: You call it respect (and I thank you for that), but for me, and many more Dutch people, English is so common that you learn it naturally. 99% of the movies on television and in the cinema is English spoken (with Dutch subtitles), 90% or more of TV series is English spoken, 99% of computer games we play is English spoken (without subtitles
). TV channels like BBC, National Geographic and Discovery Channel are included in the default TV subscriptions.
We also get English class starting at primary school till the end of highschool, sometimes from British or American teachers. A lot of university courses use English books. All my IT training uses English course material, and exams are in English. Several IT business helpdesks are in English (either with a British, American or Indian accent).
English is so common for me, that I chose to install my Windows and iPad at home in the English language instead of Dutch. I read books in English if that is the original language (in fact, we might have more books here at home in English than Dutch).
English becomes a second nature this way, except for speaking. Then you can easily tell I'm not native English. Edit: the reason I often edit my posts is to correct some spelling or grammar, like this time.
Edit 2: We also get German and French classes in high school and some TV channels, but those languages never clicked with me. My father though reads books in English, French and German with ease.