2.17.2009

The Hague is Den Haag to me

I grew up hearing about The Hague, and to me, it was always "The Hague" because I speak English and that's obviously its English name.

But when I was traveling in Asia, I met a Dutch guy who kept talking about "Den Haag", and I had no idea what he was talking about until someone gave me the English name: The Hague.

A lot of people probably know the Dutch name, but I didn't, plus I had spent a while in Japan, so the priority was to learn Japanese, not Dutch.

But what's weird is that ever since I met that Dutch guy, now whenever I hear "The Hague" in a news report or whatever, it sounds unnatural because I've gotten used to its "native" name. And what makes it more odd is that I've only spent one day in the Netherlands, and have never studied Dutch. So why does "Den Haag" stick in my mind, even though I only talked to that Dutch guy once?

4 comments:

Den Haag Blog : said...

Greetings from The Hague !
No, I am not that guy you mentioned in your blog ...:-)

mj said...

Thanks for visiting--too bad I don't understand your blog :D

Silas said...

It's probably due to the uniqueness and personal touch of the story. Hearing 'Den Haag' used in Asia by a Dutch guy is more memorable than randomly seeing 'The Hague' on a map or in a newspaper article. Because the story sticks in your mind when you think of the city, the Dutch name probably also sticks.

mj said...

Wow--good point--I hadn't thought of that. That's why you're so smart and I wish you still lived in Chicago :(