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OK, here is my question. I want to know if the following is correct:

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"The organisation issued a positive advice."

"My bank manager issued me with a positive advice."

"There are thousands of unhappy customers out there and it would not take much money from each customer to obtain a sizeable fighting fund to challenge the agreements through the courts. This may not be to everyones liking but subject to a positive advice from a Barrister, further action could be taken."

"Following a positive advice from the jury, the thesis was sponsored by the Commission for publication in the UK in the form of a book, 'The European Community and Indo-British Trade Relations' (Gower, England, 2003)."

"Today, the BEL20 presented the best results on the stock market since 10 mars 2009, all thanks to KBC, whose stocks rose by 15,4 per cent. This was mostly due to an increase of capital by Société Générale and a positive advice on buying European bank shares."

"The backlog in payments of 2006 and 2007 will also be paid as soon as the Council for Financial Supervision CFT renders a positive advice."
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The reason I am asking is that in Dutch, there is a very common phrase "een positief advies", and I would like to translate it as "a positive advice", but people tell me that it cannot be used like this, i.e., you can issue advice, but not an advice.

Can someone please help me to clear this up once and for all?


Thank you,

Michael J.W. Beijer

NB The examples above are copy/pasted straight from the internet and so contain spelling errors.
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Michael J.W. BeijerThe reason I am asking is that in Dutch, there is a very common phrase "een positief advies", and I would like to translate it as "a positive advice", but people tell me that it cannot be used like this, i.e., you can issue advice, but not an advice.
People have given you correct advice about advice. It is uncountable, which means that a/an is impossible with it. Extremely few uncountable nouns can take the indefintite article. Knowledge is one of them: He has a good knowledge of history.

CB
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Hi,

I wou;d advise against this kind of direct translation from Dutch.

'Advice' is an uncountable noun except for a few unusual contexts (legal and otherwise).

Clive
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Comments  
A side note: I worked for a Dutch/English company, and the management was often required to get the sanction of Staff Council on proposed management changes that would affect the employees.
This was always called "a positive advice" when the Staff Council approved the change. It did not mean the content (the advice) itself, but "a positive ruling."
So I think this might qualify as an example of Clive's "unusual contexts." It is most likely a direct translation from the Dutch.
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Take a look at the interesting discussion on Proz.com, where I posted the same question:

http://www.proz.com/forum/translation_in_the_uk/178985-issue_a_positive_advice_is_this_correct.html
In the case of a Dutch company and its work council, in our translation department we translate "een positief advies" as "a positive opinion". The opinion, a formal document drawn up by the works council, is in response to the "request for formal opinion" that the management has to send to the works council before it can proceed with certain types of changes in the company. The company does not have to fully act on the opinion of the works council but it is required to ask for it. A separate procedure is the "request for approval".
This is quite an old thread but an important question. I think this falls under the category of false cognate. It looks like a word or phrase in English or another language but has a different meaning. Aside from language teaching I worked for many years in the public sector on land us regulations and sat in many legal meetings / board meetings. I had never heard of positive advice aside from motivational advice...like do what you love. Approval, recommendation, favorable ruling, received approval....and the opposite, was denied, rejected , not approved. As a Dutch speaker writing in English I would not use the phrase positive advice to mean something received approval or passed or a board ruled in favour (favor) of. It's a tough one because all my go to translation websites had positive opinion / advice...but if you look at the source...all those examples were from Dutch / Belgian websites.
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