DutchNews podcast – But Everybody Speaks English Edition – Week 3

DutchNews podcast – But Everybody Speaks English Edition – Week 3

In this week's podcast we survey the debris from a winter storm that cost €90 million and the obstacles on the path to learning Dutch. Plus how the Belgians came to the rescue when the Russians came calling, why an Amsterdam court became the latest Brexit battleground and the fake news item that's been exposed after 370 years. You can also hear how Molly's favourite football manager fared as he tried to revive Sparta's fortunes. Top story Damage bill for winter storm estimated at €90m Here's an interactive map where you can track gritter lorries in the Netherlands ... and the Scottish version News Brits go to court in Amsterdam to protect EU citizenship rights US ambassador admits comments about no-go zones were 'exaggerated' Dutch taxpayers picking up bill for Groningen earthquake damage Belgian jets usher Russian bombers out of Dutch airspace 'Spanish blood' theory of short, dark Dutchmen revealed to be myth Sport Dick Advocaat kicks off mission to save Sparta with 1-0 home defeat (NOS, Dutch) Footballing legend Willem van Hanegem diagnosed with prostate cancer Discussion: How difficult is it to learn Dutch as a foreigner? English is no longer a foreign language in the Netherlands, but it has a unique character here Expats in the Netherlands need to learn the language too (NRC, Dutch, 2002)  More >

How to deal with Dutch inheritance issues

Death in the Netherlands – how to deal with inheritance issues The death of a relative is never an easy thing to deal with, but can be even more complicated and distressing when you live in a foreign country. What does Dutch law say about succession and inheritance? Say you are French, have an American partner and have lived in the Netherlands for the past three years. If one of you dies, what does that mean for the other’s inheritance? A relatively new European regulation has clarified the issue of succession when it comes to internationals. The EU regulation states that the law on inheritance in the country where the deceased had his or her last ‘habitual residence’ should govern that person’s estate, regardless of where the estate is located. This means that if the deceased person usually live in the Netherlands, their estate will be subject to Dutch law, even if they are, for example, American or French. However, the EU regulation also allows people to decide that the law of their own country should apply – a decision which...  More >

English has a unique character in NL

English is no longer a foreign language in NL, but it has a unique character here Are the Dutch now native speakers of English, and is Dutch-English a distinctive thing? Deborah Nicholls-Lee meets linguistics expert Alison Edwards to find some answers. English is no longer a foreign language in the Netherlands, asserts Leiden University’s Alison Edwards, who has published widely on the subject. ‘If you can assume that you can walk down the street and that the hairdresser will be able to speak to you in English, and the bus driver, and the taxi driver, then functionally it’s a second language not a foreign language.’ This view is perhaps unsurprising. The Dutch speak, it is claimed, the best English in the world. They often prefer speaking English when foreigners try to practise their Dutch, and the higher education sector here is rapidly being anglicised, with more than half of all university courses now taught in English. Distinctive Despite all the accolades, Dutch-English is distinct - in grammar, idiom, and accent - from the language used by native...  More >

Blog Watching: The word expat

Blog Watching: The word ‘expat’ has become muddled in its meaning Molly Quell is an American journalist living in the Netherlands. She blogs at Neamhspleachas about anything that strikes her fancy and you can also follow her on Twitter at @mollyquell. Note: Molly is DutchNews.nl's social media editor. 'How do you describe yourself – an expat, lovepat, immigrant, international etc ?' It’s one of the questions on the Dutch News’ 10 Questions interview. It’s also a question I occasionally get asked. Expat, short for expatriate, has a long and sometimes problematic history. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (out of) and patria (native country) according to Wikipedia. So literally someone out of their native country. But English has a lot of other words that cover that concept as well. Immigrant. Migrant. Exile. Resident. Emigrant. People have been moving abroad since before national borders were a thing. In more recent history, people have been forced to leave their homeland due to war, famine, persecution or natural disaster....  More >

Podcast: The Men Can't Apologise Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Men Can’t Apologise Properly Edition – Week 2 The podcast team looks back at a week of shocks that began with another earthquake in Groningen, saw the PVV whip up a social media storm in Utrecht and ended with a baptism of fire for new US ambassador Peter Hoekstra. How did Camiel Eurlings' apology backfire, why was nobody in the least perturbed when the rivers overflowed, and did Hoekstra backtrack on his denial that something he claimed never to have said was fake news? Plus we discuss the local council scheme to reward teenagers who managed not to cause mayhem and destruction on New Year's Eve. Top story Gas production expected to be scaled back after latest Groningen earthquake News Baptism of fire for new US ambassador Pete Hoekstra PVV councillor sparks angry backlash for 'burning mosque' comments No cause for alarm despite widespread flooding as rivers overflow Louis the lobster's unexpected freedom proves short-lived (NOS, Dutch) Sport Family of Ajax player Appie Nouri shocked by heart defect...  More >

'The Dutch make the most of the sun'

