Dunglish and Offbeat Guides

I posed this question on Twitter:


Meaning: Does anybody have an invite for the private beta of Offbeat Guides for me?

Then a twitterer, who by the way I suspect to be a native Dutchman or a US citizen with Dutch ancestry, answered “Sure”.

I waited for the things to come, then I DM ed (direct messaged) him that I would be glad to receive one and gave him my e-mail address….Nothing came.

Then another Twitterer who is a native German immediately announced that he also is interested to get an invite. Then I began to understand the possible miscommunication. The first one thought I had invites to offer. As German is nearer to Dutch than English I presume the German understood my question better. So I thought “Maybe this is due to my Denglish”.

Denglish and Dunglish

I looked up “Denglish” on Wikipedia and learned It is not “my Denglish” but “my Dunglish”. According to Wikipedia:

Dunglish is a “portmanteau of Dutch and English, a name for Dutch English. The word is often used pejoratively to refer to the mistakes native Dutch speakers make when speaking English”.

Denglish, sometimes spelled Denglisch, is a “portmanteau of the words Deutsch and Englisch. Used in all German-speaking countries, Denglisch describes an influx of English, or pseudo-English vocabulary into the German language through travel and English’s widespread usage in advertising and business.”

The most famous example of Dunglish is the following quote from ex Dutch Former prime-minister Joop den Uyl who once remarked:

“the Dutch are a nation of undertakers”. The Dutch verb ondernemen is literally the English undertake (as onder is under and nemen is take). The noun ondernemer is thus literally undertaker, however the idiomatic English usage is instead the French loanword entrepreneur. (Dutch uses the completely unrelated word begrafenisondernemer for a funeral director.)

About Offbeat Guides
Its a startup. Its about printing personal travel guides on demand, but the interesting thing is it has been set up by a technorati founder who left technorati. Read more at Tech Crunch and at Joe Buhler’s Site and here is Sifry’s own alert.

Personally I believe this is going back in time. I rather have a personalized MP3 Player or IPhone or other integrated gadget with which I can scrape all the necessary info from a good WiFi access point with map links, directions and so on. That might safe wood and me carrying around too much weight to fly with with all those current surcharges.

I remember one of the Booking.Com founders trying to set up a database with all hotel info in it. Just as a repository for the OTA’s and Destination marketing guys and girls. Just another abandoned project. Reason? No cross platform and no cross industry communication.

The video at Tech crunch reinforces this idea of mine. This is really 20th century stuff and thinking.

Ha, I wonder whether they’ll ever invite me after this rant.

What would you think?

Last update June 5, 2008

3 thoughts on “Dunglish and Offbeat Guides”

  1. Hm, perhaps you’d be better off waiting until we’re in a more complete state, with a number of additional features that we’re building out, it doesn’t sound like we’re really going after your needs; Of course as time progresses, having great updated maps, events, and other info available via a broadband device like a mobile phone will become more and more attractive, but for now, those devices are slow, hard to use, often expensive when traveling, and break down easily (when dropped, stepped upon, etc), and also difficult to use on a beach or in direct sunlight.

    Stay tuned for when we hit public beta, hopefully we’ll have built out a more significant feature set that you’ll see us differently.

    Thanks SO much for you thoughts and feedback, it’s really appreciated!

    Keep up the great blogging!


  2. Hi Dave,

    Nice to pop in here.

    But really think about it. On the TV promo footage you are waving a paper guide almost bigger than a Lonely Planet – Okay Okay the price seams great, especially with the current exchange rates, but we have already many small classic guides which also are practically printed on demand in small quantities in a smaller than usual pocket size that I can slide into my back pocket….However: The clever idea is to have it delivered to the destination, and throw it away after your trip. And mind you I really do love classic paper guides and paper maps….

    Good Luck anyway with this venture!

  3. Guido,

    Many thanks for your kind words and recommendations! When we get a bit further into the beta, I’ll be sure to send you an invite to the beta. We’d love your feedback once you’ve built a few of the guides yourself!


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