‘Make English second official language’

English must be made the official second language in Amsterdam so that all public transport, council services and police business can be conducted in Dutch or English, says the city’s D66 democrat party councillor Jan Paternotte in the Parool on Friday.

The call for the city to become officially bilingual has been made in a proposal drawn up by the councillor.
Paternotte says one in 10 of Amsterdam residents speaks English but no Dutch and while this is not a problem in shops and cafes, they face difficulties when dealing with local government institutions.
‘English is accepted everywhere in Amsterdam except at the city hall,’ says Paternotte. ‘Reporting a crime to the police can only be done in Dutch and local taxes are imposed only in Dutch.
‘But English is undoubtedly the second language of the city, simply because it is THE world language and many American and British people live here or come here on holiday,’ Paternotte tells the Parool.
Public information on the internet should also be in available in English, says Paternotte. In this way, foreigners would not put their rubbish out on the wrong day, he says.
Paternotte suggests too that English-speaking police officers wear union jack (Britsh flag) badges.
The Parool itself has taken the councillor’s words to heart and has published an English translation of it story on its website.
Click here to read the full Parool story.

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