‘The Dutch make the most of the sun at every opportunity’ Online marketing expert Veronica Guguian is a Romanian national who moved to Amsterdam nearly eight years ago in search of adventure. She is a big fan of the Dutch diary culture, would like to meet Anouk and says stamppot reminds her of home. How did you end up in the Netherlands? My story is quite boring really. I fit in the classic pattern: I followed my partner here. He came to the Netherlands to work in IT and we thought 'let's have an adventure', so I came with him. Back in Romania I was involved in e-commerce and I had an e-commerce platform and a concept store selling French designer clothes. I used to organise fashion shows to promote them and had a lot of fun. Once in the Netherlands, I decided to get a job with a company to learn about Dutch work culture. This is how I started working at Expatica as a marketing consultant and account manager. I’ve since started up my own online marketing company Spin Ideas.  How do you describe yourself - an expat, lovepat, immigrant,...  More >

Don't fear the robots, they make us rich

Don’t fear the robots or the foreigners, they will make us richer Robots and foreigners have been taking over Dutch jobs for 50 years - but more people than ever are working, says economist Mathijs Bouman. And the bottom line is, we are all getting richer because of it. In 1969 Jan Wolkers wrote Turkish Delight, the Beatles recorded Abbey Road and Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Piet de Jong was our prime minister, ruling a country with a flourishing manufacturing industry. Of a working population of around 5.3 million, 1.3 million people worked in manufacturing or industry (including energy and water) - around 25% of the total Now, almost half a century later, in the year of De Wereld volgens Gijp and Marco Borsato and exactly zero men on the moon, industry has stopped generating jobs. The working population has grown to nine million of whom only 9% works in industry. In absolute terms this means that of the 1.3 million industrial jobs in 1969 only 800,000 are left. Meanwhile industrial production has doubled. GDP Labour intensive...  More >

Visit some of NL's stranger museums

Forget big art – here are some of the Netherlands’ stranger museums Have you already checked out the latest exhibit at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam and explored every corner of the Rijksmuseum? If so, then you might want to visit one of the Netherlands’ smaller and much more unusual museums. Here’s Brandon Hartley’s look at some of the oddest ones scattered across the country. Pianola Museum - Amsterdam Over a century ago when phonographs were still in their infancy, pianolas were all the rage...among those that could afford them. These player pianos were quite the status symbol and some of them cost as much as the average school teacher’s annual salary. Nowadays, it’s hard to even give them away and many have wound up in dumping grounds. Fortunately, the proprietors of this museum, which can be found in a house along the Westerstraat, have spent the past several decades trying to rescue and restore as many of them as possible. Visitors can watch several pianolas pound out the greatest hits of the early 20th century and view thousands of...  More >

Podcast: The Arkmageddon Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Arkmageddon Alpacalypse Edition – Week 1 The DutchNews podcast returns after an extended Christmas break with a feast of news from the old year and the new. We catch up on the Dutch winter storm that was too fierce for Noah’s Ark, the former minister who crashed his bus while texting behind the wheel and the whirlwind of fake news that engulfed the new US ambassador. Plus what happened when Rotterdam police unveiled plans to undress suspects in the street and an alpaca went walkabout in Haarlem. Top story First storm of the year causes €10 million of damage Noah's Ark breaks free and goes on rampage in Bible Belt fishing village News Regional bus and train drivers go on strike in dispute over pay and toilet breaks Rotterdam police under fire for plan to confiscate designer clothes on the spot National archive releases wartime documents on 'enemy' German nationals Mystery alpaca found wandering streets of Haarlem Sport Netherlands to send 'compact team' of mainly speed skaters to Winter...  More >

Key 2018 tax changes you need to know

Key changes to Dutch taxes you need to know about in 2018 The new Dutch government is planning to make quite a few changes to the current tax system. While most of them won’t come into effect until 2019, it is time to start planning for their impact now. The centre-right Dutch coalition government sees giving people more cash to spend as key to ensuring future economic growth. Part of the strategy involves simplifying the income tax system and raising taxes from other sources. 1. Income tax The biggest shake-up in the tax proposals is cutting the number of tax bands to two in 2019 but there will be a slight change in the tax rates in 2018. At the moment, there are officially four income tax bands but the second and third band are the same. Currently taxpayers are charged 36.55% on earnings up to €20,000, 40.8% on earnings up to €67,000 and 52% above that. This year the mid tax band will go up marginally to 40.85% while the top band, for income over €68,500 will be 51.95%. The new system in 2019 will involve an income tax...  More >

Techie tools to get to grips with Dutch

Five techie tools for getting to grips with Dutch If learning Dutch was one of your New Year resolutions but you don't fancy going back to the classroom, help is at hand. Deborah Nicholls-Lee reports on the latest technological tools designed to help you get to grips with a new language. The handheld device 'No person should be misunderstood’ is the mantra of Travis the Translator, the portable interpreter who fits in the palm of your hand. This brand new product, founded in 2016 in Rotterdam, has crowdfunded over $1.4m via Indiegogo, and has just begun the shipping phase. Ideal for face-to-face conversations - and functioning online and offline – Travis’s Quad Core processor means that there’s just a two-second delay before it translates each utterance it hears. The device is a combination of software and purpose-built hardware, and makes use of artificial intelligence to improve the more you use it. The built-in speakers and noise-cancelling microphone mean that Travis can be placed on a table or chair between users,...  More >