale and a positive opinion on buying European bank shares."

"The backlog in payments of 2006 and 2007 will also be paid as soon as the Council for Financial Supervision CFT renders a positive opinion."

[Edited at 2010-08-29 20:18 GMT]


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:38
French to English
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Quite a common difference Aug 29, 2010

It's of course quite a common difference between languages that otherwise fairly equivalent words in one language might be countable but not in the other.

Other examples in English which are not countable, but where their direct translations are in various other languages, include: "software", "training", "information"...

Some nouns are 'marginally' countable (e.g. "nonesense" -- many speakers would say "this is a nonesense", but probably not "these are nonesenses").


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:38
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Hmmm Aug 29, 2010

Neil Coffey wrote:

It's of course quite a common difference between languages that otherwise fairly equivalent words in one language might be countable but not in the other.

Other examples in English which are not countable, but where their direct translations are in various other languages, include: "software", "training", "information"...

Some nouns are 'marginally' countable (e.g. "nonesense" -- many speakers would say "this is a nonesense", but probably not "these are nonesenses").


Yes - especially if they misspell "nonsense"


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 17:38
Member (2004)
English to Thai
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Noun classifier Aug 30, 2010

Certain languages have the noun classifier: a countable unit of uncountable noun e.g. a cup of coffee. To start my study of Japanese, I had to remember a tail of fish, a plate of banknote, a piece of course work etc. To force countable noun of advice, it can be one word of advice in Japanese, and one phrase of advice in Thai. I hope other languages have similar noun classifiers.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:38
Italian to English
+ ...
EMEA "scientific advices" Aug 30, 2010

I know of one context where "advices" is now used as standard in English: the issue of scientific advice by the EMEA (European Medicines Agency) during the new medicinal products development process. These are referred to in plural as "scientific advices". This seems to have been coined within EMEA: I've seen it used in FDA documents, but only within the context of EMEA-issued advice. It's possible that the term was coined by non-native speakers, but it's now also being used by natives, as can be seen from the EMEA documents below:

Several requests for Scientific Advice have identified specific problems in drug development for GERD. The advices have concerned different products such as...
http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Scientific_guideline/2009/09/WC500003267.pdf

ANNEX
The following principles are to be applied in the assessment of PIP’s, MA’s and Scientific Advices and Variations and could also form the basis of future regulatory guidance.

http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Scientific_guideline/2009/09/WC500003499.pdf

Advanced CTCL: EMEA recommendations in scientific advices to Companies
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/Drugs/OncologicDrugsAdvisoryCommittee/UCM192189.pdf

My own opinion on this use is negative-to-neutral. Subjectively, I don't like it and don't use it: objectively, I recognise it as being a sensible workaround to avoid having to repeatedly use "pieces of advice" or similar. I think it likely that within a few decades - or perhaps even less - no one will bat an eyelid at the pluralisation of previously uncountable nouns like this.

[Edited at 2010-08-30 08:22 GMT]


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