It’s news: slick English is more attractive than stuffy Dutch. The Netherlands’ Wim de Bie, famous Dutch artist and writer, has confirmed what everybody already knows: English is sexier than Dutch. The small blurb (in Dutch) is about the Dutch word “badmeester” (lifeguard, pool attendant) being replaced by “aqua leisure host” (Club Med anyone?) because it makes lifeguard training more attractive to potential students. I’m drowning already!
Now for some well-deserved ranting. Here are some common assumptions I believe are made about the use of English and Dutch.
– English makes things sound more international.
– English is more attractive to young people than Dutch.
– English makes things sound fancier than Dutch.
– Dutch puts off tourists and expats (i.e. people assumed to be rich)
– Dunglish is the best possible compromise.
If any of this is true, then in theory, telling foreigners and foreign nationals they need to learn to Dutch in order to integrate and/or find a decent job is bull. They could learn English and do better than the average Dutch person. Moreover, if they already know English, chances they are already doing better than the average Dutch person. It stings like stepping on a dead jellyfish at the beach.