View Full Version : The Dutch letter 'IJ'.


mbovenka
12-27-2011, 11:52 AM
Kovid,

I just found out that the author J. IJmker (note the capitalisation) gets sorted with the I, as if written Ijmker.

However, in Dutch the IJ is not a combination of the letters I and J, but a single letter, the 'IJ' (or 'long Y', as opposed to the 'ei' diphthong which sounds the same and is called 'short Y'), lower case 'ij' which is supposed to be sorted with the 'Y' (which is called 'Y-grec' or 'Greek Y' in Dutch).

To recap:

'ei': Two letters, called 'short Y', gets sorted with E (as expected).
'IJ': single letter, to be sorted as Y.
Y: called 'Y-grec' or 'Greek Y' and sorted as Y (as expected).

Another small point: Calibre does not recognize Roman numerals in names (as in 'Victor Appleton II' for instance) and also sorts them as 'I'

Can you tell I've been cleaning up my authors starting with 'I' today? :D

theducks
12-27-2011, 12:05 PM
Kovid,

I just found out that the author J. IJmker (note the capitalisation) gets sorted with the I, as if written Ijmker.

However, in Dutch the IJ is not a combination of the letters I and J, but a single letter, the 'IJ' (or 'long Y', as opposed to the 'ei' diphthong which sounds the same and is called 'short Y'), lower case 'ij' which is supposed to be sorted with the 'Y' (which is called 'Y-grec' or 'Greek Y' in Dutch).

To recap:

'ei': Two letters, called 'short Y', gets sorted with E (as expected).
'IJ': single letter, to be sorted as Y.
Y: called 'Y-grec' or 'Greek Y' and sorted as Y (as expected).

Another small point: Calibre does not recognize Roman numerals in names (as in 'Victor Appleton II' for instance) and also sorts them as 'I'

Can you tell I've been cleaning up my authors starting with 'I' today? :D

If you right click the Authors name in the Tag Browser window on the Left, then select Manage Authors.
You can adjust the Author Sort value to your tastes.
(I find that I need to fix Authors with Generation as part of their name)

Manichean
12-27-2011, 12:37 PM
I think what he was complaining about is that in dutch, the 'ij' should be sorted before (after?) the 'y' and not as a 'i'. I don't know how to fix that, though, possibly some Python internationalization magic is needed...

kovidgoyal
12-27-2011, 01:02 PM
The sorting rules depend on the language you select for the calibre interface and they are provided by the ICU project. They cannot be modified further in calibre code.

mbovenka
12-28-2011, 03:50 AM
The sorting rules depend on the language you select for the calibre interface and they are provided by the ICU project. They cannot be modified further in calibre code.

OK, that's clear. It's not that big of a deal (it affects a single book in my library), so I'll live with it if the only way to fix it is to run Calibre in Dutch :D

Thanks for the explanation.

AnneT
12-28-2011, 06:02 AM
However, in Dutch the IJ is not a combination of the letters I and J, but a single letter, the 'IJ' (or 'long Y', as opposed to the 'ei' diphthong which sounds the same and is called 'short Y'), lower case 'ij' which is supposed to be sorted with the 'Y' (which is called 'Y-grec' or 'Greek Y' in Dutch).


Not completely true...
I know that in the Netherlands, most people consider a 'IJ' as a modificated 'Y', and sort accordingly: IJzer comes after York in the Netherlands...
But in Belgium a IJ is considered as a combination of I and J, and words are sorted that way: IJzer comes before intussen in Flanders...

And... as far as I know... Dutch dictionaries like Van Dale (which is considered 'reference') do it the 'Belgian' way...

mbovenka
12-28-2011, 06:42 AM
Not completely true...
I know that in the Netherlands, most people consider a 'IJ' as a modificated 'Y', and sort accordingly: IJzer comes after York in the Netherlands...
But in Belgium a IJ is considered as a combination of I and J, and words are sorted that way: IJzer comes before intussen in Flanders...

And... as far as I know... Dutch dictionaries like Van Dale (which is considered 'reference') do it the 'Belgian' way...

I looked at it a bit more deeply, and it's indeed even more complicated than I thought ;)

As always, Wikipedia is a good first reference: IJ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IJ_(digraph))

And you're right, dictionaries treat it as I+J (as do the Belgians and the Taalunie), which I personally find very odd, and is not what I was taught in school. I was taught what Horlings (http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http://www.geocities.com/akhorlin/95-ij.html&date=2009-10-25+12:09:42) (warning, Dutch text) calls the 'Hollands' point of view: that IJ and Y are variant glyphs of the same letter, and the Dutch alfabet ends with X IJ Z. This is what the Dutch phone directory does (treating Y and IJ as the same letter for sorting).

Confusing, but fun :D

AnneT
12-28-2011, 10:34 AM
Actually, I'm Belgian, live in Belgium, and work in the Netherlands.
I always had problems when searching for a name with a 'ij' in our filing system...

In fact, in Belgium, we learn(ed) that the alphabet ends 'x ypsilon z'. For us, y and ij are something different.
When we learned to write capitals, we wrote 'ijs' at the beginning of a sentence as 'Ijs', not as 'IJs'. What we learned about the 'ij' was, like Horlings says: 'Eigenlijk bestaat de ij niet eens. Het is een samengesteld letterteken' (As a matter of facts, the ij doesn't really exist. It is a compound lettersign.') But in Belgium, we still consider it as a compound lettersign, just like (other) diphtongs like ei and aai and ieu. So accordingly, we sort ij and y different.

It's always fun to see how the same language is treated just a little bit different on both sides of the border.

mbovenka
12-28-2011, 10:55 AM
But in Belgium, we still consider it as a compound lettersign, just like (other) diphtongs like ei and aai and ieu. So accordingly, we sort ij and y different.

It's always fun to see how the same language is treated just a little bit different on both sides of the border.

Treating it as a compound is historically correct, it seems, as it grew from 'ii'. And that's why the Taalunie treats it as such and sorts like you across the border do ;). The 'ii' roots are still to be heard in places where it is pronounced 'ie' and not 'ei', like in the place name 'Wijchen', pronounced 'Wiegen', not 'Weigen'. Still, it is different from the other dipthongs in the way it's capitalized, as both I and J must be capitalized; it's 'IJzer', not 'Ijzer'.

Yep, like they say, 'Two nations devided by a common language' (said of the UK and the USA, but Belgium and the Netherlands fit too...)

Sweetpea
12-29-2011, 04:21 AM
Treating it as a compound is historically correct, it seems, as it grew from 'ii'. And that's why the Taalunie treats it as such and sorts like you across the border do ;). The 'ii' roots are still to be heard in places where it is pronounced 'ie' and not 'ei', like in the place name 'Wijchen', pronounced 'Wiegen', not 'Weigen'. Still, it is different from the other dipthongs in the way it's capitalized, as both I and J must be capitalized; it's 'IJzer', not 'Ijzer'.

Yep, like they say, 'Two nations devided by a common language' (said of the UK and the USA, but Belgium and the Netherlands fit too...)

Yet, you'll see Ijzer and IJzer... I must admit, since I've left school, I've not kept up with the changing rules... I don't even know if it's pannenkoek or pannekoek anymore... And personally, I don't give a damn.... I never was very good at Dutch anyway :rofl: