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Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s English language report

45 jaar Language Partners! In ons jubileumjaar bespreken we elke maand de taalkennis van een bekende Nederlander. Vandaag trappen we af met Jeroen Dijsselbloem, minister van Financiën en voorzitter van de Eurogroep.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem

Wow, is the first word that pops into my mind when hearing this man speak.  If only all politicians (from the English government included) could sound like this!

Mr Dijsselbloem could easily pass for a native speaker that would give any BBC newsreader a run for their money. His accent is the epitome of English RP (but more natural if that is at all possible), he sounds well educated without going completely over the top with a high-class accent. Sometimes very posh English accents can come across as a little buffoon-like, almost cringe worthy, especially where politicians are concerned – Mr Dijsselbloem actually sounds believable and sincere, instilling confidence in the listeners.

During this clip, Mr Dijsselbloem uses lots of natural English expressions like ‘ bear with us’, which is nice to hear being used appropriately. His English is also very diplomatic and polite again without going over the top. The delivery of this interview is at a great pace, his speech flows naturally and he has lovely intonation and pronunciation that would even put a native English person to shame. He certainly does not have a typical Dutch English accent and sets a shining example for the Dutch to be proud of in this clip. His English is certainly head and shoulders above everyone else’s in this clip as well, as the various others have definite non-English accents. When compared to the lady sitting next to him for example, her English sounds a little stilted, although she is very fluent, whereas Mr Dijsselbloem links words together so that they flow naturally and he acknowledges questions absolutely perfectly! If I am nit-picking (and I really am), there is a very slight over pronunciation of the letter ‘r’ at 6mins 59 where he says “move on from there” – but that is the only thing I can pick up, and I even feel mean doing so!

What more can I say, a very impressive display of how a natural sounding English can be achieved.  I am not sure how long it took him, or the method that he used, but whatever it was, it certainly has paid off immensely. Practice makes perfect – and I would say that this just about is!

certificate Jeroen Dijsselbloem

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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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