Which furriners talk Eeengleesh best
Posted: 03 November 2015 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]
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(from nu.nl)

Dutch score well in English language test

The Dutch are quite proficient in the English language. Out of all the countries in which English is not the native language, only Sweden performs better.

Denmark gets third place in the language skills list of the educational company Education First (EF). Belgium gets no higher than seventeenth on the list.

France, Italy and Spain are well behind. The French do even worse than countries like Lithuania and Ukraine. According to EF, Turkey is making great strides thanks to the high standard of the teachers of English in that country.

Western Europe generally does better than Eastern Europe, and European women generally have better English than European men.

A total of 910,000 people in seventy countries were tested on their English for the list. The Netherlands was also second last year, Denmark and Sweden have swopped positions. Libya is last in the list.

I have no idea why there are so many great teachers in Turkey unless they are military?

Otherwise amazed the Danish are behind the Dutch for once, their English always sounds more accurate than the Dutch effort for me for some reason…

No real surprise though; the top three are all very closely related in one way and another in the Western and Northern families of Germanic. And Frisian is - according to many - even more similar to English than Dutch.

(edited to correct grammar)

[ Edited: 03 November 2015 05:23 PM by BlackGrey ]
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Posted: 04 November 2015 04:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It doesn’t say how Turkey rates, only that it’s doing better.

It’s not just teachers and curricula. The opportunity to speak and write the language is also very important. In my experience in the Netherlands, English is not only taught, but it’s widely used in the course of everyday life.

Another factor may be overall size of the economy. The Netherlands and Denmark don’t have large internal markets for their goods and services, so they naturally orient toward trade, which creates a need for English. The same is true of Belgium, but they’ve already got two languages, and English would make a third.

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Posted: 04 November 2015 09:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I worked with a Dutch girl when I lived in London and she gave me a great tip when I mentioned I was visiting The Netherlands for the first time.

“If you get lost, find a kid; they all speak English - they learn it in school and they watch English TV shows.”

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Posted: 04 November 2015 10:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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In the 1970s mu father, a chemical engineer, was the liaison man between his company and their Dutch partners. He would go to Amsterdam for meetings, just him and anything up to a dozen Dutch engineers, and they would hold their meeting in English for his benefit. All of them spoke excellent English, both everyday and technical. He got quite fluent in Dutch over the years and exhorted them to talk in their native tongue and let him just hold his hand up if there was anything he needed translating, but they just wouldn’t do it.

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Posted: 05 November 2015 06:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I’m just back from a holiday in the Netherlands. I’ve learned a bit of Dutch recently (Michel Thomas course on CDs) but it really wasn’t necessary for day-to-day communications. As soon as I tried out my Dutch, the reply came back in English. (Actually, as my Dutch accent is poor, the reply sometimes came back in German, which led to a certain amount of trilingual confusion.) My gesture towards the local language did seem to be appreciated though.

My effort in learning some Dutch wasn’t entirely wasted; I found it very useful to be able to read notices and the labels on things in the supermarket. (And I can read the Dutch cookbook I brought back with me.)

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Posted: 05 November 2015 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Back when I was traveling back and forth the Netherlands on a regular basis, I found my knowledge of German and English and a bit of practice enabled me to read Dutch reasonably well, albeit crudely, and Frisian with quite a bit of proficiency. (This was back before I picked up Old English, so I probably would be better at it now.) I quickly learned, however, not to try to speak Dutch because it always came out sounding like German, and potential confusion aside, the Dutch aren’t terribly fond of their neighbors (both due to that unfortunate series of events some seventy years ago because of the reputation of German tourists).

I was also repeatedly told the tale of how the name of the seaside town of Scheveningen was used as a shibboleth by the WWII Dutch resistance because German infiltrators could never pronounce it correctly.

I did have one memorable experience with a taxi driver trying to teach me to say Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken. By the end of the ride, he said I had the pronunciation down, but I suspect he was just angling for a bigger tip.

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Posted: 15 November 2015 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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happydog - 04 November 2015 09:19 PM

I worked with a Dutch girl when I lived in London and she gave me a great tip when I mentioned I was visiting The Netherlands for the first time.
“If you get lost, find a kid; they all speak English - they learn it in school and they watch English TV shows.”

Once at Helsinki airport I was complimenting a young Finnish official on his excellent English - much better than my Australian twang - and explained that this was due to the use of subtitles rather than overdubbing on their imported tv programs.
Overdubbing was too expensive for the small Finnish viewing audience.
That way they hear English more often as spoken by native speakers, rather than processed through the accent of a teacher.

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Posted: 17 November 2015 11:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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When I was in Helsinki in 1971, pretty much nobody spoke English; a lot of them spoke Russian but didn’t like it, and when I tried to communicate using my Russian they looked as if they didn’t like me either.  So I pretty much communicated only with my fellow English-speaking travelers.  (We were all stuck there for days because Nixon had just taken America off the gold standard and nobody would cash our traveler’s checks.)

[ Edited: 17 November 2015 11:56 AM by languagehat ]
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Posted: 17 November 2015 11:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Dave Wilton - 05 November 2015 08:16 AM

Back when I was traveling back and forth the Netherlands on a regular basis, I found my knowledge of German and English and a bit of practice enabled me to read Dutch reasonably well, albeit crudely, and Frisian with quite a bit of proficiency.

I’m surprised you found Frisian easier; I’m coming from English and German as well, but whatever the technical relationship between English and Frisian, that language just looks odd. Compare http://tinyurl.com/nederversion with http://tinyurl.com/frisversion.

[ Edited: 17 November 2015 11:50 PM by kurwamac ]
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Posted: 17 November 2015 11:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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For some reason I can’t put two links in one post, so the second doesn’t work. Let’s see if it does here: http://tinyurl.com/frisversion

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Posted: 18 November 2015 03:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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You included the full stop in the url.

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