UPDATE 2/4/21: Wishful thinking, April Fools Day prank, or both? Thanks for reading guys, we’ll catchya next year 😘
The Dutch Ministry of Interior Affairs has announced English will become the second official language of the Netherlands.
It comes as no surprise, with the Dutch already topping the charts as some of the best non-native English speakers in the world.
“Tens of thousands of internationals immigrate to the Netherlands every year,” said a ministry spokesperson. “It’s unnecessary to make them all learn the language if the Dutch already speak English.”
Between 90% and 93% of Dutchies claim to be able to converse in English. Expats have often been frustrated at how hard it is to practice Dutch in the Netherlands because the Dutch tend to immediately switch to English.
Official Dutch names to be converted
As part of incorporating a second official language, the government will also change the names of official bodies in order to increase accessibility for expats.
As a nod to the Dutch heritage, governmental agencies will be renamed with the Dutch royal family in mind. For example, the tongue-twisting Belastingdienst will update its name to “His Royal Majesty’s Tax Authority.”
Scrapping Dutch place names
The names of some Dutch towns and cities will also be changed to names that are easier for English-speakers to pronounce. IJsselstein will now be called Islington, Groningen will become Grantham, and Utrecht will be Youbourne. To avoid international confusion, Amsterdam will keep its name.
Ulterior motives for changing the national language
There are rumours that the government is changing the official language of the Netherlands to win favour with British and American pharmaceutical companies.
In the wake of both English speaking countries steaming ahead with their vaccination programmes, the Dutch government may want to align itself with the frontrunners of coronavirus vaccinations.
All the Dutch speak great English:
As it stands, the Dutch government is yet to make a formal declaration of this decision. Their official statement is that this is a move to further include the international community in the Netherlands.
However, sources in The Hague have said they have noticed more Pfizer and Biotech branded mugs in the parliamentary break rooms. There have even been reports of a pair of union jack underpants being found in the cabinet meeting room.
There have been no new vaccination deals as of yet, but a diplomatic gift of 12,000 kilos of Marmite has been received by the government.
What do you think of the Netherlands huge decision? Tell us in the comments below!