We were surprised by the need for something as straightforward as this, but considering our previous encounter with a requirement for a German licensing policy, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Our new Dutch language policy is now available in both English and Dutch.
Let me provide a concise explanation for the implementation of this policy. In recent months, we have received feedback regarding alleged “errors” in the lyrics of certain Dutch and Belgian songs. We generally receive lyrics rather than transcribing them ourselves. Vadim is the exception, as he occasionally transcribes songs without available online lyrics when the copyright owner(s) are unwilling or unable to provide them. Our other subtitlers and translators do not engage in this practice out of respect for the artists. While we do make necessary improvements to lyrics, especially in translations, we prefer to preserve their original form. In translations, the focus lies more on the translation itself rather than the original lyrics.
If significant mistakes are identified, we are more than willing to rectify them promptly. However, it’s worth noting that the comments in question did not originate from Dutch-speaking individuals, which is not surprising to our Dutch and Belgian contributors, including myself. The most notable error concerns the improper use of an apostrophe after names, where it is actually inappropriate. In Dutch, there is a rule that mandates the use of an apostrophe only after names ending with long-sounding vowels, while prohibiting it in other cases.
Now, why do we continue to adhere to this convention despite it being a Dutch language rule? Approximately 90% of Dutch speakers follow this practice as it is common to use an apostrophe and an “s” to indicate possession. The Dutch language differs from English; we don’t use an apostrophe to shorten “is” as in English. This rule, which seems to have been influenced by English, is relatively new in Dutch and lacks logical justification. The fact that the Dutch Language Union (Taalunie) has not addressed this issue implies that there may be more issues on their end than with our blog.
It’s important to mention the Dutch Language Union regarding why we are not obligated to comply with this language rule. The Dutch Language Union establishes Dutch language standards for companies and educational institutions in six countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname, Curaçao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten. Notably, the Netherlands also includes the South American Caribbean Netherlands, encompassing the Dutch provinces of Saba, Bonaire, and Sint Eustatius (Statia).
In addition to our founders and most contributors being located in Poland and Israel, we are simply not a company or educational institution. The Dutch Language Union may express concerns about our non-conformity to their language standards from a legal perspective, but their complaints would be unfounded since we are not actually doing anything wrong.
We strongly believe in using language that is comprehensible to people, even if it doesn’t align with the standards imposed by bureaucratic organizations. Unlike many other sources, we do not charge for each translation we publish because we are not a company. If you require a translation that conforms to bureaucratic requirements, we recommend seeking professional services. Please note that the average cost for translating a song is around 25 Euros. Additionally, some of the translators who verify our translations work for reputable companies, ensuring a high standard of quality. However, the decision ultimately rests with you, and you are free to choose whether to make use of this blog or not.
Regardless of your opinion and choices, we remain open to questions and comments. It is important for us to express our stance clearly, and we want to emphasize that we will not be changing our position in this regard. We are not a company; we are individuals who strongly believe in the power of the people, not companies or governments.
We genuinely appreciate your understanding and your interest in our blog. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us.