Quote Of The Week: Rash Decisions


Do you realize I’ve been living in Holland for almost ten years?

(With a grin on her face)
Oh? In that case we should start talking Dutch all the time.

(Looking slightly worried)
Err… Let’s not rush into any rash decisions.

21 responses to “Quote Of The Week: Rash Decisions”

  1. mub says:

    I figure I can start speaking Dutch with my husband when I’ve known Dutch as long as he’s known English… which will be never ;)

  2. Dave2 says:

    Tell her that you need another ten years to study the issue and will get back to her when you’ve had the time to discover the proper course of action.

    This approach seems to work very well for the US government!

  3. Breigh says:

    Yes I agree, it’s best not to rush into anything! :P

  4. Ha!

    Even though I’m completely conversational – my boyfriend and I (still) speak English with one another about 90 percent of the time.

    He’s had a good… oh, maybe 25 years of English – as opposed to my 3 of Dutch. Unbalanced scales here? I think so! :)

  5. Aledys Ver says:

    sure, you can always talk it over and decide in… say, another 10 years! :D
    At home we speak English with my husband and that’s not going to change, ever. It’s the language that brought us together and made us fall in love! We spice it with a bit of Spanish all the time, but rarely with Dutch – maybe because Dutch is not a very “hot” language? Who knows!

  6. French Bean says:

    This certainly brought a smile to my face. Thanks for this, Stu.

  7. Sarah says:

    “it is extremely difficult to change the language (or languages) in which you communicate with someone once a habit has been established. The language used becomes, as it were, a definition of the relationship and the receptacle of all the common knowledge and experience which is shared . Changing the language feels like a denial of the past, like starting again from scratch with a stranger. The deeper and more firmly established the relationship and the habits, the more difficult it is to change and many couples have found it quite impossible… Any attempt to establish bilingualism [on the arrival of a baby] which involves a change in the languages or languages in which the parents address one another is, in our experience, most unlikely to succeed.” The Bilingual Family: a Handbok for Parents, Edith Harding & Philip Riley, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986

    So you see, it’s official! Unless, of course, you *want* to feel like starting again from scratch with a stranger!

  8. Invader Stu says:

    Mub – I might have to use that argument.

    Dave2 & Breigh & Aledys Ver – I think it will take me another 2 years… at least.

    John does Amsterdam – My wife and I always forget about speaking Dutch as well.

    French Bean – You’re welcome.

    Sarah – I feel kind of depressed now :p

  9. Gez says:

    Heh, I know this feeling well :)
    I’ve been living here for 3 years with my Dutch girlfriend, and learning Dutch almost as long (at a language school near Spui, A’dam).
    Sometimes we do try to speak Dutch to each other, but it always returns to English, generally if something needs to be explained in some depth.
    More often than not, though, ‘Dunglish’ (Dutch/English mash-up) tends to prevail – questions asked in one language and answered in the other, or even bi-lingual sentences. Occasionally this then devolves into bouts of laughter after one of us says something completely ridiculous, like the following example:

    ME (pointing at black+white cow on TV): Friese koe! (Frisian cow! Every country lad knows cows are referred to by breed)

    G/F: Nee, koe. Een koe is een koe. (No, cow. A cow is a cow.)

    ME: Wat over de bruine cowen? (What about the brown cows?)

    Apart from a literal translation of ‘what about the…’ (The locals here say ‘hoe zit het met…’ how sits it with….), I end up using the English ‘cow’, and tacking on the Dutch ‘en’ to pluralise it….

    So, my advice to you, Stu? Speak both, preferably at the same time, and enjoy life to the full :)

  10. ugb says:

    you should learn the language of cheese

  11. dragonlady says:

    Don’t forget it took you five years to learn to speak English properly. No that doesn’t help because as you say you’ve had TEN years learning Dutch. Still its way more than I can speak.

  12. The Wife says:

    It’s just not fair….. maybe I can turn this into a great guilt trip thing…
    Mmhhmm let me think….
    So, you want me to spek English all the time?? What’s in it for me??

