Buttons (Or: Spreek Nederlands! Met Mij!)

I received this button during SamenSpraak at the Central Library in The Hague:

Spreek Nederlands met mij button

As you can see, it was originally made by the folks at Direct Dutch (a language school). Overall the concept is a pretty good one. I’ve heard time and time again that Dutch people will switch to English at the first opportunity if they think you are not a native Dutch speaker. They do it for two reasons: they like speaking English, and they want to help you out. Of course, that is a generalization!

The one thing I have against the button is the language used: Spreek Nederlands! Met mij! = Speak Dutch! With me! In both languages it sounds very… forward, commanding and slightly rude. It would be better to remove the exclamation points and add a “hoor” after. That word does not have a direct translation in English, but it conveys a friendly tone. Spreek Nederlands met mij, hoor.

Time will tell if they make a slightly more friendly version 2.

Categories: Speaking | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Buttons (Or: Spreek Nederlands! Met Mij!)

  1. canalrat

    Agree with you about the commanding tone of the badge – perhaps another example of the famous Dutch directness?

    If you don’t wear it, you’ll know you’ve reached a working level of Dutch when people stop switching to English.

    • Yeah, I still have people wanting to switch to English sometimes. Though I am getting a bit better about learning to just use English myself (as needed) for important things (like my wedding dress!). Thanks for the comment. 🙂

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