Not many people at the casino realize I am Dutch. My colleagues all want to know how to pronounce my name, and where it comes from, but they mostly think I am an American with Dutch ancestors. Recently one my staff returned from maternity leave. During one of our meetings, my nationality came up and she was genuinely surprised to learn I am the resident alien, Dutch born and raised. I was asked to prove it on the spot by speaking to her in Dutch. She was very impressed by my skills and expressed the desire to learn Dutch. And just like that, the idea of the Dutch Word of the Day was born.
Every day when I come in, I write a Dutch word on the dry erase board with the translation and instructions on pronunciation beneath it. We have a lot of fun with it, especially when I throw in some g’s, forcing them to "hock a loogie" as someone so eloquently put it. Today’s word is gok automaat (slot machine) in honor of the big slot tournament promotion we are currently running on Saturdays. Next week, I am teaching them the days of the week.
Our little inside joke has started to take on a life of its own, however. Throughout the casino people are talking about the Dutch Word of the Day. They come to our office to see what the day's word is, they discuss it in the break rooms, and for the first time I am asked questions about windmills, tulips, and wooden shoes.
Now, if I could only get them to stop confusing Dutch with Danish. A Danish is something you eat. Easy, no?