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January 21, 2021, 09:02:16 AM on

Offline Chris Canning (OP)

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I see your now putting your location south west Holland so here’s my story...

More years ago than I want to remember..even before I was even married had been down in Spain with 3 mates on bikes, on the way home we are on a camp site near Bordeaux a Dutch couple roll up on an old R65 BM and the 4 of us are talking(between ourselves) about we wouldn’t have gone shopping on it never mind where they were.... completely oblivious in those days to how well Dutch folk speak and understand English... :icon_redface: and we end up chatting , and too this day he still reminds me about how we laughing at the bike...

Fast forward all these years we still great friends, he’s lived in Utrecht,Dordrecht,Breda and for the last 12 years in Middleburg with his girlfriend/partner so both myself and my wife have seen a lot more of Holland than many and hopefully when Covid is over will be back visiting really good friends

January 21, 2021, 09:41:41 AMReply #1 on

Offline ghulst

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LOL, Middelburg, that is about 15 minutes away from me. So, that's closer than you thought. Brilliant story. It is always surprising to people how many languages the Dutch speak. However, it sometimes goes both ways. I was on the tube a couple of years ago with some friends from London. There were three Dutch women there that were being negative about something typically British. Can't remember what. So, halfway through their moaning, I turned around and said a couple of words to them in Dutch. Let's say that I have never seen such well-dressed tomatoes. ;)


Btw. those R65's are pretty bullet proof as well. ;)
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January 21, 2021, 11:30:15 AMReply #2 on

Offline Chris Canning (OP)

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What I didn’t say after our shock of him understanding our...errrrm criticisms of his bike we all went off too the camp site shop, he’s talking to his girl friend Dutch, the girl behind the counter in French, us lot in English, and another in German who couldn’t converse with the woman behind the counter..

Too this day he always tell me their are trilingual/bilingual and Englishmen  :icon_lol:


Oh and over years he has had a likening for Laverda’s which really is another story.

January 21, 2021, 12:09:45 PMReply #3 on

Offline ghulst

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Too this day he always tell me their are trilingual/bilingual and Englishmen  :icon_lol:
And don't even start on Americans... :icon_razz:


Just kidding. That is what some of my American friends always say. I speak four languages as well. Just because it's just convenient.


Oh, and Laverda's are a different story, but they can be awesome bikes. ;)
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January 21, 2021, 01:04:39 PMReply #4 on

Offline Sin_Tiger

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That's something that always annoyed me when I lived out East.

You'd get the Expat Brit who would sneer at local spoken "English". Only occasionally did it upset me enough to point out that the person he was referring to probably being Hokkien would not only speak the family dialect, Mandarin (2,000 basic characters, Brits only need to remember 26) Malay and enough English to know that you're a prat  :*&*

Pointing out that the local lingua franca is known as Singlish would have been a waste of time as the irony would have been completely lost on them  :icon_rolleyes:
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January 21, 2021, 01:26:29 PMReply #5 on

Offline ghulst

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Oh, yes, I have been there and I have heard that. At some point, I was at a lovely little harbour in the south of France where I was getting some lunch. I walked up to this great bakery in a very touristic area of the town. I ordered lunch for four and was waiting for my order when a 'typical brit' walked up to the counter. Not using actual words, he pointed at items making an "Uh!" sound after which he held a number of fingers in the air for the number of items he wanted. Afterwards, I overheard him complaining to his travel companions that "none of these bloody Frenchies speak a decent language". I will not repeat what the people in the bakery thought of him or his communication skills. ;)
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January 22, 2021, 06:10:54 PMReply #6 on

Offline Bixxer Bob

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Oh, yes, I have been there and I have heard that. At some point, I was at a lovely little harbour in the south of France where I was getting some lunch. I walked up to this great bakery in a very touristic area of the town. I ordered lunch for four and was waiting for my order when a 'typical brit' walked up to the counter. Not using actual words, he pointed at items making an "Uh!" sound after which he held a number of fingers in the air for the number of items he wanted. Afterwards, I overheard him complaining to his travel companions that "none of these bloody Frenchies speak a decent language". I will not repeat what the people in the bakery thought of him or his communication skills. ;)

The irony seems to be lost on them  :icon_lol:

I was on a visit to Monte St Michael once and massively embarrassed  by a friend being arrogant and abusive to a waitress because she didn't speak Jock.  Again, ironic because he's married to a German girl.  We are no longer friends.

