Today I want to explain everyone where I’m from and explain a bit about my little country. There is a big misunderstanding about The Netherlands, the country where I’m from. Often people think the following when I say: “I’m DUTCH” people understand that as Deutsch, as the people speak that language in the country on our right-hand side called Germany. So to get away that confusion it’s better to say it in one sentence: “I’m from the Netherlands and that makes me a Dutch guy”. Here is where the confusion starts to get worse doesn’t it? My country is a bit difficult to understand, I know. A lot of people don’t even know that this country exists so often I just tell them I’m from Amsterdam, they still don’t know where on the planet this is but at least they probably heard of this city for some reason. Let me try to explain it to you.
Let’s try it like this with the small figure here on the Left. If you take the world map (left top corner) you see a small circle around a small area of the world. This area is called Europe. The bigger scale shows you all of the countries in Europe (light green colored). Europe consists 51 different countries. Now we go one scale bigger to this dark green part of the map. That’s my country called The Netherlands. A lot of people refer to it as Holland but that’s not the correct way. I’ll explain later. In the Netherlands, we have about 18 million people in comparison, the city New York has alone over 9 million citizens.
The Netherlands is divided into 12 provinces and have different names and gets us back to the part where everyone is confused again and calls us Hollanders. If you look at the figure on my right you see a Yellow and Red colored area. Yellow is called North-Holland and red is called South-Holland. This part of the Netherlands is called Holland. And Cities as Amsterdam (my town) and Rotterdam are in Holland. Most of the touristic places are in North and south Holland. So that’s why this is so confusing. And I really hope that you are still following this and find it somehow interesting.
In the Netherlands, we speak Dutch and have 24 dialects and some of these even have subgroups. For example, I have a friend from the green area called Maastricht. If he speaks with other people from this area I’m unable to understand anything from what he is saying. It almost sounds like they speak the Dutch language mixed it with German and then put their mouth full of bread. I tell you, I couldn’t understand even if I wanted to. The same with people from Friesland might be even worse. But most people say the same about the people from Amsterdam, they speak AMSTERDAMS. If you want to hear the differences between all these crazy dialects (click here)
So now you know where I’m from and a littlest more about this little country if you ever going to visit Amsterdam I would advise you to do the day trip or spread on a weekend (click here for the day trip blog)
If you want to know a bit more or got every explained in a very non-confusing way I would advise you to watch the video below. If you have any other questions regarding this blog feel free to ask me in the comment section.