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Why every Englishman recognises me as a Dutchie

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When I was young (which is ages ago), I went to London with school. Every year the fourth grade was allowed to go to this big beautiful city for one weekend. The main goal was to practise the English language, which we learned at school. In those days it was a big event. We went by boat from Hoek van Holland to Harwich.

I loved to learn English. We learned words and grammar but pronunciation was not deemed that important. Sometimes you had to read a text out loud and that was how we would practise to speak English.
I was so excited, we could finally talk with real English people! As soon as we arrived I was scared to death to open my mouth. But the second day we were shopping and I was supposed to ask for directions to Greenwoods, a big menswear store in the city. So after I had rehearsed my sentence several times I jumped in front of one of the pedestrians on the street and asked with an almost dry throat: “Excuse me, do you know where Greenwood is?“ The man glanced at me and said: “you must be Dutch” ………..in Dutch! How on earth could I pick a Dutchie out of all those people? But more important, how on earth could he hear that I was Dutch? 

Pronunciation difference
The Dutch word for ‘dog’ is ‘hond’, pronounced as [hont]. At the end of a Dutch word a ‘d’ is pronounced [t]. Pronunciation is [d] if the letter appears on any other location in a word. So Dutch people have difficulty in hearing this soft [d] at the end of English words and they just pronounce it as [t] because the d-sound at the end of a word is not used in their own language. So if you are going to learn Dutch then it is wise to also pay attention to sounds that seem familiar, but in fact are not, because the pronunciation is different in Dutch!