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Still a long way

Still a long way

Not a month goes by without someone confusing Sweden/Switzerland or Denmark/Netherlands. With Sweden/Switzerland it's because of the names of the countries, but with Denmark/Netherlands it's because people from Denmark are called Danish and people from Netherlands are called Dutch.

It's usually Americans who make those mistakes, but the first time I encountered it in real life was actually in England when I got in the wrong line to get into the country. I was supposed to stand in the Europe line but ended up in the Rest of The World line, and one of the women there could apparently tell something was wrong and asked me, "Are you Dutch?" I said no and handed her my passport which said Denmark and she responded with, "That's what I said: Dutch. Why are you lying about where you're from?" :XD:

3rd February 2012
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21 M
9 days ago #9328279        

Dutch, Danish, same thing... you both sit basically on the ocean right?

2 months ago #9309020        

Hmm.. I guess government workers are the same everywhere... unqualified for any other job, they are shuttled to Immigration... and believe me having travelled and lived in numerous countries over the past ten years, Immigration officials have been the most tedious people to deal with in every country I've been to. Not all of them of course, but there is always at least one yahoo who proves my point.

2 months ago #9307753        

I wouldn't mind accepting a challenge of naming countries, recognizing them, or recognizing their flags... (hint, hint)


48 M
2 months ago #9300211        

Thank you for that. It was very informative. :)

2 months ago #9299271        

@KingRubyV i assume she explained it, and then everything was fine.


15 F
2 months ago #9298991        

All my friends are terrible at remembering flags, I'm the best at it.

2 months ago #9297799        

What happened after she said you were lying XD

2 months ago #9295831        

@KOakaKO , @VaernesGardermoen , Dutch and Deutsch have the same root word (Þeudisk) meaning 'people'. Duytsch-Dietsch-Diets is the low german form, Deutsch is the high german form. In its modern form 'Diets' refers to the dialects spoken in the Middle Dutch language area between 1150 and 1500.

With the German unification, the powerful Prussian state opted for high german as the standard language, hence Deutsch and Deutschland. The Netherlands, wanting to show its political independence from Deutschland, opted to call their standard language Nederlands, instead of the more commonly used Dietsch, because it was considered too close to Deutsch.

To complicate matters: people continued to use the term Dietsch until fairly recently. During the interwar period, a political movement rose to unify the Netherlands and northern Belgium into a single state (Dietsland), calling themselves the Dietsche Gedachte (loosely: The Dutch Thought). A handful of conservatives still use the term in private conversation.

Germany, as a name, comes from the Latin 'Germania'. The Netherlands is a description of the area, referring to the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Meuse, Scheldt, and Ems rivers where much of the land is at or below sea level.

Dutch is not a quirk. Germany, The Netherlands and Nederlands are.


17 M
3 months ago #9281196        

@KOakoKO It's mostly because we Brits are very bad at names. Also, Deutsche is what Germans call themselves, Dutch is what we hopeless english speakers call the Netherlanders. Just take it as one of those quirks that build up in languages.

3 months ago #9280959        

Dutch people refer themselves and their language as "Nederlands" or "Nederlandse" (both means Netherlands' in English). The Dutch word for German is "Duits".

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