As soon as I knew I'd be moving to the Netherlands it was obvious that I'd also learn Dutch. There was no doubt about it, even though it might mean a temporary throat disease (with all those g's and r's). Integrating to another country is practically impossible if you cannot speak the language of those around you. The Netherlands is quite easy country for foreigners, as practically everybody speaks English. So the motivation to learn has to be there, otherwise it is easy to end up in this "I've been living 5 years in the Netherlands but I can't say good morning in Dutch" type of state.
This conversation about whether it was meant as a proverb or to be taken literally got quite some media publicity.
I thought that it must mean something similar as the Finnish proverb "frog out of the mouth". When you are "letting a frog out of your mouth" it means, that you are saying something you really should not say (even though it might be true). However, the apes coming out of the sleeves of Dutch people actually indicate, that then they reveal their true nature! (In Finnish we would say "reveal your true fur/hair").
But why would somebody hide an ape in their sleeve? Isn't it anyway quite obvious already that there is something, even if it does not come out? Or maybe that is the point, all the people with bumps on their sleeve should be treated with reasonable amount of suspicion. I've also been wondering, what other things the Dutch are hiding in their sleeves. The mystery remains still unsolved...