Spoken Dutch

During my short visit to The Netherlands in late 2007, I learned that what I had suspected was true — that I really had learned the Dutch language when I left in early 2005.


I had a couple of experiences in which I was able to switch over completely to the Dutch language.

One evening, after seeing my American friend to the train station, I went out in Utrecht by myself. I decided I'd speak no English.

On seeking the hostel where I'd be staying on my last evening in the country. I stopped an older middle-aged fellow beneath the Domtoren clocktower and told him I was looking for Lucas Bolwerk. He told me how to get there, turning left at the statue of Willibrord.

I had some experience, even — which surprised me most of all — with a "switch back" to Dutch even after having overgeschakeld to English.

an absolute statement about a relative condition.