@ctrlaltchaos @thor Dutch and Norwegian is definitively quite close in many respects. Learning Chinese would be a much greater challenge for me, dialects or not.

I guess the most important thing is to pay attention when talking to foreigners and try to accommodate to their requests to help them understand you better.

I keep running in to the problem that Dutch people start speaking English even though I asked them to stick to Dutch :blobpats:

@rsolva @thor My Norwegian friends told me that within Northern Europe people often speak their own language when talking to members of other Skandinavien countries, which then leads to everybody understanding something but not everything.

@ctrlaltchaos @thor Most Scandinavians do, but I have experienced several cases where Danes prefer to switch to English, presumably to avoid the "understanding something but not everything"-part. Also, my impression is that most Norwegians understand Swedes and Danes better than they understand us. Not sure why.

@rsolva @ctrlaltchaos @thor It can happen in mass tourism cities like Amsterdam that a shop owner will start talking in English the very moment they hear that your accent is non Dutch. Besides that Amsterdam is very international with lots of different cultural backgrounds (Nice!). Hearing English in the streets is not uncommon at all there. When non Dutch ask me to speak in Dutch to them I always do my best to keep going and be patient. Compared to English I find Dutch more difficult and confusing, though English certainly has its pitfalls as well :)

@albert @rsolva @thor As a German living in the UK, I feel that it's relatively easy to gain a basic understanding of English. But there exists a deep end, consisting of countless different words carrying very nuanced meanings of the same principle thing...This apparently arose from the mixture of so many different languges into English. They ended up with many words for the same thing which where subsequently differentiated. It's very subtle but can bite you in the bum.

@rsolva @ctrlaltchaos @thor Haha, exactly my experience when I lived in NL...After a while I became fluent enough that people would stick with Dutch, but it took a while... I had some looong conversations where the Dutch person would speak English and I kept speaking Dutch. After a while I started treating it as a kind of sport, to see how long I could keep it going like that.

@rsolva @ctrlaltchaos @thor It's hard from the english side too, because some ppl only want to use you for practice and then you never get to learn their language.
Mind you, some ppl are really good about it if you ask.

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