November 28, 2010 | German
The Hague, Holland
I want to learn Dutch!
This weekend I went running along a canal dating back to Roman times. Holland is beautiful. We are staying in Voorburg, but our host took us on a tour of The Hague, which is nearby, yesterday afternoon.
The Hague, Downtown
Clothes Are Sold in This Building
I Don’t Know What This Is
It Was a Busy Shopping Day
An Elegant Shop for Jewelry
I Like the Awnings
Holland Is the Tallest Country in the World
As in Germany, Many Bikes
Everyone around here speaks English. You can basically count on it. I was wondering whether it was impolite to just begin speaking to strangers in English, or whether I should at least start out by asking, “Do you speak English” before launching a conversation in my native language.
I didn’t want to come across as a self-centered American who assumed that everyone had to know my language since I couldn’t possibly be bothered to learn theirs.
I was told it was almost the opposite, that at least in town, in the shops, I should just assume English was okay—and that it would actually be kind of weird or insulting to ask. I love being in places where multilingualism is commonplace.
By the way, given the historical significance of Dutch for New York, I am almost certainly going to add it to my project. I was constantly checking out the language as we roamed around this weekend, and was very pleased to discover that I could understand way more, especially in written form, than I had expected. It looks more like German than I realized, and often where it doesn’t look like German, it looks like English.
This could be fun!
This Beach in The Hague Is Too Low…
…So They Are Raising It Four Meters!
As November comes to a close, I am in serious mourning over leaving German. I really would like to add a third month. But I must move on.