Local Heart, Global Soul

February 10, 2017

A Short Trip, Great Views But The Commentary Inside Drives Me Crazy…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch needed to take a break from extended family obligations in 2016, get some fresh air and recharge their batteries.

We took the opportunity of the Easter long weekend to visit one of the Dutch Wadden islands: the largest of which is Texel.

On board the ferry for the short trip over, I am puzzled, amazed and horrified to hear that the person welcoming visitors on board in the English language commentary over the intercom pronouncing the name of the island incorrectly.

Dutch native speakers always pronounce the word “Texel”  as “Tess ell” but on the loudspeaker system on the boat, it’s being pronounced as “tex ell” !

It is a complete and utter mystery to me why the islanders (who in recent years have taken over and now run the ferry service themselves) perpetuate the error,  especially because the word “Texel”  is one of the most corrected words in non-native speakers learning the Dutch language in the Netherlands. It’s very windy, so I take a look around both of the front sides of the ferry as we leave harbour. It’s interesting to now look back on the photographs and know that our friends were soon to be at the end of the queue that I see forming on the other side of the ticket check-in area. By their account though, they were a long way back around the corner, so their vehicle isn’t by coincidence in my photographs.

The distance to Texel isn’t far, we can see the buildings of the far harbour in the distance. I take my time walking back to the car deck and only minutes after I get there the bell goes that summons passengers back to their vehicles. Soon we are on our way up the ramp and making the transition to dry land. Texel awaits.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

2 Comments »

  1. That reminds me of my son. He can speak English perfectly but when he was in primary school he would put on a German accident. Because he was a native speaker his teacher would get him to perform solo parts of songs or poems. One time he read ‘two lips’ instead of tulips. He knew it was wrong but he wanted to sound like the Germans!!!!!!!

    Comment by sarsm — February 11, 2017 @ 9:07 am | Reply

  2. Sarsm,
    All bilingual kids have done something of this nature at one time or another I think… I used to refuse to say “sausage” for a time, and would tell our Home Ec. teacher that the “correct word is for these is worst”. Apparently it seemed very cool to know a word that the rest of my classmates had never heard of at the time. I don’t think that phase lasted long.
    Both of my kids can do a rather good impersonation of the strongest of Dutch accents (speaking in English) making a beautiful mess of words, and actually it is really funny (as long as the only other Dutch present is Himself, otherwise it might offend some people by appearing to mock their best efforts at English). The actual ringleader in this activity is Himself… who as a linguist makes very few mistakes in English and unusually for here, has almost zero Dutch accent coming through. I suppose that kids just want to fit in… these things pass. Our kids both got rather tired of having to read solo parts in English (or Dutch when with expats) … they said there is a term for that, it’s called being the “parrot”, the one who can do it easily and who is called upon often as an example for everyone else to follow i.e. parrot. For kids put in this position it gets old really quickly.

    Comment by kiwidutch — February 20, 2017 @ 10:51 pm | Reply


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