Edsger W. Dijkstra Archive



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English translations of EWDs originally in Dutch

EWD number

451 Lord, deliver us from charlatans! and
1235  A step over the mark

A word about translations:

Because I am unable to read any Dutch, I asked Wim Feijen, EWD's closest collaborator, for assistance in evaluating translations. His response:

Translation is an activity that requires a highly developed skill in at least two languages, and the problem with Edsger is that his mastery of Dutch is far beyond what an average translator can grasp.

In your case, I would stop chasing opportunities for translating Edsger's Dutch writings, no matter how you would like doing so....

After an attempt to translate EWD 724, EWD himself confesses that "this confrontation with the translator's problems was an educational experience", and (referring to a colleague who assisted in the translation) "neither of us is fully satisfied" with the result.

So I'm taking Wim's advice, and regretfully bringing the effort to translate any more Dutch EWDs into English to a halt. Thanks to all who made the effort.

—Ham Richards

Revised Fri, 11 Aug 2006