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Interview – a false friend

Quick interviewThe word interview is a false friend for Dutch speakers of English. The word was adopted into Dutch with the specific meaning of a conversation between a reporter and a well-known person about the latter’s views or experiences, for publication in a magazine or newspaper or for broadcasting on radio or TV. It can also refer to the published or broadcast version of that conversation.

However, in English, interview has a much broader meaning. It can refer to any relatively formal meeting. Beside the meaning the word has in Dutch, interview can also refer (for example) to a discussion between an employer and a candidate for a job (Dutch: sollicitatiegesprek), between a police officer and a suspect (Dutch: verhoor), between a manager and a staff member (functioneringsgesprek, evaluatiegesprek, etc.), and between a reporter and anyone who is being asked a number of questions (vraaggesprek). Interview is also a verb: you can be interviewed for a job, you can be interviewed by the police, or interviewed by a newspaper reporter.

© 2014 Baxter Publishing, Hilversum, The Netherlands

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