The Netherlands is undoubtedly an exciting country. It is only a few that haven't fallen in love with it and many that have made a second home here. When I first got here I was told that the language will not be an obstacle, that it is a strange hard to learn language but not needed really. What is the truth about that though?
A month ago we asked our readers to answer some questions so that we can have a look our selves, which is pretty much what we are doing since we stepped our foot here.
153 of our readers replied and answered our online questionnaire.
Out of the 153:
48 were men and 96 were women
112 already speak Dutch while 41 of them don't even wanna listen to Dutch apparently.
94 have been living here for 1 - 5 years, 12 have been living here for 5 - 10 years and 9 people have been here for more than 10 years. We also had 38 people that either forgot or didn't want to say.
We've split your answer into 2 categories (those who speak Dutch and those who don't) and we included 3 questions that were for both groups.
Lets start by looking at what people who speak Dutch answered.
I speak Dutch: Answers
As you can see, if someone really wants to, there are a lot of ways to learn Dutch.
The Dutch language might not be pleasing for the Greeks, as it appears, but nonetheless there were a lot of people that found it interesting and we weren't expecting that. Did you answer truthfully? :p
A small percentage is resisting fanatically and insists that they don't have problems here living in Amsterdam and working for multicultural companies. But you can't have a small "Greece" here without 16 Leonides
Most answered that knowing the language has helped them a lot with their daily lives. Speaking the language can help you find a job faster, meet new people, understand the culture, the way of life but also make your own life easier by being able to communicate at public services but also in every day needs.
I don't speak Dutch: answers
Most people that don't speak Dutch didn't do so as a choice or on purpose. What many people don't realize is that lack of time and the amount of money that someone needs in order to learn Dutch is hard to be found for many people. One could still learn via their daily interactions but that is something that also takes a lot of time and for some it is not even an option.
Only 25% percent resists learning the language. Probably because they live in Amsterdam and communicating in English is easy here.
Which are your 5 first words you learned?
Dank u, alstublieft, universiteit, goedemorgen, kip, kusjes, hoi, lekker, waar, gezellig, huis, werk, Lekker, Albert Heijn, biertje, Aub, fiets, hoi, gratis, korting, mevrouw, te huur, winkel, dus(!), groetjes, gezellig, station, bedankt, vanavond, klootzak, doei, dag, boodschappenlijstje, helaas, klopt, naam, goed, betalen, vlees, koud, mooi, rustig, warm, dicht, taal, hagelslag, geen, misschien, tafel, stoel, konijn, scheel, knop, proost.
Which is the weirdest or funniest word you know in the Dutch language?
Gefeliciteerd, terbeschikkingsstellling, belachelik, wortels, gatver, twaalf, feestvarken, hopeloos, boterham, swaffel, echt, makelaar, punniken, hagelslag, poetsen, vakman, paddenstoelen, alstublieft, kapsalon, zozo, trakteer, allerbelangrijkste, doei, potloodventer, verschrikelijk, kenindekeuken, 888, geheugen, paraplu, grapjas, poepen, gek, heerlijk, plofkip, lullig, mierneuker, puntensliper, desalniettemin, kakkerlakken, klootzak, klop, pagina, vagina, poesje, geschockt, verprutst, dik, limonade, meneer.
This last question might be the most difficult one to answer. If you knew that you could start your life somewhere where you can speak the Language, would you have still chosen to come to the Netherlands? Food for thought ;)
Funny, weird & interesting answers
Question: Please write your name and the years you are living in the Netherlands.
Question: How did you learn?
Answers: - Helped me in understanding, but anytime I try to speak Dutch I get a response in English (it is clear I am not a Native speaker), so I am not sure :P
- Yes , I understand the announcements in the train , in the super market . I can ask a kapsalon with chicken and without potatoes!
- No, I figured out that they are useless in everyday life if you are a student.
- Yes, at the cashier and with a plumber who didn't speak English!
- I admit that it has to do with personality as well, ... I couldn't live in a country without being able to open my mouth :p
- Shortly...dutch are happy when you are trying to speak to their language.
Question:Has speaking Dutch helped you in your everyday life? If yes how?
Answer: - Only with old people.
Question: Do you like the language? Do you find it interesting?
Answers: - I consider this question a bit silly and arbitrary.
- I like the language but I need help to learn it!!!!
- Yes!!! Although it is said that the language is awful, I like it (Yes I might be mentally disordered)!!
Yes. I prefer it than german!
Question: Why didn't you learn the language?
Answers: - I prefer to start learning Spanish!
Question: Are you planning learning the language?
Answers: - Not a chance to continue.
- I hope!
Question: If you knew before moving to the Netherlands that the language is very difficult and necessary, will you still move here or you would choose another country where you speak the language (example UK)?
Answers: - Language is no problem for me. I would learn Chinese if necessary.
- I would have thought it much more than I thought it when I came here! And by the way, UK always seems a good option if it is still possible to find a job there!
- If I knew how hard it would be I would definitely choose any other, preferably sunnier place.
- I would still move here because I am here for love, not work. I would develop an attitude of getting things done. I think the language is not very difficult for a greek who speaks english.
- Netherlands as a country of residence has unique advantages. The language is requiring effort but is very rewarding.
- Wow, that's a difficult question.
Thanks to all that helped us with the replies. We are waiting your comments about the results.