"Patrick Andries" <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> May I add that this is precisely the reason that makes so many
> Scandinavians and Dutch unsufferable : they cannot imagine speaking anything
> else than English to a foreigner (often not even their own language).
How true. An English-speaking person who moves to Sweden to work has a
hard time to learn Swedish, because everyone insists on speaking English
And when a Swede goes over to Helsinki he is likely to approach people
in English - which may lead to the bizarre situation of two people with
Swedish as their mother tongue communicating in broken English. (In
Helsinki there are plentyful of Finland-Swedes, but Sweden-Swedes are
only dimly aware of there are people in Finland who have another
mother tongue than Finnish.)
...on the other hand, if the foreiger is a dark-haired person coming
from the Middle East, Africa or South America to live on social welfare(*),
the Swedes are very upset if they don't learn to speak Swedish properly.
(*) That's my sarcastic description of what some of fellow-countryman
who are a bit xenophobic think.
> > (Myself, I'm not really like that. My own idea of a good holiday trip
> > is that not speaking English exepct as a last resort.)
> Speaking first the language of the local people ? Good.
At least some language. When I am in Helsinki, I don't approach people
in English, and Finnish I don't know, so...
And, of course, sometimes it can be a bit absurd. On a restuarant outside
The Hague I actually managed to pretend to be Dutch for a short while,
thanks to my friend who covered up for me. But while I can understand
some Dutch, I cannot express myself in that language. And while that
level of knowledge could be useful in a country like Spain or Bulgaria
where knowledge of English is not universal, it is of course plain
ridiculuous in the Netherlands.
-- Erland Sommarskog, Stockholm, email@example.com I'm not in love. It's not even a phase I'm going through.
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