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From Teflpedia

(The) Netherlands is a country in Western Europe, often referred to as Holland[1]

The Netherlands is a member state of the European Union.

Its English nationality adjective is “Dutch", which is a false friend with the German word Deutsch meaning “German”. Dutch people can be referred to with the irregular demonyms “Dutchman" (m) and “Dutchwoman" (f). The national language is Dutch.

English as a foreign language[edit | edit source]

People from the Netherlands speak English as a foreign language very well - much better than other countries, even allowing for some other factors. There is not one single factor for this but reasons generally include:

  1. Societal attitudes towards language learning: A strong cultural tradition of foreign language learning such that:
    • There is an expectation that people will learn foreign languages, particularly English.
    • There is collective language learning experience. Most people know how to learn languages, and if they don’t, their friends/teachers do.
  2. English and Dutch are both Germanic languages, and so language distance is small.
  3. TV and movies are usually subtitled rather than dubbed, and British TV (entirely in English) can be received in many parts from transmitters in the UK. This is a source of comprehensible input.
  4. Tertiary education is often conducted in English.
  5. Dutch is infrequently taught as a foreign language in other countries, partly because Dutch people are so good at English

References[edit | edit source]

  1. In a similar way that the UK is often referred to as “England