Dutch and Dunglish spoken

Fabulous. Someone’s started a ‘Dunglish‘ weblog.

The Dutch are known for and pride themselves on their command of the English language, but they’re a lot less good at it than they think they are. (Have you ever heard Dutch politicians speak English? Jaw droppingly bad.) Their need to show off their skills sometimes makes for hilarious examples. Check the blog for some.

English is also thought of as ‘cool’ by copy writers, so we’re treated to mostly inapropriate and often cringeworthy English-language advertising: literal translations, grammatical errors, etc.

I’ve always thought I should keep track of them, write them down, but I never do. Now I don’t have to. Awe, as they say, some.

My English is bloody good, but it is far from perfect. I started learning English at a very young age, 6 or 7, through English speaking relatives. In primary school we started age 10, it was a new initiative of the school I was at. I believe it’s standard practice now, but I’m not sure. By the age of 12 I was more fluent than my teachers and did my school friends’ homework and their written tests. We had a ‘system’. Our teacher suspected what was happening, but he couldn’t prove it and never caught us.

Sometimes I make ‘Dunglish’-type mistakes, especially when I get tired. When I’m abroad, speaking English, for more than three weeks, something happens to the language part of my brain. I’ll open my mouth and *think* I’m speaking English, but Dutch will come out and it takes a few seconds for me to realise it. A few vodka tonics fixes the problem. Do I think in English? Yes.

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