Expertise

Only use this noun to mean someone’s acquired skill and knowledge in English, not as a term for a valuation or checkup or other professional opinion.

One of those cases where the word is often used in a different sense in Dutch than it is in English – but it’s a perfectly good word, so a spelling checker won’t pick you up on it.

  • a centre of expertise is an institution where you can find lots of knowledge and contacts about a specific subject, not some sort of glorified test centre
  • a contra-expertise does not translate as a “counter-expertise” or anything like that. The usual term is a second opinion

This is the one hundred and fiftieth post. And plenty more to come.

Prevalence: low. Not a terribly common word (in the wrong sense). Legalese uses it fairly regularly, as do insurance documents and – occasionally – technical ones.
Frequency: high. When the word is used in Dutch for some kind of professional opinion, the author’s translation is almost always the simple (incorrect) option.
Native: no. We’re fine with the usual meaning – it’s just the additional one that’s not normal English

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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