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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ha- if you don't know how to speak Dutch, don't do it! Otherwise someone will start going off thinking you understand and you will be completely lost. LOL. Everyone speaks English- so it's easy to ask shopkeepers and tram & bus drivers for directions. (Don't ask anyone on the street, they are probably tourists too!) We tipped in the restaurants anywhere from 5-20% depending on the attention extended us. And although tipping is supposed to not be a big deal there, I feel that anyone who is serving you deserves a 'personal' monetary thank you.
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!!
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.
Everyone speaks excellent English here -- can get around easily of your mastery of another language is nil.
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!