  13. The Wife says:

    See, I say spek instead of speak… this is not going to work. We moeten Nederlands praten… Engels is veeeeeeel te moeilijk voor mij!!!

  14. Efrutik says:

    Stu, is your wife Dutch? I was wondering.

    My b/f is Dutch but he speaks English so freaking well that I can’t even imagine speaking to him in Dutch. Well not that I do speak it. But if he learned Russian or Amahric then I think I could attempt to learn Dutch. Although still it would be sort of super strange speaking in Dutch together after establishing the relationship and communication in English. Also I think it depends on where you live. We met in America so we have been speaking English from the start I guess it could have been different if we met in NL. If you have any success transitioning to Dutch keep me posted, or better yet why don’t you try one day of such communication and let us know how it feels, lol.

  15. Invader_Stu says:

    Gez – It’s the same with us. My wife is usally the first one to switch back to English because she forgot we were speaking Dutch. We do the half and half thing as well and I get a few laughs out of her when I start trying to force Dutch and English together (which sometimes I am doing for a laugh and sometimes I am not).

    ugb – I get the feeling you like cheese.

    Dragonlady – Sometimes I still can’t speak English right.

    The Wife – Considering you just laughed at my Dutch attempts not moments ago your guilt trip is not working woman :p

    Efrutik – Yes. She is Dutch :) It’s the same for us. We started in English so I think that is a big part of why we have not made the switch yet (yeah right, as if it has nothing to do with my Dutch skills). We tried the communicating in Dutch for a day thing before. My wife is usually the first to forget and switch back to English :p

  16. The wife says:

    Yep, guilty as charged! Maybe you should insist on talking Dutch more, dear ;p Be strong! Keep on talking Dutch.. Then, maybe one day your wife will do the same :D hihi…

  17. Efrutik says:

    Hahahah Stu, maybe your wife is right…just saying, lol. BUT to be honest I don’t think I can talk to my Dutch b/f in Dutch either, it would just be so….strange (of course considering I could in the first place). I think we will pursue an alternative language instead when we think it’s time to spice up our conversation methods !!!!

    OMG an idea for you on how to stick to speaking Dutch in your relationship. Maybe think of it as an opportunity to spice things up by talking in Dutch however awkward and clumsy it might get !!!

  18. Marianne says:

    We did manage to switch languages but that was because we initially spoke German and it felt a bit weird to be speaking German once we moved to Holland. Added to that it was neither of our native language so was probably very crap indeed, particularly once we were no longer in a German-speaking environment.

    So for us it’s weird to try and hold a conversation in English and husband tends to tune out if the kids and I are speaking English, particularly if we are discussing things like what is the biggest shark in the world and why swimming was invented (just thought of an answer to that one – to swim away from sharks).

  19. Anita says:

    I did swtiched to Dutch with my husband. It is not my ideal language but it is okay. I think no other person in the world is so forgiving of my eventual mistakes – which can be a problem. Hubby doesn’t care if I make a fool of myself with the Dutch language. For example: I spent almost one year saying the world bijzonder as “baizonder” instead of “bizonder”. My kids, on the other way, are cruel critics of my errors and mistakes. They point them out immediately and demand correction.

  20. VallyP says:

    I agree with all of the above, and with you and the wife too :) I have just registered to take the NT2 exam, so I’ll be studying hard for the next three months. Once I’ve got it, I can slide back to my usual English peppered with Dutch gobbledegook:)

  21. Invader Stu says:

    The Wife – Yes. Because you really need to improve your Dutch my dear.

    Efrutik – I’m not sure if it will spike things up if she can not stop laughing.

    Marianne – Sharks? that sounds like the kind of conversation I would want to tune into.

    Anita – I used to do that with my wife. I never corrected her English because I could understand her. When she found out I was doing that she asked me to start correcting her.

    VallyP – I’ve been doing the English peppered with Dutch thing for a while now as well.

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