Too Much English Spoken at the Erasmus University
Hello dear readers, how are you? It’s been a while. I’ve been having a short break from writing, however, a very sad story finally got me back behind the keyboard. Before reading any further, please make sure that you have a box of tissues handy, or if you’re Dutch, have your sleeve ready. 😉 (Disclaimer, that was what is commonly known as a joke).
Today, I’m going to tell you the sad story of a proud (some might say nationalistic) Dutch lady called Eline Burgman. She is studying a Law degree at the Erasmus University and she is not happy. Why? Because far too much English is spoken there. Here in the Netherlands! She’s written an opinion piece in the Erasmus magazine about her horrid experiences of having to speak English, in the Netherlands!
Strike me down with a Stroopwafel
I for one understand why she’s upset. I mean, after all, it’s not as if there were any clues at all that would lead one to believe that a Dutch Erasmus student would be confronted with kut Engels! (English). Neeeeeee. I mean, just taking a brief look at their website I saw some of the following:
- They’re an international orientated research university
- They have students and staff from over 100 countries
- Many of their courses are taught in (wait for it) English! Gadverdamme!
- They have a site that is in English as well as in Dutch
But Eline is shocked, shocked I tell you that a waitress at a bar on the University Campus said (please look away if you’re easily offended) “Can I help you please?”
Being an internationally orientated and open-minded and tolerant person, she demanded to be served in het Nederlands. She then got into a discussion with the manager of the waitress who told her that 70% of the employees there speak English. Seeing as how she’s a student at an international university studying a course in English, asking her to actually speak English appeared to be a bridge too far for Eline and quite rightly so. As she said in her article, in the Netherlands she wants to be helped in Dutch!
She has precisely the kind of attitude that leads to so many lekker tolerant Dutch students wanting to share their homes with Dutch people only. Which isn’t xenophobic at all.
The fact that she feels that far too much English is spoken at the Erasmus is understandable. After all, it’s not as if anyone outside of the Netherlands has ever heard of the Erasmus University. Nee! I mean, the way the University is carrying on you’d think that it was part of a pan-European student Exchange programme, or that the University actively campaigns to recruit international students.
Cheese and whine. It’s so unfair!
In her article, Eline questions the value of international students in the Netherlands. She quotes a study which shows that only 20% of foreign students end up staying in the Netherlands for longer than five years. Which means that the majority stay for less than that time, work, pay taxes, line the pockets of Dutch landlords, go on Tinder, eat out, pay Tikkies and contribute to the wider Dutch economy. But, according to Eline having so many international students just forces proud Dutch people like her to have to speak English, in the Netherlands. It’s so unfair! To summarise her article, what have internationals ever done for us?
I for one wholeheartedly support Eline. She has hit the spijker op de kop! The Erasmus University should focus on Dutch students. There’s no need to recruit internationals. Instead, their promotional objectives should be on getting people from New Alabama (Friesland) and Dutch Kentucky (Duindorp) to enrich the campus with open-minded tolerant Dutch students. When interviewing for staff to serve in the bars and cafes on campus they should force them to say the word ‘Scheveningen’. If they can’t pronounce it correctly then they shouldn’t be hired. This would ensure that Nederlanders are given priority for jobs that they don’t want to apply for.
Eline says that the Dutch language is a binding factor for Dutch people and forms an important part of the Dutch identity. Far be it from me to ask a stupid question but surely, if she doesn’t like at the Erasmus due to the excessive use of English, she should study at a Uni that isn’t so globally orientated and pick a subject to study in Dutch. Or is that asking too much?
No Dutch nationalists were hurt during the writing of this post.