Who do you speak Dutch with?
"Dutch is my mother tongue. I only use it at home, because my husband is Dutch too. We mix a lot of English in though and Swiss-German too as we've lived in Switzerland for 6 years and speak that dialect fluently. I read two Dutch internet newspapers every day to keep my Dutch acceptable, but I still get complaints from my family that I sound English and use too many English words." Monique"I speak Dutch with my Dutch friends who live near me. As a therapist, I also provide Dutch spoken counselling. My children only speak a little Dutch but can understand it quite well." Carla
"I am from Amsterdam (Netherlands) and live in Edinburgh. I speak Dutch and English at home to my children and English everywhere else. I have a slight Dutch accent when I speak English. I very often get a positive comment on my accent. I very often use Dutch sayings in English, which are very often not understood, but found funny. I still write in Dutch, like my shopping list and letters/emails." Jacobine
"It's a learned language rather than one I grew up speaking but it's one I began using extensively in the 1990s. First of all, I met a Dutch woman who complained that she wasn't able to sound witty because nobody ever understood her wit. I told her I'd learn it myself and so I did. At first I only read the papers and listened to the Radio but eventually I went to the Netherlands and began using it every day.I'm no longer in the Netherlands but I often use Dutch online (I'm surprised by the number of British and American people who speak Dutch)." AlcuinAbout Dutch:
"This is not an unknown language in Britain. First there are large numbers of Afrikaners and a smaller number of Surinamers in London who speak dialects of Dutch (although Afrikaans is often described as a language in its own right rather than a dialect). Secondly there are fairly large numbers of people in East Anglia, parts of Lincolnshire and Humberside who speak Dutch as a second language (as well as a minority around Boston, Spalding and Norwich who originate in the Netherlands). There has been contact between the communities on both sides of the North Sea (Danish as well as Dutch) for centuries, quite possibly since our "Anglo-Saxon" ancestors came here from Friesland." AlcuinHow you feel about speaking Dutch:
"When you know a language fluently you can use it without thinking about it. Some expressions with the exact feeling attached to it exist only in a certain language, that's why we mix 'm all." Monique"I feel good about speaking my mother tongue although I have lived here for nearly 40 years. It unites me with my friends.When I arrived in England I spoke little English and wanted to take elocution lessons to minimise my Dutch accent. My British husband was very much against it and I still have a Dutch accent. I feel less embarrassed about that now." Carla