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All about inversion it’s! Lekker!

22/01/2020

Of all the languages that exist in the world, I have never thought of learning Dutch. But here I am now: wondering every day which one of the German words I will mix up with the Dutch ones.

First stop: Duolingo

A very convenient and easy way to learn a language. Some sentences make no sense – Misschien ben je een eend -, but you can easily learn the basic substantives and verbs, pronouns and adverbs, along with colours and numbers. My entire summer break was filled with 2 hours of Duolingo per day and, when I had moved into my apartment in Eindhoven, I put sticky notes on different objects in the house with their Dutch name.

Current stop: SFC500 Dutch for Beginners I & Official Dutch documents

Every official Dutch document you get in the post mail box is in Dutch, so, want it or not, you have to learn the local language. Yes, Google Translate is a quick fix, but it isn’t a certified translator. It’s better to double check into proper Dutch-English dictionaries, especially if any of your envelops arrive from Belastingdienst Nederland (Dutch Tax Authorities).

The SFC500 course started easy, but little did I know that unless you read every two days to get your vocabulary strong, the grammar is not of so much use. 'Think about it – what can you do without words? Nothing!', as ‘mijn docent’ well said.

Surfing the internet and following expats’ stories about learning Dutch, I found many things that can be done while attending a Dutch course: reading children’s books, watching some other Dutch lessons and setting any series/movies on Netflix on Dutch subtitles. The free magazines from supermarkets can be of great help, as well as having small conversations in Dutch with natives (Dutch people love to hear expats learning Dutch). Dutch is basically anywhere - commercials, the train station (Beste reizigers, …), even traffic signs (Wacht op groen). What worked the best for me was just hanging around the house post-its with common Dutch phrases used in different social situations (buying something from a store, going to the movies, talking about hobby’s or vacations).

So, after two months of weekly Dutch lessons, I still keep mixing words up between languages, especially with German. As when speaking Romanian (my native language) I sometimes throw in Spanish words (gracias, South-America telenovelas), when practicing aloud Dutch words/phrases I still use sometimes ‘und’, ‘ich’ and ‘bild’.

Next stop: SFC510 Dutch for Beginners II

What is comforting is that 1,500 Dutch words are already in the English dictionary, so I am trying to keep optimistisch that it will take me less than 10 years to be fluent in Dutch.

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