Language, Amsterdam

25 Reviews

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  • Language
    by betako3
  • A really long Dutch word ;-)
    A really long Dutch word ;-)
    by orlikins
  • Language
    by Jenniflower
  • Language etiquette in Amsterdam/Netherlands

    by robk998 Written Oct 25, 2006

    People from the English speaking countries--and elsewhere--whose Dutch is serviceable enough to use will frequently find that people in Amsterdam and elsewhere will begin speaking English to you as soon as they detect that you know English. If this happens, it is a good idea to continue the conversation in English. If you switch back to Dutch, many people will take it that you do not believe their English is up to snuff, and they may get a little huffy. Dutch people love to practice their English on English speakers! If you insist on using your Dutch, your best bet is to go into one of the many establishments run by immigrants. Many immigrants to the Netherlands are more comfortable in Dutch than in English--and some of them know only their mother tongue and Dutch--, so they will appreciate your addressing them in a language they can get through.

    I strongly recommend that one should not, ever, under any circumstances, address any Dutch person in German. Es ist empfohlen, unter keinen Umstaenden einen Niederlaender auf Deutsch anzusprechen. Niemals.

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  • Keep speaking Dutch

    by MichaelJHunt Written Jul 1, 2007

    It is a very bad idea to keep speaking English merely to satisfy Dutch people who want to practice it. The tourist was the one who made the effort to travel to the Netherlands. Dutch is the official language. Therefore, if one can hold any kind of reasonable conversation, one have the right to speak Dutch in the Netherlands. One might explain this politely to Dutch people who answer in English. If one of those people is still offended, that is his/her problem. One should not worry overly much about this when it comes to issues with right or wrong answers.

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  • keep speaking Dutch

    by MichaelJHunt Written Jul 1, 2007

    One poster discussed how the Dutch might be offended if a tourist speaks Dutch in the Netherlands. Since Dutch is the official language, no Dutch person has any right to expect a tourist who can hold a remotely reasonable conversation in Dutch to speak English or any other language. If someone answers in English, it is best to politely explain that you want him/her to speak Dutch, since you came for that purpose. However, if that fails, don't worry about offending the obstinate English answerer. He/she is in the wrong. It may be best to leave the conversation.

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    by el_ruso Written Aug 29, 2007

    The language in the Netherlands is Dutch, which sounds similar to German. But virtually everyone as it seems understands English as well, so if you speak English, you will not encounter any language difficulties in Amsterdam.

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  • tell the barman where you are from quick

    by coolcolin Written Dec 27, 2005

    When you arrive in a bar in Amsterdam your time there will be much better if you get into the conversation where you are from .The barman,and regulars will open up to you when they realise you are not one of hollands immediate neighbours as they flood across every weekend.

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    by Sprucebeer Written Jan 8, 2005

    I’m not quite sure of the meaning of this but I noticed that the Dutch say Alstublieft (please) all the time. At first I thought it was short for please excuse my hands or please excuse (something) when in restaurants. But then even when you buy something the sales person does not say Dank u (thank you) but rather Alstublieft. Actually in Belgium they also say s.v.p. (s’il vous plait) which is French for please.

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  • MEnTAL_Clown's Profile Photo

    Never ever be shy of asking...

    by MEnTAL_Clown Written Aug 26, 2002

    Never ever be shy of asking someone on the streets; direction or help for anything else in english! The habitants find it normal to be spoken to in english since their language is so poorly known. What's more never will you be helped by nicer people! People would run after you (or your car) if they realise they gived you a wrong information!!

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    No need to reach for the phrasebook

    by deeper_blue Written Feb 11, 2003

    That is if you speak English....
    The Dutch are excellent at speaking English, especially in Amsterdam.
    You can often hear conversations in pubs and restaurants in English and many shop signs and adverts have been translated too.

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  • eitakorlando's Profile Photo

    Everyone speaks excellent...

    by eitakorlando Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Everyone speaks excellent English here -- can get around easily of your mastery of another language is nil.

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  • Languages

    by sabsi Updated Feb 14, 2003

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A typical Dutch Bridge

    It's amazing how well the Dutch people speak English and German and how they can quickly switch from one language to the other. English speaking people will never have a communication problem here!

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