In a manner, way or fashion

If you want to write English in an efficient manner, in a smart way and in a natural fashion, then don’t forget your adverbs. Do it efficiently, smartly and naturally.

Adverbial phrases in Dutch such as op een zinvolle manier and op een aangename wijze tend to get long-winded translations using manner, way and fashion, whereas the adverb can be shorter, clearer and more natural:

  • op een zinvolle manier => sensibly
  • op een aangename wijze => pleasantly

It’s the old trap of trying to translate word for word, the syntax rather than the semantics. Here’s what my company’s website has to say about that, in Dutch and in English.

Prevalence: endemic. Dutch authors tend to forget their adverbs.
Frequency: very high. Particularly in texts that have a formal style, where long-windedness is commonplace.
Native: yes. We can be unnecessarily long-winded at times too.

Published by Mike Wilkinson

Twenty years of translating and editing Dutch into English, as well as writing and publishing in English.

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