Thursday, August 20, 2009

Are the Dutch rude or simply Direct?

Dutch people do not beat around the bush and will often speak their minds. This can seem rather rude and almost feel insulting to foreign people (e.g: ‘I have read you report and it is awful’). However, Dutch people prefer to be open about their opinion and if it is presented in a kind and friendly manner, this is usually regarded as good. It is considered as being honest, where being too subtle and polite can create misunderstanding (e.g. as in ‘I can see that you have worked very on this report and I do appreciate you have spend this much time on it’). It can be a bit shocking, however, when confronted for the first time with Dutch directness.
But in my opinion, it makes the contact between people clear of ‘communication noise’.
The Dutch are of course renowned for being internationally oriented, with most of the population able to speak English very well. (in fact, the Dutch speaks average 3.6 foreign languages, with English on the first place, German on the second and French on the third place). Nevertheless, some aspects of Dutch behavior can still puzzle and startle the foreign visitor, especially in the workplace. Especially Americans increasingly are interested in Dutch business life since they consider the Netherlands as an effective country to do business with an in.

The German historian and journalist Christoph Driessen asks in an essay for the Dutch nerwpaper NRC Handelsblad: “For me, as a German, it would be impolite to answer this question with a yes. Let me just say: the Dutch are direct - much more direct than other people.”
You can read his article here...and never bother me with the assumption that Germans and Dutch are somehow the same; they are NOT!.)

Did you know? (1)

Did you know that after the Bible (300 million) the IKEA guide is the most published with 130 million copies?

Day Opening - August 20

Church in Rome