Sunday 20 June 2004

Tolerance as a mindset of choice, prejudice and hypocrisy - Part 2

Finding an English School
One is yet to find a student of English from either Japan or China who has been taught English to secondary school level and been able to speak it fluently.
In Japan especially, where so much emphasis is placed of learning English as a language for greater career opportunities. Japan is an established and developed economy and nation with all the resources necessary to make that work.
One remembers years ago in secondary school when French was taught to us with the brutality of the cane bruises from a psychopathic teacher, it took the fun out of learning a good language and no one picked it up as well as could be expected.
Finding a decent Dutch course
The only people who have had the best induction into the Dutch society have been the foreign spouses of the ruling family, Prince Bernhard and Prince Claus from Germany and Princes Maxima from Argentina, then we have foreigners who are madly in love with their Dutch partners, then the persevering rest who just have to learn Dutch to bring the bacon home.
I am not aware of a cosy learning experience for a language made so difficult not by the tuition, but the by the inflexible practitioners who cannot seem to understand anything said that is not accent-perfect, word-perfect, grammar-perfect and just perfect.
Evidence of this fact also comes from the situation where they cannot understand sentences that mix 2 languages that they speak, it is rather bizarre.
Any learner, after the initial enthusiasm almost always gives up learning when all attempts to speak attract no encouragement.
Everyone switches to English, no matter how bad, we are all forgiving enough to accept what is commonly known as Dinglish - the direct translation of Dutch words into English maintaining Dutch grammar and syntax.
We the Dutch affrim that we are becoming less Dutch
This brings us to an original Dutch idea being promoted as part of the immigration-integration debate that is sweeping Europe.
Until recently, the Dutch and the Netherlands have been feted as the most tolerant Western society. This is not to say that the Dutch are still not tolerant, however, a vociferous minority purporting to convey popular opinion are being quite facetious about what to tolerate.
The brunt of this sweeping Dutch angst is the immigrant; or rather, the non-European, non-Christian, non-Dutch speaking, non-skilled nonentities that are diluting Dutch culture and turning the Dutch into other things but Dutch.
We all know that the argument that gay marriage compromises the sanctity of the institution of marriage is as unfounded as immigrants making the Dutch become more Arabic, Muslim, non-Western or some other inconceivable tosh. See Part 1.
Learn Dutch in your village
Anyway, in a masterstroke of genius, the Dutch have now decided that families from these improper areas cannot be united without mastering Dutch and the culture, that is understandable, only that they have to do this before they can emigrate.
The Dutch, having mastered the art of making money, linking up with foreign cultures, then profited bountifully from slave trade and pulled out before other slave trading nations saw that as a business, would now have the opportunity to set up Dutch assimilation institutions and schools in these nether lands.
Walk down a kasbar in Casablanca, you might happen upon a Dutch school, I am not quite sure of seeing that in the persecuted Berber heartlands.
The core analysis is simply the fact that the Dutch have surreptitiously created an almost insurmountable barrier to entry without clearly stating that a barrier to entry has been created.
Obviously, minorities from Japan, Australia or America are not affected by this barrier considering it might even be better to set up these schools in prosperous countries that can afford good teachers, provide the right amenities and having able and paying customers.
The world ain’t that fair, neither are the Dutch in this case.

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