Language Questions

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by stokell, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. stokell

    stokell New Member

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    I'm coming to Netherlands in April. Everyone tells me the Dutch speak English, but I consider it rude to just assume that. I'm trying to learn a few phrases.

    Okay, I find this hard to believe but my Dutch phrase book says that 'Dank u' (Thank you), means no thanks. In English it means 'yes, please'.

    So what is it? Am I declining when I say thank you? If that is true, then are there other language traps I should be aware of?
     
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  2. xilios

    xilios New Member

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    It is no problem speaking English here, the Dutch do not consider it rude. People here are very easy going, it isn't France. I speak English all the time they tell me it helps them with their English skills.
    In all the years I've lived here there were only a handfull of people who said something and I replied in kind and in Dutch :D
    Don't worry so much, just come on over its a great place to visit.
    cheers
     
  3. Hookyrider

    Hookyrider New Member

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    Stokell

    the Dutch are very friendly, and generally go to great length to speak English to you - really it's not so much of a problem unless you are trying to talk with the elderly, or really get out away from the main areas. Being an American living here the "language Barrier" has never been a serious issue...

    Dank u = Thank you

    Ja = yes

    better to toss that book you have...

    what part of the country are you planning to visit? April is Amstel Gold time here in South Limburg

    HR
     
  4. stokell

    stokell New Member

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    I'm doing the North Sea Route from Den Helder to Bolougne sur Mer, then back to Amsterdam for the flight out.

    How about bikes on trains. The internet says I need to buy a ticket for my bike as well as a ticket for me. The site also says I can book ahead, but I can't book a bike ahead.

    Have you travelled with a bike on a Dutch train? In Britain the service is a bit spotty but they will always accommodate and sometimes don't charge. I've been on inter-city trains where I have to stand with the bike in the vestibule of the coach blocking the entrance/exit or at other times pack the bike in a carriage near the front of the train and then run to find a seat. This stuff is never marked on the platform and rarely communicated to the cyclist.
     
  5. Hookyrider

    Hookyrider New Member

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    sorry I can't speak with authority on the bikes on trains issue, as I haven't had the need to explore it. I do know that in most cases it is authorised to check your bike onto the train for a nominal fee, as well as your dog in most cases.

    Also I'm not familiar with much outside of Limburg, or surrounding areas in BE and GE. Wish I could be more helpful with filling in the blanks for you

    HR
     
  6. dontom

    dontom New Member

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    What was posted above is correct - I work quite often in the Netherlands and virtually everyone speaks english, lots of them also know german. Lots of the dutch words are similar to the english ones (I am german and know some english - I understand 99% of the dutch language)

    Here you find some examples of short sentences and their proper pronunciation
    http://wikitravel.org/en/Dutch

    Enjoy your trip
    Thomas
     
  7. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    The Dutch (and indeed most mainland European countries) are excellent english speakers.
    Most mainland European people are able to speak several languages - so you needn't have any concerns on that front about their speaking english.
    They're first class speakers.

    Trying to master how to speak Dutch (apart from the few useful phrases like please/thankyou etc) is a very tough task, let me tell you.
     
  8. dontom

    dontom New Member

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    You are right - you even have a german signature ;)
     
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