Expats do like to speak Dutch


Please, allow the expats in The Hague to speak Dutch! They would like to, but in The Hague they rarely get an opportunity to do so. Whenever they try to order something in Dutch the answer is usually in English. Direct Dutch Institute wants to break this pattern, therefore this school of languages started the campaign “Spreek Nederlands! Met mij!” (Speak Dutch! To me!).

In the international city of The Hague it is virtually impossible to put a course of Dutch into practice, the teachers of Direct Dutch Institute are often told. The entrepreneurs in the city centre rather serve their international clientele in English. They presume that the client prefers it and it works quicker.

Direct Dutch thinks this is not necessary and would like the expats to be encouraged to speak Dutch. Learning how to speak the language of the country one lives in helps one to feel connected with one’s surroundings, even in the case of a shorter length of stay. And the entrepreneurs of The Hague fare well when this group of clients feels well in the city!

Therefore the students of Direct Dutch are given a button that reads “Spreek Nederlands! Met mij!” Ruud Hisgen, teacher and director of Direct Dutch Institute: “It is good that the personnel in the shops and restaurants of The Hague can speak English, but we would like the entrepreneurs to be more conscious of those people from abroad who do want to speak Dutch. It can be learned in two weeks, on the condition that one can practise. When Dutch people hear a foreign accent they automatically answer in English.”  The action with the buttons will be followed by a campaign to bring it to the attention of the entrepreneurs in the city centre.

Free buttons can be collected at Direct Dutch Institute or at the  ACCESS expat desk in the Atrium of the townhall. For more information got to www.directdutch.com

7 August 2013, CJP