Friday, January 21, 2011
What I Didn't Know Yesterday #20: In Dutch, be careful what you ask for
Posted by James BonTempo at 5:47 PM
On a flight to Amsterdam (ultimately headed to Nairobi) I learned that the Dutch don't mean the same thing we do when asking "How are you?" For Americans, it's essentially a nicety and we don't expect much in return -- a simple "Fine, how are you?" will suffice. But if you were to ask the same question in Holland the response would be a very honest and open assessment of one's current situation, the good and the bad. And probably more than you would have bargained for! A simple "Hallo" or "Hoy" will generally do.