A colleague of mine is doing an English course. She got a document that proves that even if you speak the language, a dutchman will never understand the british
British say: I hear what you say
British mean: I disagree and don't want to discuss it any further
Dutch understand: He accepts my point of view
British say: With the greatest respect...
British mean: I think you are a fool
Dutch understand: He's listening to me
British say: That's not bad
British mean: That's very good
Dutch understand: That's poor or mediocre
British say: Quite good
British mean: A bit disappointing
Dutch understand: Quite good
British say: I would suggest...
British mean: Do it or be prepared to justify yourself
Dutch understand: Think about the idea but do what you like
British say: Oh, by the way...
British mean: The primary purpose of this discussion is..
Dutch understand: This is not very important
British say: I was a bit disappointed that...
British mean: I'm most upset and cross
Dutch understand: It doesn't really matter...
British say: Very interesting..
British mean: I don't believe you...
Dutch understand: They are impressed
British say: I'll bear it in mind
British mean: I will do nothing about it
Dutch understand: They will probably do it
British say: I'm sure it's my fault
British mean: It's your fault!
Dutch understand: It was their fault!
British say: That's an original point of view
British mean: You're an idiot
Dutch understand: They like my ideas!
British say: You'll get there eventually
British mean: You don't stand a chance in hell
Dutch Understand: Keep on trying, for they agree I'm on the right track