In November we had a bad university slogan festival, now it’s back to business with voting for the worst Dutch business slogans 2015. Last year’s winner roughly translates as ‘A carpenter hammers, a dentist drills… but we’re nicely located in Velsen-Noord’, which rhymes in Dutch, but that’s all it does. The 2013 winner, Jan De Cock uses “It’s De Cock that makes the man’ for his men’s clothing shop, which has actually worked for him rather than against him.
Dunglish seems to work wonders dumbing down slogans quicker than a scooter speeding over a bike path. A bakery boasts ‘Ik cake al naar je uit’, roughly ‘I’m caking (looking) forward to seeing you’, where cake and the Dutch ‘kijk’ (‘looking’) sound similar. My current favourites sans Dunglish is ‘Iedere paal gaat er in’ from a company that builds fences, which very roughly means ‘Every pole will go in’. A few of the contenders are straight up sexist but not funny in a 1970s kind of way, while some of them highlight excremental values.
The time to learn idiomatic Dutch is now.