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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

June 23, 2006

Getting into Dutch (editorially, at least)

Filed under UCG-Holland

When I was a kid, "getting into Dutch" meant getting into trouble. Today, "getting into Dutch" means a lot of work, as we help produce literature in Dutch, an effort spanning 2 continents and 3 countries.

UCG-Germany helps UCG-Holland Dutch Holy Day booklet produce its literature in the Dutch language. We provide typesetting for UCG friends in the Netherlands. Since neither UCG-Germany nor UCG-Holland receives any cash subsidy from the UCG Home Office for producing our literature, we rely on volunteer help from church members. Here is how it works. Our Dutch brethren work in editorial teams for translating, style checks and proofreading. When the initial draft of a booklet has been translated, it is sent to me as a Word document. Using the English-language booklet layout as a "template", I convert the language used in the booklet to Dutch. Then I send the booklet file (in QuarkXpress) and the translated text to my wife Monica in Mobile, Alabama. She pulls the text into the booklet and sends the Quark document back to me. I "tweak" the layout so all columns line up nicely, etc. Then I print a draft of the booklet in booklet form for our UCG-Holland National Council member Marcos Rosales. Marcos distributes the text to a team of volunteer proofreaders. He then sends me an annotated document via email with the proposed corrections. I make the corrections and send the corrected text back to him for a final check. When he gives the green light, we turn over the Quark document to our local printer in Bonn, Germany for printing. We get a proof from him to look at before the booklet is printed. German and Dutch are similar enough that I can recognize what the Dutch text says, especially when we produce a booklet that is translated from English. However, when the printer’s typesetting software makes a different hyphenation, we ask him to go with our version, since I am no expert on Dutch hyphenation. We check every line of text to make sure everything looks the same. For this booklet we had to make about five such corrections at the printer before the booklet was printed. UCG-Germany advances the money for the printing and is reimbursed later by UCG-Holland. That’s what "getting into Dutch" means for me in 2006!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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