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200832Re: THEORY: Don't speak my language!

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  • Njenfalgar
    Feb 2, 2014
      2014-02-03 Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <tsela.cg@...>:

      > On 2 February 2014 17:04, Thomas Ruhm <thomas@...> wrote:
      > > I read about the case of Dutch too.
      > Having learned Dutch in the Netherlands myself I can explain my experience
      > with that one. It's true that when they come across someone who sounds
      > foreign, they will automatically switch to English (or German in tourist
      > areas ;) ). There are a few reasons for that:
      > - The Dutch are very good at foreign languages, especially English and
      > German. TV series are broadcasted in original language with subtitles
      > rather than dubbing (except series for little children), so they are used
      > to foreign languages are often very much at ease with them. They are also a
      > practical folk who considers that time is money, and trying to make
      > yourself understood in Dutch to someone who is obviously not fluent in the
      > language is just inefficient. So they will switch to the mode of
      > communication considered more efficient.
      > - The Dutch have a bit of an inferiority complex about their language: it's
      > just a local language spoken only in a small area of the world (and the
      > other areas it's spoken it's as a result of colonialism, which opens its
      > own can of worms), so many Dutch people have difficulties coming to terms
      > with the idea that a foreigner would even want to learn their language. It
      > doesn't fit their worldview, so they can't quite grok it and often don't.
      > - Maybe related to the previous point, it's considered polite to speak in a
      > way that the guest will understand best, so if it means switching to
      > English because 1 person in a company of 10 doesn't understand English well
      > enough, then so be it. It goes so far that in many companies across the
      > Netherlands, the official workfloor language is English (that's the case at
      > my company, but I luckily work in a department which is mostly full of
      > Dutch speakers, so I speak mostly Dutch there :P).
      > This said, it doesn't mean that it's not annoying. It's been quite a
      > challenge for me to learn Dutch because of that behaviour, because as soon
      > as I was having any kind of difficulty or my pronunciation wasn't perfect
      > people just switched to English (if they didn't switch to English
      > immediately upon hearing my name!). Even nowadays, despite me being mostly
      > fluent in the language, with hardly any accent at all (I sound Belgian to
      > most people ;) ), there are still people who will tend to speak to me in
      > English, and carry on in English even after pointing out that I speak Dutch
      > well enough to follow them flawlessly! Luckily, those people are rare.

      I have exactly the same experience, but maybe even worse. Dutch is my
      native language, and I've *always* been going to school in Dutch, so
      there's no reason at all any Dutch person should address me in English. But
      last time I was in the Randstad area (don't remember the city), people
      would speak to me (and to the colleagues I was with) in English, just
      because they heard we weren't locals.


      Yésináne gika asahukúka ha'u Kusikéla-Kísu yesahuwese witi nale lálu wíke
      uhu tu tinitíhi lise tesahuwese. Lise yésináne, lina, ikéwiyéwa etinizáwa
      búwubúwu niyi tutelíhi uhu yegeka.

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