Saturday, October 25, 2008

Enuf to make bus drivers laugh

"Do you speak Dutch?"
It is a completely reasonable question.

I've lived here of and on for almost 2 years now, i even took a Dutch language class when i first got here and learned some of the basics. But i am terrible with languages. i blame laziness.

And of course the Netherlands is perhaps the easiest country in the world to not speak the official language. English is taught in the schools from an early age. Most young people are in to English language pop music. Anka who is staying here at Casa Robino is from Romania, she learned English watching the 5 minutes of Bambi cartoons she was permitted each day, before "the changes" took place there. And then like many in the former eastern block MTV became her tutor.

So every day i use my minimal Dutch and almost everytime the person i am talking with takes pity on me and switches to English. I do have long record of keeping mass transit operators and ticket collecters amused.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

i too find my very minimal Dutch (of which you taught me my first word) very useful for cheap laughs with strangers. Knopenwinkle is my all time fave - not many button stores around anymore though...ik hou van jou Pax