Damned if you do, damned it you don’t

Aap Noot Mies

Most people in the Netherlands have heard this many times before at university or in the workplace, the story of a foreigner trying to learn Dutch but constantly being spoken to in English (Dunglish). And then, behind their backs, some of those same people bitching that foreigners don’t want to learn Dutch, usually meant to be a badly veiled racist comment aimed at certain groups of foreigners.

Two major assumptions that cause problems:
1. That anything that looks like English or Dunglish makes you more international. Either you are international or you’re not in any language.
2. That all foreigners are so stupid they really believe this minority complex marketing. People chose a university for its reputation, not its identity crisis.

‘Tilburg University’ my ass. English official language of Universiteit Tilburg (article in Dutch). Amusingly enough, this goes against Dutch law.

5 Responses to “Damned if you do, damned it you don’t”

  1. mare says:

    Link should be English official language of Universiteit Tilburg.

  2. Angela says:

    Hi Natasha,

    Your link doesn’t work…


  3. Natashka says:

    Now it does!

  4. nijmegengirl says:

    Please allow me to correct YOU: “usually meant to be a badly veiled racist comment” should really be “thinly veiled”. You cannot “badly veil” something in English. Not even in American English, actually.

  5. Natashka says:

    You are absolutely right. Something that it badly veiled sounds like a thinly veiled comment about someone who wears a veil 🙂

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