Hints and Tips about Belgium

Ideas for learning Dutch. What have you tried? What worked for you? What did not work for you?
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KevJD
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Hints and Tips about Belgium

Post by KevJD » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:10 am

Hoi all,

In less than a week I will hopefully be heading my way to Belgium (Belgie). My first ever foreign holiday and I have purposefully picked a dutch speaking one. Unfortunately, my dutch is so minimal after 6 months that I could say "Ik spreek geen nederlands". So I am looking for some survival hints and tips.

Personally, I would like to load up on as much dutch language as I can fit in my suitcase. Books, magazines, newspapers, anything. Over here (Engeland) we have a shop (winkel) called W.H. Smith. It sells all of those things in one place. Is there such a shop in Belgium?

The place I am going to is called Brugge which from the photo's looks very beautiful. I read from Quetzal's posts, that people from the flanders area are called Flemings. Hopefully I understood that right. I think Brugge is in the Flanders region but I wonder if there is Bruggians like there are Londoners?

Do I say "Ik spreek geen vlaams?". Although it has been advised that I do not try my Vlaams/Nederlands on them (as it is that bad), I might practice a few times to see how far I get. Its the only way I will improve.

When I do attempt it, I must remember to use the formal/polite "u" instead of "jij/je". Are there any other no-no's that I should be aware of?


Any advice is gratefully received.

IgnatiusReilly
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Re: Hints and Tips about Belgium

Post by IgnatiusReilly » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:15 pm

KevJD wrote:Hoi all,

In less than a week I will hopefully be heading my way to Belgium (Belgie). My first ever foreign holiday and I have purposefully picked a dutch speaking one. Unfortunately, my dutch is so minimal after 6 months that I could say "Ik spreek geen nederlands". So I am looking for some survival hints and tips.

Personally, I would like to load up on as much dutch language as I can fit in my suitcase. Books, magazines, newspapers, anything. Over here (Engeland) we have a shop (winkel) called W.H. Smith. It sells all of those things in one place. Is there such a shop in Belgium?

The place I am going to is called Brugge which from the photo's looks very beautiful. I read from Quetzal's posts, that people from the flanders area are called Flemings. Hopefully I understood that right. I think Brugge is in the Flanders region but I wonder if there is Bruggians like there are Londoners?

Do I say "Ik spreek geen vlaams?". Although it has been advised that I do not try my Vlaams/Nederlands on them (as it is that bad), I might practice a few times to see how far I get. Its the only way I will improve.

When I do attempt it, I must remember to use the formal/polite "u" instead of "jij/je". Are there any other no-no's that I should be aware of?


Any advice is gratefully received.
You should check out "Standaard Boekhandel": it is probably a lot smaller than W.H. Smith but they are one of the few shops (that I know of) that sell both newspapers/magazines and books. They have shops all over Flanders so you'll have no trouble finding one in Brugge.

Yes, Brugge is situated in Flanders (more specifically, West-Flanders) and people who are from Flanders are called Flemings. Bruggians do exist (although I'm not sure if that's the correct English term). In Dutch they are called "Bruggelingen".

I would suggest that you try start a conversation in Dutch. If it goes wrong, you can always switch to English. I'm quite sure the other party won't blame you for it and will appreciate that you tried.

It's not a big deal if you use "jij/je" instead of "u". I know the French prefer "vous" instead of "tu", but I don't think that Flemish people would mind if you would address them with "jij/je".

KevJD
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Re: Hints and Tips about Belgium

Post by KevJD » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Many thanks for the reply.

Its good to know about that store, I will be on the lookout for them when I am there. I'm going to give it my best shot when it comes to speaking dutch. I'll let you know how I get on.

Shazzy
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Re: Hints and Tips about Belgium

Post by Shazzy » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:56 pm

Well Done Kev.
I am at home all day Saturday if you want a chat on webcam to help you out with some basic phrases. :D

I am sure you will have a great time.

Shazzy :D

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