Language border in work place.

Old Feb 28th 2018, 7:47 pm
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Default Language border in work place.

I hear that most residents in Amsterdam speak English, but would you need to be able to converse in Dutch if you were to work there?
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Old Mar 1st 2018, 8:43 am
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Default Re: Language border in work place.

That depends what your career is. If you're coming to work as a highly skilled person; IT, Engineering, Science, Pharma, etc, then it's likely you can get away with English only for quite some time.

If you are coming to work in a desk-job for a multinational, it's possible to survive only with English if the rest of the team is international and then English is the common language; however, you would miss some things, and if there are several Dutch speakers in the group it is highly likely they would revert to Dutch in social breaks (lunchtime, coffee machine, etc) which means you'd miss out on the internal grapevine. Some jobs which are public facing (reception, HR) do require fluent Dutch.

Any manual job, public facing or not, from construction to greenhouse/warehouse to shopwork to driving a bus, then yes, you would need at least conversational Dutch. This group tends to see the most people pack up and head back to the UK, broke - usually because they didn't sort out work before making the move, and believed that speaking English only, when everyone else in the labour market speaks at least two fluently, wasn't a hindrance.

In summary, it depends what you plan to do for work.



Edit: Please remember that the mindset changes. Tourist with $$$ in your pocket? It's lovely to see you - let's speak English all day! Immigrant job seeker? Learn Dutch hoor! Why should our taxes support you if you don't contribute to society in some way.... etc etc. You know the mindset, I'm sure

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Old Mar 1st 2018, 9:08 am
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Default Re: Language border in work place.

Thank you for your reply. Regarding moving and job searching I'd make sure I had a job before I moved. I'm a chef I can take on any level as I'm experienced enough. This means I wouldn't directly talk with customers and missing out on the grapevine on breaks sounds quite appealing. Haha I'm joking, I'm not that anti social. It sounds like in my role a basic level would be good to start. We have a lad who works on dishes in our place from Sudan. When he moved here he couldn't speak a word of English. That must have been difficult.
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Old Mar 2nd 2018, 1:36 pm
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Default Re: Language border in work place.

I'm sending you a link to where my son works, but you need 3 posts to be able to access the PM feature. The pay's not great, but the place itself is.
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Old Mar 2nd 2018, 1:45 pm
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Default Re: Language border in work place.

Ok thank you that's so helpful really appreciate it will look now.
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 11:26 am
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Default Re: Language border in work place.

Originally Posted by chrisjames01 View Post
I hear that most residents in Amsterdam speak English, but would you need to be able to converse in Dutch if you were to work there?
Our experience was mixed. OH started work for a Dutch company whose policy was to speak English at the time. of our arrival. They had a small contingent of Americans working for them who represented an investment by their company in the Dutch ccompany..
However when that agreement ended .The Dutch company switched back to speaking Dutch only in the workplace. My OH was sent away to take an intensive Language course for three weeks. After that he was expected to speak Dutch...Personally (altho he did reach the heights of the boardroom) I think it hampered his career. at least his sphere of influence. Its very difficult to come across as competent if you speak like a 5 yrs old for too long.

It does depend on the job you are doing as RWF said. You must also be aware that you will not 'get away' with speaking English for too long.. In our long yrs of experience in NL we hit on the 18 months rule.An unspoken one whereby if you say you have been in the country less than 18 months they will allow you leeway to speak English.. After that.. forget it....
I had ex-pat friends who had lived there for yrs and still said 18 months when asked.. didn't speak a word of Dutch..

Bottom line... Never forget you are in someone else's country whose language is Dutch. Its up to you to learn it.Its the polite thing to do. good luck
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Old Mar 10th 2018, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: Language border in work place.

I think the common expression is "language barrier" rather than "border".
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Old Mar 18th 2018, 5:03 pm
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Default Re: Language border in work place.

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
I think the common expression is "language barrier" rather than "border".

Dude, you're everywhere on the internet!
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Old Mar 21st 2018, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: Language border in work place.

It is the only place to be, bro !

I am, of course, one step ahead of the Feds !
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