Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

Linguistic change from above

April 29th, 2009 by Reinder

Just this morning, a client at my day job wanted some urgent press releases translated into Dutch, pomoting a product that could be used to screen travelers for what to the best of my knowledge is still called Swine Flu in English. While we were working on it, the news came out that the Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieuhygiene, which is equivalent to the US Center for Disease Control, had urged everyone to refer to the bug in question as "Mexicaanse griep" rather than "Varkensgriep", so Mexican Flu rather than Swine Flu. Until then, government bodies had used "Varkensgriep" like everybody else.

We contacted the client and they said they wanted "Mexicaanse Griep" as well, citing the RIVM's terminology recommendation. So we used that. And already, so is everyone else. This screenshot from Nu.nl shows the linguistic change in progress:
Nu.nl, April 29, 2009, 8 PM. The body of a new article uses "Mexicaanse griep" while a link to a popular, older article still speaks of "Varkensgriep"