Why is this site in English and Dutch?
November 26, 2014 7:33 AM   Subscribe

In the past, I've seen that sometimes English is interspersed with another language on certain websites. This site, however, has English titles to their posts, but most everything else is in Dutch. Why?

I may just be an uncultured, isolated American, but I'm trying to figure out how this is functional. If the target audience is NL, even if they speak both, what purpose does having some of the site in English at all? It just seems like it could frustrate some of your visitors and only be useful for the "specialists" that speak both.

Is it possibly a fashionable statement, similar to how they use Kanji in the US? This doesn't seem to fit here, though. Or is English that ubiquitous there?

posted by dozo to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Well, for one thing, roughly 90% of Dutch speakers are also fluent in English (and that percentage gets much larger when you are looking at the relatively young and tech savvy demographic this site is targeting). So there's no real downside to having mixed English and Dutch. As for the advantage of doing so, I'd bet that the English titles helps with their search engine optimization, particularly at catching people who are making google searches in English from an NL IP address.
posted by 256 at 7:48 AM on November 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yes, mixing English and Dutch is a fashionable statement in the Netherlands. I see it a lot in advertising aimed at young people; see here and here. Also, if you listen to ads on Dutch radio, you'll often hear slogans spoken in English.

The difference between English in the Netherlands and kanji in the US is that percentage of the Dutch population who can speak and understand English is very, very high.

I don't know what's up with that site in particular; I guess it could be an SEO thing.
posted by neushoorn at 7:51 AM on November 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the explanations. It makes sense now, especially after perusing the coolcat site.

I wish we did more of this in the US, but it's almost a point of pride for many people to only speak one language. A shame, really.
posted by dozo at 8:22 AM on November 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

"I wish we did more of this in the US, "
Ever been to Southern California?
posted by Ideefixe at 10:14 AM on November 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is really common with European fashion blogs. (Random example via Google: the majority of these ten French bloggers featured in Lucky do it.) I think it's an SEO thing.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 10:29 AM on November 26, 2014

Actually, I think something else is going on here.

There's a language switch on the site, near the bottom of the page. Switching to Dutch ("Nederlands") results in a Dutch site, with Dutch titles and Dutch content.

So actually, my guess is that someone messed up their style sheet, and that somehow, somewhere in their CMS there are English versions of the body text of each item, feeling neglected because they never see the light of day.
posted by Ms. Next at 10:33 AM on November 26, 2014

To elaborate on my previous comment: here and here are examples of the same blog posts, but on the Dutch part of their site, with Dutch titles. So it might be SEO, but I'm pretty sure it's an error. (In which case, I think they'll be fixing it shortly, as they probably monitor incoming links...)
posted by Ms. Next at 10:49 AM on November 26, 2014

Yeah, Ms. Next is probably right. I was thinking the same thing but I didn't see the language toggle. I often see those kinds of errors in Android apps - there's an English option but some words are in Dutch because they're obviously still being pulled from some other part of the code.
posted by neushoorn at 11:00 AM on November 26, 2014

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