Dutch polyglot image dented
2 August 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch have a high opinion of their ability to speak French, German and English. The reality is very different, according to new research.
2 August 2006
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch have a high opinion of their ability to speak French, German and English. The reality is very different, according to new research.
Even the average command of Dutch is below par, with seniors scoring significantly better than younger people.
Bert van Onna and Carel Jansen of Radboud University in Nijmegen based their findings on language tests carried out on employees at 10 large Dutch organisations.
Newspaper 'Het Parool' reported that a quarter of the respondents were hardly above beginners level in the three neighbouring languages, even though they regarded themselves as advanced over even very advanced.
Managers overestimated themselves the most; over half turned out to be semi-advanced or worse.
The Nijmegen research was triggered by a European project that indicated most Europeans are better in foreign languages than they think.
The opposite is the case in the Netherlands. Three quarters thought they had a command of English, while 57 percent thought they could get by in German and 12 percent claimed to be able to read, speak and understand French.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news