On Saturday 2 July Direct Dutch Institute, Public Library The Hague, The British School and the Nederlandse Taalunie organize ‘Spreek Nederlands Dag’ (Speak Dutch Day) for the third time. This day focuses on speaking and practicing Dutch, specifically for expats and other non-Dutch speakers. This day also serves as an attention call for all Dutch people: allow expats to speak Dutch! Dutch people often tend to switch to English when they talk to someone who does not yet fully grasp the language. However, they will never learn if others constantly speak English to them. The Hague’s alderman for the Knowledge Economy, International Affairs, Youth and Education Ingrid van Engelshoven will officially open ‘Spreek Nederlands Dag’ at 11.30h in the Public Library The Hague.

Speak Dutch to expats!

Expats who want to learn Dutch face a tough challenge: everywhere people simply continue to speak English to them, especially when they are in public spaces such as shops and restaurants. This creates a problem for expats because they do not have enough opportunities to practice their Dutch. In that way they will never become fully proficient in the language, which causes expats to feel excluded. Their children often face the same obstacle when trying to learn Dutch.

Direct Dutch Institute, a Dutch language school in The Hague, created a special button badge with the text ‘Spreek Nederlands! Met mij!’. This is a very popular item amongst expats, as Direct Dutch has already spread more than 15.000 across the country.

‘Spreek Nederlands Dag’ was also created in order to tackle this problem. On this day expats are encouraged to speak Dutch as much as possible, especially in public. In The Hague restaurants and cafes can win a special price on this day. The restaurant or café which is the most patient and helpful whilst expats practice their Dutch will receive the ‘Spreek Nederlands Dag 2016’ trophy.

‘Spreek Nederlands Dag’ for international companies

This year international companies will be actively involved during ‘Spreek Nederlands Dag’. International employees often receive a Dutch course by their employer when they come to the Netherlands. However, after this course, English remains the main language at the office. Direct Dutch Institute offers a free toolkit for those companies, which allows them to organize a ‘Spreek Nederlands Dag’ on a monthly basis.

More information about the ‘Spreek Nederlands Dag’ can be found on www.directdutch.com.

On ‘Spreek Nederlands Dag’ we will ‘fight’ for our right to speak Dutch in public! It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes, or if you have a thick accent! Wij willen Nederlands spreken!
Dutch people do appreciate your effort to learn Dutch. They are just unaware. They think they are helping you out by speaking English. We will remind them that you do want to speak Dutch!
Join us on Saturday 2 July in Central Library The Hague. We will start with a free speed masterclass (to refresh your Dutch speaking skills). After that we will split up in small groups and go into the center of The Hague. Our goal is to speak Dutch as much as possible. With each other and with the waiters in a cafe or restaurant.
Of course there will be Dutch speaking volunteers to guide you! And we’ll keep score: is the waiter patient enough, do they continue to speak Dutch with you, even when they’re busy? At the end of the day we will hand out a trophy to the cafe or restaurant which showed the most patience.
Do you want to participate? Great! Register now, for free, by sending an email to dutchup@directdutch.com). You can also guide one of the groups, if you speak Dutch at level B2+.
Programme Spreek Nederlands Dag 2016
Opening speech by alderman for Knowledge economy, International affairs, Youth and Education, Ingrid van Engelshoven
12:00 – 12:30
Speed masterclass Dutch by Ruud Hisgen (Direct Dutch Institute)
13:00 – 14:30
Groups go into center of The Hague (guided)
Winning cafe or restaurant is announced
We are hoping you will join us (again)! We hopen dat je (weer) meedoet!
Hartelijke groet,
het Direct Dutch team