Pretending to not speak English.

Ideas for learning Dutch. What have you tried? What worked for you? What did not work for you?
Post Reply
leukstudent
Nieuwkomer
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:56 pm
Country of residence: Netherlands
Mother tongue: English (Australia)
Second language: Dutch
Third language: French
Gender: Male

Pretending to not speak English.

Post by leukstudent » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:07 pm

Hello,

I will arrive in the Netherlands (Tilburg) in 2 weeks to live there. I can speak some basic self taught Dutch and know how to ask simple questions and do shopping. I often hear that people who speak a basic level of Dutch will get responded to in English rather than Dutch...

So what I want to do is pretend that I don't speak English when I am in an Eetcafé or the supermarket. I am thinking the best nationalities to pretend to be would be Bulgarian or Hungarian as it is unlikely to meet someone who speaks those languages in Brabant (I think).

Anyway, I want to know if any of you guys have had experiences with people pretending not to speak English or if you have used this trick yourself. How did it go?

Before I land I may learn some very basic Hungarian phrases (hehe).

User avatar
Bert
Superlid
Posts: 1170
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:07 pm
Mother tongue: Hungarian

Re: Pretending to not speak English.

Post by Bert » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:15 pm

Hi,

The problem with pretending to be e.g. a Hungarian is that the Dutch are aware of the fact that nowadays everybody speaks English. :) Or German. The other thing is, you will speak with your unusual accent, plus unconsciously will say "and" instead of "en", "supermarket" instead of "supermarkt" etc..

You can say to the lady in the supermarket:
- Ik kan u helaas niet goed verstaan. Kunt u wat langzamer/trager praten, alstublieft?
- (The lady says) Let's talk in English, why not, I love speaking English. :)
- Engels? Nee, het spijt me, maar ik heb me voorgenomen dat ik geen enkel Engels woord zou uitspreken zolang ik in Nederland zou verblijven. :)

Goede reis,
Bert

P.S. Ik spreek geen Engels (NL) = Nem beszélek angolul (H). Pronunciation guide: e = short e (like in 'stem'), sz = s (like in 'samen'), é = Dutch ee (like in 'zeer'), a = short a (like in 'appel'), g = like the G in 'English', o = short o (like in 'short' :)), u = Dutch oe (like in 'boek').

leukstudent
Nieuwkomer
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:56 pm
Country of residence: Netherlands
Mother tongue: English (Australia)
Second language: Dutch
Third language: French
Gender: Male

Re: Pretending to not speak English.

Post by leukstudent » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:08 am

Thanks for the reply :)

User avatar
Bert
Superlid
Posts: 1170
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:07 pm
Mother tongue: Hungarian

Re: Pretending to not speak English.

Post by Bert » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:13 pm

You're welcome.
Another jocular option:

- Ik ben uit een klein dorpje in Australië. Ik spreek alleen maar Nederlands en de taal van de Abo's: uit deze twee kunt u kiezen. :D

User avatar
Joke
Retired moderator
Posts: 1974
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:14 pm
Country of residence: Netherlands
Mother tongue: Dutch (Netherlands)
Second language: English
Third language: German
Fourth language: French
Fifth, sixth, seventh, ..., languages: Russisch (in progress...)
Gender: Female

Re: Pretending to not speak English.

Post by Joke » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:09 pm

Bert wrote:You're welcome.
Another jocular option:

- Ik kom uit een klein dorpje in Australië. Ik spreek alleen (maar) Nederlands en de taal van de Abo's: uit deze twee kunt u kiezen. :D
Ik ben het met Bert eens. Het is waarschijnlijk een beter idee om eerlijk te vertellen dat je liever Nederlands wilt spreken dan te doen alsof je Hongaars bent. Dat hou je waarschijnlijk niet lang vol.
Sommige mensen zullen nog steeds Engels met je spreken, maar er zullen ook vast wel mensen zijn die dan wel Nederlands zullen gebruiken.
Gewoon volhouden!
Succes!

