It’s not fair to compare academic German from 1954 with academic Dutch from 2004. Not at all. So I’m sure the authors of the former are not to blame for the bizarrely complicated sentences, which send not only verbs, but also nouns to the end of clauses. It’s the only language I’ve ever seen that will go through an entire long almost-sentence describing the subject of the larger sentence… before telling you what they’re describing. The [by the worthy doctor carefully collected and painstakingly copied manuscript] can be found in the Niedersachsen Museum…
The concerning thing is that German academic writing doesn’t actually appear to have changed substantially in the past 50 years. It’s still like that. Between German (which I know well) and Dutch (which I don’t), it’s almost easier to read the Dutch. After making the acquaintance of a number of Dutch people, I suspect that Dutch academics may be, on the whole, more straightforward in general.
And then there’s the fact that Deutsch/Duits means German, while ‘Dutch’ is Nederlandisch/Nederlands. Sometimes English speakers are our own worst enemies. (Unless you’re reading academic German, in which case the your worst enemy is probably the author.)
o O o
In non-Germanic news, I’m about to leave work (I work from the PhD office most days) to go thrifting with a friend. And then we will have delicious salmon for dinner, because I am in a trying-new-recipes sort of mood, sparked partially by a website I stumbled across the other day, Pinch of Yum. Which is pleasant, since I’ve not been giving a lot of thought to dinner this week. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Happy weekend! Do actual fun things. My Valentine’s Day plans so far consist of cooking a delicious (but not terribly time-consuming) dinner and making a blanket fort in the living room to watch movies. I refuse to buy Valentine cards, preferring cards with no particular occasion, baked goods, and snuggles. So go forth, love each other, and do fun things.