Student - 11 februari 2015

Blog: is too Dutch

The colophon of the online platform of Resource magazine states that ‘ is the website for students and staff at Wageningen UR.’ But my recent experience tells me something else.

I was finalising the proposal for my thesis when I got disturbed by the sound of an incoming Facebook chat message. It was a friend saying: ‘Is it really necessary to have an online platform for Resource?’

Beside my surprise about her direct question, without even saying hi or hello, I thought: ‘Come on girl, which century are you living in.’ Then I replied: ‘Yes, of course.’

She promptly wrote back: ‘Really? Why is that?’

Now I felt like she was trying to tease me. I was little bit pissed off with such dumb questions. Firstly, I thought, it is the only platform where my blogs are published. But I figured this answer would be too selfish. So, I wrote: ‘Publishing online is environmentally friendly and you can cover a wide audience.’

There was another quick reply: ‘OK... but why do they have a website for it? They could simply publish the pdf file of the magazine on the WUR website.’

I swear to God, this was really pissing me off. I typed: ‘Are you drunk or are you just trying to tease me. Listen Girl! I am really busy, and am just a blogger. Go and ask the editors. And if it is just for fun, let’s talk tomorrow.’

There was a prompt reply: ‘I am not drunk or trying to tease you. Just answer me this.’

Then I thought for 30 seconds. ‘Having its own website is more user-friendly. You don’t have to wait for the paper version of Resource to read the news around WUR. They can upload it regularly. Having an online platform has helped Resource to be interactive and cover news in timely manner.’

I thought this would end the conversation, but to my dismay, there was another message. ‘But Resource only covers such timely mannered news on the Dutch online platform, not on the English one. The English news only gets published online after it has appeared in the paper version.’

I didn’t believe her, so I went to the website and checked it. Yes, the allegations were true. All I could answer was: ‘Mail the editor and ask him.’

This ended the chat session, although I do wonder: why does Resource only have regular news updates on its Dutch platform? WUR has become an international university and Resource is a part of it. International students who do not know Dutch should not be deprived of timely access to news. Maybe the colophon should state: ‘ is the website for students and staff at Wageningen UR, focused primarily to those who know Dutch’.

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  • Edwin van Laar (editor in chief Resource)

    You've got a point there, Mary. The English website is definitely an issue for us. The amount of news on our Dutch website has increased a lot recently, making the contrast with the English website even bigger and more obvious. In the end this is to do with the capacity to translate the articles. The way it is now organized is not ideal, but as I said, we are on the case. Meanwhile we have started putting all the stories in the English edition of the magazine online. And there will certainly be more content on the English website in the (near) future.

    • Mary

      I do believe that it is definitely not about Dutch v/s English. Its just that there are lots of international students whose mother tongue is not English though since we have this common way out to communicate through this common language, we believe that we also would like to read our Wageningen based magazine online in English. It is great that the issue has been the focus of Resource as well. I am sure with your initiatives we could improve more in this regards. Thank you so much.

  • Hans

    Haha.. Absolutely true.. Today the pdf link to English version of resource also leads to Dutch version. There is no link to English version.

  • Gerben

    But seriously - this doesn't negate the added value of a digital resource (and yes the magazine.pdf is easily accessible here.) Even if the news doesn't update in time, English speakers can still react on the articles (opinions, feedback, transparance etc.), but more importantly some of the blogs are only available on the internet and don't appear in the paper magazine. I.e. on internet there is more space for collumns, opinions etc.

  • Dutchie

    Why keep Resource bilingual ? Official language of the university is English, so it should be English only !

  • dd

    better learn dutch

  • Wakker Vlees

    First-world problems...

    • Henk de Vries

      Hahaha yeah. If you think about this, you must be very lucky in your life.

  • International Student

    Yes, I agree with you. I have a simple solution for this. Open the webpage via google chrome. Right click it and click traslate to English. I hope this helps. :) :)