My Little Dutch ABC Book
Engles ~ English
Engles, my favorite language because I’m fluent. Of course this is because I was born and raised in a country where English is the primary language. But living in The Netherlands has given me such an amazing appreciation for different languages. In The Netherlands, Dutch is the primary language but most of the country can also speak English fluently as well. Beginning at the age of around 10 years old English is taught to children.
When speaking to someone here, I usually ask if English is ok… or do they speak English? The response is usually the same… either yes, of course…. Or yes, a little. But after a few sentences I discover they are pretty much fluent. I always make sure to compliment the person on how good their English is and I make sure to thank them for speaking English to me.
My funniest story about the word Engles was when after a year of living here one of my daughters was here visiting and we had gone to the movie theater. Two of my kids went off to get popcorn, candy and drinks and as they came back, the movie attendant at the door said something to them. While my older daughter looked at him with a blank stare, my youngest, who was living here and attending Dutch classes at school said… “spreekt u engels?”… Which of course he started speaking English. My older daughter came back with a huge smile on her face explaining that the younger one had spoken Dutch to the guy… and was saying something about bagels! Well…. Not quite a bagel … but close enough to communicate.
It upsets me whenever I hear back in my home country that people are upset by the amount of people that speak Spanish. To me, it’s an incredible a gift to be able to speak more than one language. I’m truly grateful that the people of The Netherlands have compassion with me and help me with my Nederlands.