Yeah that thing is a Pineapple

20-09-2012

Dutch people have a funny knack of being fantastically fluent in almost any language you happen to name. English? Yep. French? Of course. German? Well duh, it's easy for us Dutch people! Swedish? Yeah why not? Ancient Greek? Sure! Albanian? Naturally...

But something that really struck me when I first came to the Netherlands is the confidence of the Dutch in their language skills. Of course, due to the size and location of the Netherlands there is a need and motivation to learn other languages - and to a good level I might add. However, at times this confidence could get rather interesting. Take for example, a recent trip of mine to the Albert Heijn:

Dutch guy 1: "We could make a fruit salad?"

Me: "Yeah sure! What do you want to put in it?"

Dutch guy 1: "We could have some apples, oranges, mango, ananas...?"

Me: "You mean pineapple."

Dutch guy 1: "Huh? No, I don't. What's a pineapple?"

Me: "That." [points at pineapple]

Dutch guy 2: "That's an ananas!" [with very American accent]

Dutch guy 1: [laughs in a very self-assured way] "You don't know English?"

Dutch guys 1& 2: [laugh hysterically]

Me: "I'm an English native."

Dutch: "oh yeah. [awkward silence] ....so that thing is really called a pineapple?"

The most worrying thing is that I almost believed them when they said it was called an ananas.

The one thing that seems unique with the Dutch is not only their ability to speak many languages but also their confidence...  It got me thinking: maybe there is something we can learn from the Dutch?

To confidently deliver my limited French sentences, instead of swallowing my words to some Parisian waitress, or not caring at all when I get the Dutch words 'heel', 'geel' en 'geil' mixed up... (If you don't know what I am talking about - ask any nearby Dutchy).

But for now: the Dutch can keep their ananases.

 

Catriona

Yeah that thing is a Pineapple
catriona
Author: Redactie
Simone Golob

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