Here is some boring background and food for thought. (Skip this if you start to fall asleep.)
Believe it or not, you have learned how to process Heteronyms, Homonyms, Homographs and Homophones in your native language and probably dont even think too much about doing it. You just do and that is that.
If you dont know what they are, have a look at this web site:http://www.fictionfactor.com/articles/hhhh.html
Now that you are totally confused
or possibly amused
, lets get down to the how this applies to learning Dutch.
Firstly, I think I can say that when reading Dutch, for the most part, what you see is what you get. If you learn the rules, when you see a word you should be able to know how to pronounce it, even if you cant get your mouth to do so. In English however, how do you pronounce the word read? Is it reed or red? So going from the written word to the spoken word is not too bad in Dutch.
However, going from the spoken word to the written word is a bit more difficult. If you hear what sounds like BAIT-CHUH what do you look up in your dictionary, beetje (a little bit) or bijtje (a little hole in the ice)?
It gets worse going from the spoken word to the meaning because even if there can be only one spelling for the sound, that spelling can still have many meanings. For example,
naar the preposition (to, from, after, according to, by, in), naar - the conjunction (as) and naar the adjective or adverb (nasty, horrid, horrible, sick, ill)
This gets even more compounded for those of us just learning Dutch because our ears are not tuned yet. So if we hear na we may think it is the word naar since we cannot always hear the difference and if we dont have a big enough vocabulary or know something about grammar, then we cannot even use the process of elimination to figure out what the word likely is in the context in which it is used.
Oh my, how will we ever overcome this? Well, the answer is with time, effort, practice, repetition, listening, watching, reading, writing, speaking, asking, interacting, making mistakes, being corrected, and on and on. In other words, the same things you did to learn your mother tongue!
And oh yes, being embarrassed and feeling a bit stupid.
When this happens to me, I remember it! And I usually dont repeat it! It sticks!Now to the point of this topic.
I thought it would be fun for us to tell others about some of our mistakes and the misunderstandings we had when we tried to put our listening or speaking abilities in Dutch into practice. Have Heteronyms, Homonyms, Homographs and Homophones been the cause? What do you think the underlying problem was? We may find that we have common problems.
So I will call the Topic Strange Confessions
.Who is first?
P.S. Your story can also be about mistakes or frustrations in reading, using a dictionary, spelling etc. Usually the crazier or more frustrating the story, the more the readers will relate to it and hopefully learn from it.