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  5. "Voor meer dan een decennium"

"Voor meer dan een decennium"

Translation:For over a decade

August 28, 2014



The literal translation "for more than a decade" should be the default. It irks me when there is a valid, literal translation, but the default is some other word in English.


That really depends on your opinion. I, for one, like it better when the default translation is the most natural way to phrase it in English. That way, I can fine tune my English while learning another language. :)

Moreover, I think literal translations do quite the opposite of "getting your brain in your target language". For one thing, they encourage you to automatically translate sentences into your base language instead of focusing on the message they bear. And for another thing they might even twist your ways of expressing things in your base language. As a native French speaker, I often find that English ways of speaking have sneaked into my French and I often have trouble finding the right way to say things again (which makes me sound very stupid in small talk). :P


Hi Victor, I appreciate your sensibility and sense of adaptation you are searching for in the language you are learning (trying to capture "THE MESSAGE THEY BEAR") It is fascinating but not easy at all entering in the feeling and culture of the Dutch people and others. I suppose you've practised these principes for quite a time observing the good English you 'speak' (=write). Hope talking with you in future, also to " reanimate" my French again one day. Best wishes, Luciak.


The best thing to do when you think a valid translation has been rejected is this: hit the "report" button and report it. Someone must have done that, because "For more than a decade" is accepted now.


Already on it! They accepted "For more than a decade" already. I'm saying it should be the default. The default translation is "for over a decade." Although correct, it is not a literal translation. And again, the literal translation should be the default in my opinion to better get your brain into thinking in your target language. But yeah, reported it anyway.


Interesting... voor used to indicate a duration


This is the voor that can be translated to for, similar ones are dit is voor jou (this is for you) or alleen voor deze keer mag het (only for this time it's allowed/you may).

Another use of voor is related to space or time. Ik sta voor jou (I'm standing in front of you) or Voor ik ga, poets ik mijn tanden (before I go, I brush my teeth). Only voor with the meaning before can be replaced by voordat.

For some sentences like Ik ga voor jou either emphasis (in spoken language or with accents on vóór) or the context can tell you if it means I'm going before you (emphasis on vóór) or I'm going for you (emphasis on jou).


Fun fact: The creators of standard German (yes, it was created by scholars as a conscious effort) resolved this ambiguity of voor by picking two different local pronunciations and even adding an essentially meaningless spelling variation of the initial vowel. Voor in the first sense is vor in German, and voor in the second sense is für. German texts from a few centuries ago often treat the two as equivalent.

Even English has vestiges of the same confusion. Modern for is voor in the second sense, but voor in the first sense, spelled fore, is still strong in many compound words: especially before, but also forecast, unforeseen, foreboding, forecourt etc. So this nasty e isn't just there to make it harder for children to learn English orthography. It's there to distinguish two words. E.g. consider forward and foreword. The foreword is a word (or more) that we put in before (German: bevor) the book proper starts. Forward is the direction in which we go when we are headed for a goal (German uses neither für nor vor here, but German for for in other contexts is für). The pronunciation of the two words is only slightly different (in the vowel), just like in German.


Very interesting, thanks. I never noticed this for/fore thing before.

And while we're in the fun facts…in Dutch there also is the noun voor, which is a groove created by a plough. :)


Etymonline has confirmed my suspicion that the agricultural sense of voor is a cognate of German Furche and English furrow, which mean exactly the same thing.


That makes a lot of sense indeed. :) In my dialect the agricultural voor is pronounced like veure, so different form the other meanings of voor (there only the r sound is dropped compared to standard Dutch). I guess that also indicates the different origins.


Thank you Johaquila for explaining, you make me feel like starting the German language study earlier than planned... (Recently I have known fantastic German people on the internet!) And for ending, yes, that "Voor" in Belgian landscapes, I knew of them. Nice evening ( if you're in Europe), Lu


Lingot well deserved!


This is not a correct Dutch sentence, but an Anglicism. In Dutch you say: "Gedurende meer dan een decennium"


Could it be "For more than a decade"?


Should've been ok.


My response was "For more than one decade" and it is marked as wrong???


That would be, "voor meer dan èèn decennium"


This has already been mentioned in a previous comment, so I encourage to upvote that comment instead of creating your own. Regardless, the report button is designed for this exact purpose.


The thing is the option of "For more than a decade" was acceptable but not the option of "For more than one decade". But anyway, I will report it.


So, I got my Dutch and German confused and wrote 'more than a decade ago': vor mehr als einem Jahrzehnt. How do you say that in Dutch?


This really seems to be a point where Dutch is closer to English than to German. I think more than a decade ago translates as meer dan een decennium geleden.

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