Jump to content
Linguaholic

Willingness of Native speakers to practise Dutch.


Recommended Posts

I've found that the Dutch are probably the least willing to speak dutch with a non-native speaker than any other nationality. I suppose this is due to the fact that they are some of the most proficient non-native English speakers in the world.

Most English speakers will have trouble finding natives to speak to when learning a foreign language, but my experience with dutch speakers is very bizarre. Even in groups of 5/6 Dutchmen, when I am the only Englishman there they still speak English.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I'm a native Dutch speaker (well, more like Flemish but that's the same without the strange accent ;) ).

I completely agree with your opinion. From when we're 10, we have to study French (I'm only talking about Belgium here) because Belgium is bilingual. Then we have study French for 7 years and depending on your level of education you also have to study German (a small portion of Belgians live in a German speaking region). We also have to study English for at least 3 years.

So yes, we speak a decent amount of languages and being fluent in at least 2 languages means we can help people out by speaking their language.

It's strange but the Flemish mostly dislike speaking French and the Walloons dislike speaking Dutch even when they cross the language border.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Hi, I'm a native Dutch speaker (well, more like Flemish but that's the same without the strange accent ;) ).

I completely agree with your opinion. From when we're 10, we have to study French (I'm only talking about Belgium here) because Belgium is bilingual. Then we have study French for 7 years and depending on your level of education you also have to study German (a small portion of Belgians live in a German speaking region). We also have to study English for at least 3 years.

So yes, we speak a decent amount of languages and being fluent in at least 2 languages means we can help people out by speaking their language.

It's strange but the Flemish mostly dislike speaking French and the Walloons dislike speaking Dutch even when they cross the language border.

I've heard people say that English is the most commonly known language in Belgium, as half speak Dutch/Flemish, half speak French and everyone knows English. What's your opinion on that? I've never met a Belgian that can't speak English, so I thought there might be something to it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

My future in laws a seems to prefer speaking to me in Dutch than in English :P but that's probably because their English isn't that good.  Plus they want me to learn Dutch fast, so me and their son can start a life together pretty soon.

I hope I never get to experience what you said tho. Because being able to practice dutch with native speakers is truly useful when you are trying to learn the language as fast as you can.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I've heard people say that English is the most commonly known language in Belgium, as half speak Dutch/Flemish, half speak French and everyone knows English. What's your opinion on that? I've never met a Belgian that can't speak English, so I thought there might be something to it.

Yes, most people in Belgium (especially the Flemish) speak English. However, the percentage of French speaking Belgians (Walloons) who speak English is lower than the Flemish.

I think the main reason for this is because Flanders is exposed to English more frequently than the French part of our country. Many TV programs and movies are American or British, and all subtitled in Flanders, while almost everything is dubbed in the French part.

As for our (non-) willingness to speak Dutch to a non-Dutch native, I think it's because we love speaking other languages, so when we have an opportunity to speak English, we switch :)

But if you make it clear to us you want to speak Dutch, we would be more than happy to practice Dutch with you :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

The idea I get when speaking to people about learning languages, especially people with english as their native tongue, is that they won't even bother learning a new language. In this day and age, that's not really a requirement to live a good live so it's a valid point. Personally I'm convinced of the positive effects of learning another language, being able to communicate with more people, understand cultures better etcetera. Personally, as a native of the Netherlands, I'm willing to help someone learn the Dutch language.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...