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Thread: about language

  1. #1
    Junior Member twocrows's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Question about language

    My friend who has been to Aruba 5 times and is coming with me for my first visit - next month, has told me that everyone speaks English. But - she has visited for short periods as a tourist. I'm thinking of moving there eventually though it's still very much pie-in-the-sky at this point.

    So, on the assumption that I do land there permanently eventually -- should I invest in a Dutch version of Rosetta Stone?
    1] is it really that simple to navigate daily life as a resident not knowing the official language of the country?
    2] do the natives resent it if a transplant from another country doesn't bother to learn their language?
    or am I simply responding to the jingoistic views currently so widespread in
    the US?

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
    Andrea J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    well everyone does not speak English, most do, but some do not.
    that being said, most arubans are multi lingual. most speak papiamento, dutch, spanish and english.

    aruba is incredibly diverse, and i am certain no one resents anyone due to language challenges.

    you have never been to aruba, but are interested in moving there???
    i am very interested in hearing what and why you are leaning that way.

  3. #3
    Junior Member twocrows's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    happy to explain why:
    I live in the US now and I don't like the way I see things going here. I've been thinking for a while about other places to run to.

    of the places I would like to live, Holland, Denmark and Iceland are at the top of my list. But they're SO cold! and I moved to Florida 3+ years ago FOR A REASON!
    so I got to thinking about Australia or New Zealand. they're both warm and speak English. but they're SO far away. . . .
    then it hit me -- the British Virgin Isles are very near the US and warm. when I broached the idea of a visit to my friend, she suggested Aruba. she has been there numerous times and loves it.

    so, I'm ready to inflict myself on the island next month with an eye toward: is this somewhere I want to live? what is the ambiance? what are the drawbacks? the major upside is getting out of the US while it goes through its current silly season and, hopefully, settles down.
    but ----- what if it doesn't?
    I'm very well versed in European history - during ancient and Medieval times and on down to the 20th century. so I'm under no illusions that the current insanity will necessarily be short lived. it could last for decades. and it might get worse before it gets better. I don't want to be here for that. . . .
    Last edited by twocrows; 10-22-2010 at 08:27 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    My swimming pool with a 7/7 or in my boat with a fishing rod looking in at Malmok.

    Thumbs up

    I am Danish, live in Sweden, do a lot of business is Holland, been too Iceland many times and own a house in Aruba, so I can give you a few tips ;-).

    Denmark is not as cold as you might think, it just have all the 4 seasons very clearly, I think you could say it is pretty similar to New England.

    Iceland is in a league of its own, not really comparable to anything.

    Holland also have 4 seasons but a bit warmer than Denmark.

    I have had the same language considerations like you for Aruba, but Dutch is normally only necessary if you are going to work at a government entity.
    Everybody who speaks Dutch normally also speaks English, but you have a lot of people who only speaks Spanish, so our decision was to learn Spanish.
    Papiamento would be great, but there is no Rosetta Stone for that ;-).


  5. #5
    Junior Member twocrows's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    thanks for the information, Schnauzerjoy.
    Denmark's being similar to New England is, decidedly, NOT a point in its favor. I moved to Florida because Missouri was TOO BLAMED COLD! and it's in the midwest.

    and Iceland -- well -- even if I wanted to live that far north, Icelandic is, so I understand, the most difficult language in the world to learn.

    I'm looking for somewhere WARM. even Florida is a bit cold in the winter for my taste. but the main reason for taking the plunge is political. things are getting too scary in my neck of the woods to keep sticking around.
    I always did think the US was arrogant. NOW it's getting ridiculous.

    yeah, I had thought about learning Papiamento - but it looks like I'll just have to pick it up as I go along. if I DO go for it, Spanish is the way to go, it seems. thanks for that.

  6. #6
    Senior Member lizzardo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    I found that the dutch issue is manageable if you have dutch friends to help you translate. The people on the island are very friendly and there are some 'clubs' where you can meet people who are 'ex pats'. There are also translators you can hire to translate important papers.

    I took Papiamento lessons in Aruba. It is easier to learn than
    spanish but i'm not too good at picking up languages.
    Last edited by lizzardo; 10-23-2010 at 09:19 AM.
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  7. #7
    Junior Member twocrows's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    oh, LESSONS! I hadn't even thought of that. thanks, lizzardo.
    yeah, I'm not too good at it either. I think that's a major drawback, generally, in the US. I took Spanish in high school but haven't used it since.

    maybe I could do both - Rosetta Stone for Spanish and lessons for Papiamento -- I would probably mix up the 2 on occasion - but I could still make myself understood.

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