Fast forward to a trip to the Sachenring in 2019 for MotoGP with two friends and arrival at the hotel.  Friend number one who does all the arrangements and speaks good French (but no German) walked up to the desk and asked, quite bluntly, "Do you speak English"?  Now I know from when I lived in Germany that once you get away from the coast and the tourist areas, not many Germans do, so I was unsurprised to hear the lady on the desk (who was clearly harassed by EMails, staff and telephone interruptions on what was a hot and humid afternoon) reply equally bluntly, "No. Do you speak German"?  You should know that friend number one suffers from short man syndrome (fighty) and has the shortest fuse of anyone I know so, on seeing him inhale deeply and knowing what was coming, I stepped in and said to the lady in my mediocre German that I spoke a little and could I help?   She turned to me with a bright "Alles Clare"  and proceeded to ignore No1 from that point on.  I was pretty chuffed with myself at the time.

I was surprised too when we first stopped In Weeze because I'd been worried about the language as I hadn't used my German for 30 years, but found as soon as I heard it spoken it all came back and I was able to understand enough to get by.  The other two sat in awe the following day on the bus to the circuit as I chatted away in German to another biker from the hotel.  I was a bit smug! 
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January 22, 2021, 08:29:20 PMReply #7 on

Offline ghulst

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And for good reason. ;) Over the years, and through doing quite a bit of traveling, I have learned that if you make an effort to speak a language, people will actually reward you for it. Oftentimes, I would find that people would help me find a word in their language if I couldn't get to it, and in some cases, it turned out they actually did speak other languages. They just were not confident enough in them to do it in public. ;)
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January 24, 2021, 05:18:24 PMReply #8 on

Offline Sin_Tiger

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Only once skiiing in Austria with some Austrian friends did a waitress say to me "please ask your friends to order drinks, your German is hurting my ears"  :icon_redface: it was said in good humour and we both had a laugh.

I can have a bit of a short fuse when it comes muppet car drivers and calm myself by swearing at them in Hokkien. I once had an irate signal less driver with (elbow out the window) pull up next to me when I stopped to turn right at lights. "What did you just F'n call me?", I smiled and said "Ka ni na bu chao chee bai" the blank look on his face was priceless and the timing of a green light for my turn perfect  :wheel
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January 24, 2021, 05:31:00 PMReply #9 on

Offline ghulst

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Hilarious! Not that I know what it means, and I recon it better stays untranslated. But it is a good way of doing that.
As long as the other driver does not speak it. ;)


A Canadian friend of mine, once told me that Finnish people are more or less used to people not understanding their language when they go anywhere but Finland. So, these two men were speaking some pretty nasty language around an airport (I am not going to go into the what and where), but he then told them that that kind of language was wholly unnecessary. In fluent Finnish, as he had lived there for years. Needless to say, they were a lot quieter through the rest of their trip.
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January 26, 2021, 09:13:04 PMReply #10 on

Offline Bixxer Bob

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On that stop in Weeze, and with gathering confidence,  I ordered three coffees and cakes from the Menu. The waitress looked at me blankly.  I tried again, another shrug. The manager came over, I tried again, he spoke to her and off she went.  Turns out she was Italian  :rfl  she spoke German, just not my sort of German  :icon_lol:

I found the same when you try. Generally they are keen to try their English so it works for everyone.
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January 26, 2021, 09:19:09 PMReply #11 on

Offline blacktiger

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Most hotel receptionists speak good English these days because all the Scandinavian countries learn it plus the Dutch. 
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January 26, 2021, 09:22:35 PMReply #12 on

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I don't think that has reached as far as Saxony :*&*

I
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February 20, 2021, 01:15:47 PMReply #13 on

Offline CaptainScarlet

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The Dutch and languages...
Many moons ago I was a London-based truck driver doing regular runs to Munich. One time, I was picking up a load home from Holland, parked in the Dutch company's yard, my lorry parked between two others: one French registered, one German, with me taking a walk around the yard -- stretching my legs.

So...this Dutch guy comes out of the company's offices and walks over to the row of parked trucks.

We meet. He smiles and says, "Parlez vois Francais?" To which - - bearing in mind I'd been in Germany all week -- I replied, "Nien." So, without missing a beat, he smiles again and says, " Ah, sprechen ze Deutsch? "

Oh dear. I then had to sheepishly answer, "Err...no. English."
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February 20, 2021, 05:37:10 PMReply #14 on

Offline Nick Calne

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I suppose the chief export of the English is English itself.  Oddly this means that there is often little point mastering another language as normally as it is limited to a small group of people.  Learn German, French, Dutch, Spanish etc - useful if you are there, but how often will you otherwise need it?

I think we miss out on a lot of culture as a result.


 


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