I agree with Bert. It's probably a better idea to tell that you rather speak Dutch for practice than to pretend that you are Hongarian, as it will be hard to stick to that lie without giving away that you do understand English.
Some people will still speak English with you, no matter how hard you try, but I'm sure there will be people that will let you practice your Dutch.

Just keep trying!
Good luck!

Vilmos
Superlid
Posts: 241
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:59 pm
Country of residence: Netherlands
Mother tongue: Dutch (Netherlands)
Second language: English
Third language: Afrikaans
Fourth language: German
Gender: Male
Location: Heerlen

Re: Pretending to not speak English.

Post by Vilmos » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:50 am

Gewoon stug in het Nederlands blijven antwoorden, dan stappen ze op een gegeven moment wel van het Engels af... :)

Shazzy
Superlid
Posts: 478
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:20 pm
Country of residence: United Kingdom
Mother tongue: English
Second language: Dutch
Gender: Female
Location: Isle of Wight, UK

Re: Pretending to not speak English.

Post by Shazzy » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:14 pm

Hoi

The last time I was in holland I had this problem as they picked up my English accent lol but how I got around it was go up to the counter and when you give them your goods say alstublieft because normal english holiday makers do not do that lol

I think it depends where you are as well. I remember a story once when we were in Delft where a shop keeper spoke to Dutch people in English and they were not impressed at all.

The best thing you can do is start to learn Dutch as much as you can and use it as I think then you won't have such a problem. The more confident you are at speaking Dutch the less they will do it.

Shazzy

Jodi
Lid
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:13 pm
Country of residence: United States
Mother tongue: English
Second language: French
Third language: English
Fourth language: English
Gender: Female

Re: Pretending to not speak English.

Post by Jodi » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:35 pm

Tell them you don't speak English and fake some consonants like Mexican "r" :)

bryanlear
Nieuwkomer
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:55 pm
Country of residence: Netherlands
Mother tongue: Spanish
Second language: English (United States)
Gender: Male

Re: Pretending to not speak English.

Post by bryanlear » Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:04 pm

well I've been here in the Netherlands for 1 month and i only know the basic of the Dutch language. Whenever i go to a store to buy something or whatever i try to speak in Dutch and people always reply in Dutch I am starting to understand a lot of things but sometimes i have to tell them '' sorry ik begrijp het niet '' engels or spaans or whatever geen nederlands. :D

User avatar
knuffelbeertje
Lid
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:27 pm
Country of residence: United States
Mother tongue: English (United States)
Gender: Female

Re: Pretending to not speak English.

Post by knuffelbeertje » Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:25 am

Just keep talking in Dutch even if someone switches over to English, and if they don't get the message you can politely tell them that you're trying to improve your Dutch and want to speak it as much as possible.
Please correct all my Dutch language mistakes. Every correction is appreciated! [-o< :D

ngonyama
Superlid
Posts: 1317
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:15 am
Country of residence: United States
Mother tongue: Dutch (Netherlands)
Second language: English
Third language: German
Fourth language: French
Fifth, sixth, seventh, ..., languages: Russisch, Xhosa

Re: Pretending to not speak English.

Post by ngonyama » Sun Dec 28, 2014 4:24 am

Commencez à parler français! Ça devrait les guérir vite.

Teodor
Superlid
Posts: 147
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:17 am
Country of residence: Belgium
Mother tongue: Dutch (Flanders)
Second language: Serbo-Croatian
Third language: French
Fourth language: English

Re: Pretending to not speak English.

Post by Teodor » Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:22 am

Like most people said: explain to them that you'd rather speak Dutch. And if they still don't get it: try to correct their English mercilessly, including their pronunciation. Perhaps they'll get how impolite they're being themselves. And then again suggest: "Hmmm... Misschien is het beter dat we Nederlands spreken." :D

I'm sorry, but I really wouldn't have any pity with those people. Insisting on speaking English when someone is clearly trying to speak your language is one of the most boorish things one can do.

Post Reply