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RDW NEEDSer blog


Bashful Blagger raves on the ups and downs of life in the fast lane of freelancing. 

eSense 39 2015 PDF cover

SENSE is an association based in the Netherlands for English-language professionals. I'm the editor of eSense, the ezine SENSE publishes with the aim of providing useful and entertaining content of interest to language professionals in the international community.

Download your free copy of the JUBILEE BUMPER ISSUE celebrating the 1st SENSE Conference:  eSense 39 | 2015. You will need Adobe Reader to read it (to download, click here).

Happy reading!

by Frans Hertoghs | English translation by Ragini Werner | NEEDSer

Is it really true, are the Dutch always so terribly blunt? You hear that often, especially in English-speaking countries. We, the Dutch, don’t feel it is true. We may be forthright and direct, both of those. But blunt? Of course not!

Polite Language

So what’s going on here? Do we have a hereditary defect, which prevents us from seeing our own bluntness? Or do the others see us in the wrong light? Are they prejudiced against the Dutch? Well, about the latter, naturally, I can’t say a thing. But I can say something about the former because we are not blunt, certainly no more than other citizens of the world. It’s just that our politeness is hidden in our language. It goes like this.

eSense 38SENSE is an association based in the Netherlands especially for people working in the fields of English-language editing, translating, interpreting, copywriting and teaching communication skills. I'm a member of the Executive Committee in my capacity as Editor of our digital magazine, eSense. We publish the magazine quarterly with the aim of providing useful and entertaining content of interest to English-language professionals in the broad SENSE community.

eSense appears online for SENSE members only but we also produce a pdf version for anyone interested in reading it. Please feel free to download your free copy of the current issue here: eSense 38. Save it to your computer, or mobile reader, or print it out to read at your leisure. 

Happy Reading!

kingma books402

Perhaps the most precious place in the NEEDSer office is our pronk plank.* Pardon our flamboyance but we feel ever so proud, flaunting these two new additions to the plank. Gerard Kingma has signed our copies: "To the Word Fairy". He's happy with the editing we've done for his books, and needless to say, we're more than happy with the results. Look inside Into the Frame. And If you would like to see more of Gerard Kingma's gorgeous photos, here is his website.

* lit. trans. “show off plank”.

ty smallMy Dad used to be a dancer. He taught classical ballet for much of his life, and even when he retired he was always keen to talk his head off on the topic of dance to anyone who cared to listen. Anyway, back in the days when I myself was trotting about in a tutu, my dear old Dad used to tell me:

"When you make a mistake, make it beautiful."

stephenmugshotBy Stephen Johnston

From the outside in, my working life has looked like a series of strange moves. Waiter. Rock musician. Well, those normally go together. Research scientist. Okay, weird jump. Then editor to copywriter… not so unusual. And now trainer, my absolute passion. The one continuous thread? They are all learnable skills.