Among other things

Although it’s perfectly valid English, it’s not all that common a phrase and often not the most natural equivalent of the Dutch “onder andere”.

The default, literal translation of “onder andere” = among others or among other things is usually a bit longer and uglier than it needs to be. There are other solutions, including:

  • Well, I just gave you the commonest one: including
  • In scientific or legal writing, there’s the Latin inter alia
  • And in fact, the reality in practice is often that you’re giving one or two examples (and/or hedging your bets in case you’ve forgotten some). In which case, the natural English will more probably be:
    • for example
    • for instance
    • e.g.

The abbreviated version “a.o.” that many Dutch people come up with is even less helpful, by the way: the natives simply won’t know what you’re trying to say. (But fake abbreviations are another post altogether – due soon!)

Prevalence: endemic. Okay once or twice, but like most of these overused words, it soon grates and becomes clunky…
Frequency: high. …especially when the same author uses it ten times in short order.
Native: yes. It’s a valid phrase. Occasionally.

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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