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Doutzen Kroes’ English language report

Language Partners bestaat 45 jaar. Om dit te vieren, bespreken we elke maand de taalkennis van een bekende Nederlander. De taalkennis van model Doutzen Kroes staat deze keer centraal.

Doutzen Kroes

This was only a very short interview, but gave quite a big insight into her language capabilities. On the whole, she speaks English very well and comes across as fluent and confident with the language. There are a couple of issues that stuck out for me right from the start, but these are no means big faults at all!

General issues and pronunciation

From the beginning of the interview, it was clear that Doutzen had some sort of accent which were apparent especially with ‘s’ and ‘th’ sounds. One of the first things that stood out for me was her pronunciation of ‘Ibiza’ – in England we tend to say ‘Ibitha’ whereas she said ‘Ibitza’ – which is something that I pick up on quite a lot – although I couldn’t possibly comment on which is the more correct way of saying it as I am not Spanish!

She had a tendency to say ‘den’ and ‘dere’ as opposed to ‘then and ‘there’ but this was not consistent all the way through – she displayed on many occasions that she was able to make a very good ‘th’ sound’. As well as this there were also a couple of minor grammar faults that I noticed – particularly when forming a conditional sentence. At 1 min 15 seconds she said ‘I think when my son will be older’ instead of ‘I think when my son is older’. This is a very common mistake that is made by many people when learning English – even some native English people still get it wrong!!

At 4 mins 33 seconds she is talking about spending quality time as a family and makes reference to spending time in a park – here she really over pronounces her ‘r’ sound when compared to native English speakers, but actually for the accent she has acquired this did not stick out too much.

As the interview progressed, her accent became less pronounced (not that it was strong in the first place) and I think it is because the more she speaks, the more confident she becomes – which is true when speaking and learning any foreign language, the more you practice, the more confident you get.

Her accent is verging on being American, which is really what you would expect, given her line of work and the amount of travelling that she does. She occasionally has an upward inflection, which is actually more apparent in Australian English, however, it does not sound wrong.

Coherence of the interview

The interview was very natural sounding. She used quite a good range of vocabulary but on occasion she did oversimplify things or repeat certain words instead of using a pronoun for example. At one point at the 2 min 26, she actually corrected herself on her grammar – she originally said ‘she has been working’ – and corrected herself to ‘had been working’, which was commendable! Just after that she used the word ‘nerve-wracking’ beautifully! On the subtitles (not that they are needed at all here!) at 2 mins 39 seconds, it said ‘When it was my turn I was pretty nervous’ – when actually her version was better!

There was a little extract, which confused me for a split second. At around the 2 min 40 mark she was on about her first time modelling for Victoria’s Secret. She said ’there are 10 other beautiful girls that didn’t have a baby’. In my head this conjured up the image of her standing in line and her being the only one holding a baby! What she should have said was ’10 other beautiful girls who haven’t had a baby’.

Right at the end of the interview she was talking about where her son was going to grow up and spending some time in New York. She said ‘if I am not going to like it then I will move back to Holland’. It would have been better to say ‘If I don’t like it’.

Conclusions and ratings

Doutzen Kroes sounded very relaxed during the interview and used some nice appropriate language throughout. There were a couple of minor pronunciation issues and a few grammar bits and pieces – but the fact that she corrected herself shows that she does have a good grasp on verb tenses and knows how to use them in the right way. In a way, I think her image is ‘girl next door’ and when she speaks English, she comes across in this way too.


Certificate Doutzen Kroes

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Jo van Aken
Jo is trainer Zakelijk Engels bij Language Partners. Ze heeft in verschillende landen in Europa gewerkt en woont sinds 2010 in Nederland, waar ze trainingen Engels en communicatievaardigheden geeft.

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