Douwe Bob’s English language report

Language Partners onderzoekt hoe het is gesteld met de talenkennis van onze BN’ers. Deze maand kijken we naar de Engelse talenkennis van Douwe Bob. Hoe brengt de Nederlandse Songfestivalkandidaat van 2016 het ervan af?

Douwe Bob

This interview is quite a strange one to analyse and at points it almost seems a little bit awkward. I could even go as far as saying that some of the pauses are slightly too long but of course that is only the way that I interpret it. I love Eurovision!

General issues and pronunciation

Douwe Bob does not have a typical Dutch accent at all when he is speaking English. He has a very definite American accent, as have most of the people who I have reported on so far this year. There are only a couple of very subtle hints of a Dutch accent with the ‘s’ sound for example, when he mentions horse riding at 1.38 and at around 3.25 he makes reference to ‘live players’ which sounded more like ‘life’ players. To be honest, at that particular point it would have been better to have said ‘live musicians’ but in no way whatsoever did it hinder understanding!

Throughout the interview Douwe Bob used some lovely vocabulary such as ‘skinny dipping’ and referred to his erm…. posterior as ‘buns’ which is typically American but I have to say that the English have adopted that word too nowadays! Around 5.45 he made reference to a vacation, which again confirms his commitment to American English. This is very common nowadays especially with the younger generations who are learning English and I have to say that he is very consistent.

Coherence of the interview

As I mentioned right at the beginning, the interview was a little awkward at times and there were a couple of pauses between answers, which implied that he was searching for correct vocabulary. He had a habit of repeating the same words – brilliant and amazing, which he seemed to use for maximum effect.

There were a couple of very minor slip-ups from a grammar perspective. The first one occurred at 2.15 where he was talking about some changes that he was going to be making and he seemed to stumble over his answer and came out with ‘change some slight little stuff’. It would have been better to say ‘make some slight changes’ or something along those lines. Also around 8.45 he was talking about his love of country music and he said ‘I hooked myself on it’ and of course I knew exactly what he meant, but he should have said ‘I got myself hooked on it’.

Conclusions and ratings

To say that he was born in 1992 and is still very young – his level of English is very high. He has a consistent American accent (according to my to British ears) and showed impeccable pronunciation and intonation throughout. His sentence structure and grammar was also of a high standard too.

At the time I wrote this interview, I was very blessed to have my mum and aunt staying with me and between them, they have clocked up 75 years of teaching experience and they remarked that they thought he was American! So a great big compliment there! Overall, apart from the incredibly minor points mentioned here, I also would not have recognized that he was actually Dutch.

Douwe Bob obviously has been using English on a regular basis and thus sounds pretty confident and fluent as a result.

Douwe Bob English language report

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