From Black Pages To A Wonderful White Guide

Flanders (the northern part of Belgium) and the Netherlands share the same language: Dutch. The difference is like the difference between UK and US English. Same language, but a different pronunciation and some words are different, but well understood by the others.

When the Belgian SA fellowship started 12 years ago, the Dutch fellowship got reanimated as they had already had an SA group 13 years before. That group had made a first translation of the White Book into Dutch, which both fellowships started using. It was not a printed version but a photocopied one. The overall translation was not bad, but at times really missed the mark.

A Dutch fellow started to retranslate the White Book in 2010. Other Dutch fellows joined in and suggested a Flemish fellow should be part of the translation service. They thus formed and met every couple of months at the house of one of the members for a full weekend and went sentence by sentence over the text.

It was big fun, fellowshipping, with a lot of laughter, a walk on the nearby Dutch beach, nice meals – but also at times heated discussions between members who, at the time, had been sober for just some months. Several discussions started from the differences between Dutch and Flemish. The Serenity Prayer sounded many times.

After some months the Dutch fellows decided to go on without the Flemish member/input. At this point, the reader needs to know that the Dutch population counts 17,500,000 people while the Flemish speakers count up to only 6,500,000 people. So it wasn’t illogical that the Dutch intergroup decided to translate the White Book according to their version of Dutch, and just ask the Flemish fellowship, upon completion, if they wanted to have some books printed too.

It took several years more for the Dutch fellows to get to their final version of the translation of the book, including the time needed to get it approved by the International Translations Committee, and finally to offer the very first beautifully printed Dutch White Book to members in both Flanders and the Netherlands.

The Dutch intergroup has decided upon a thorough correction since a number of mistakes have been spotted over the two years that groups have been working with the new translation. There will still be mistakes in the new edition too. Progress, not perfection.

The service has kept the participants sober anyway and they may have gotten a better understanding of the content of this wonderful white guide to a happy, joyous, and free life for the sex junkie whose book showed black pages only . . .

Ben V., The Netherlands

Luc D., Belgium

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