Why Dutch?

Here, you can introduce yourself. What is your reason to learn Dutch? Work or study? A Dutch-speaking loved one? Sheer curiosity? Share it with us!

Why Dutch?

Just out of curiosity
88
20%
Settling in Holland / Belgium
53
12%
Work in Holland / Belgium
51
12%
Study in Holland / Belgium
32
7%
Preparing for the Inburgeringsexamen
6
1%
Dutch speaking parents
16
4%
Dutch speaking partner
101
23%
Other
96
22%
 
Total votes : 443

Why live in one world?

Postby Tom » Sun Aug 21, 2005 12:01 pm

I lived in Belgium for a bit over a year. That was twenty years ago!

I lived nearby the border of Nederlands, by Eindhoven, so shopped there too. I fell in love with the place. I like the people, the music, the comedy, the movies, ... the culture... and on and on...

The way I look at it, why should I live in only one world? I am not trying to substitute it for what I have in America, but instead just enjoy both.

I listen to Bare Naked Ladies and Blof.
I like the comedy of George Carlin and Urbanus Van Anus.
I like to watch Benny Hill and Andre Van Duin.

I like to watch Dutch and Flemish News, to get an idea of how other people view the world and what is important in it.

All in all, I think my life is richer by doing this.

Besides, learning keeps me feeling young. Well at least it keeps my mind feeling young. Watching Kabouter Plop on DVD and paying close attention to it, brings back memories of when I was a kid and life was much simpler.

About a year ago, I found a school in my state which offers Dutch classes one night a week. So, I registered. Otherwise, I would have noone to speak Dutch with. It makes a BIG difference and I enjoy it a lot.

Tom
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Postby eastcoaster13 » Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:06 pm

Bieneke, your earlier post makes me laugh as this happened to my boyfriend the other day....He was speaking to me on the phone (in English) while riding the train into Amsterdam. After getting off the phone with me and upon arriving at his destination, the ticketing agent made the announcements in Dutch, and then turned to my boyfriend to tell him in English that it was his stop! Paul was very flattered, though, that he spoke English well enough to have someone believe it was his first language!

I guess I have been lucky, however, to have such support from my Dutch friends and acquaintences in my efforts to learn. They are all quite flattered! But, I do know how frustrating it can be to get strangers to speak to you in their language--I have encountered this in Paris with French. I guess we shall see how it goes during my trip to the Netherlands in 2 weeks!
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Being addressed in English

Postby Bieneke » Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:25 pm

You can have a good laugh again when you witness it yourself while you are here. I must say it never really bothers me, I find it quite flattering too :wink:

But then again, the Dutch are probably easily fooled. When I was in Holland a few weeks ago, they took me for a Flemish. In Flanders, people always comment on my thick Dutch accent so I was really quite pleased :wink:

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Postby Jacu76 » Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:43 pm

My Dutch girlfriend had the same and her accent is really, really Dutch (I love it!). Modest as she is, she immediately kept her mouth shut, afraid she'd offend the person. :lol:
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Southern accent?

Postby barbara » Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:06 pm

[qoute="Tom"]I lived in Belgium for a bit over a year. That was twenty years ago!

I lived nearby the border of Nederlands, by Eindhoven, so shopped there too. I fell in love with the place. I like the people, the music, the comedy, the movies, ... the culture... and on and on...[/quote]

Now that explains why your Dutch is so good Tom! When you speak Dutch, do you have a southern accent?
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My Dutch Teachers say that I speak with a Flemish accent

Postby Tom » Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:38 pm

Barbara,

At my night school, I have two Dutch native speaking teachers.
They say that I have a bit of a Flemish accent.
My pronunciation is a softened Dutch, like Flemish is. For some reason, that is just how it comes out. It is what feels natural to me. I do not pronounce words with an English accent though. That grates against my ears.

Also words/phrases pop out of my mouth like, (Flemish)
Watblief - Say what? or What did you say?
Amai! - Oh Boy!
Allee! - come on now. They pop out at the appropriate time, I don't necessarily try to use them. They happen.

But then again, I say things to Flemish friends like "Ik ben bek af" (I am wiped out tired), and they tell me that that is Dutch not Flemish.

I guess that I speak television Dutch. Most of what I hear comes from movies and cartoons. Sometimes, I can sound like Brigadier Dog (Deputy dog) or Het Super Liegebeest (my favorite of Flemish children's shows).

It is hard to believe that even though it was twenty years ago and my Dutch was not as good as it is now, that I retained an accent (when speaking Dutch). My American accent is between neutral (none) to a slight New Jersey accent.
A heavy Northern New Jersey - New York would sound something like:
"Ey youz guys." Hey you guys.
"Wassuh madda wit huh" What's the matter with her.
"Did juh get n earl duhlivry tuhdey?" Did you get an oil delivery today?
Ok, maybe I poured it on a little thick!

I think there is more than just accent that is different (pure sound of the words) between Dutch and Flemish, I think it is the timing, cadence and stress as well. Sometimes in that regard, I think Flemish sounds as if it has a bit of a French beat or rhythm to it. Especially when showing emotion in your speech.

Nederlands is a touch more guttural, leaning a bit closer to German. But not too much of a lean. For my ear, German is way to percussive of a language. Sometimes it is a bit like barking. I don't mean to say anything bad about it, it is a matter of taste, just like music.

Anyway, I find Flemish and Dutch to be very pleasing to my ear for some reason. And that was even before I knew what they were saying!

If ever I master Dutch, I think I would then like to try Italian. I love how it sounds also and its rhythm as well.

Groetjes,
Tom
Last edited by Tom on Thu Oct 20, 2005 4:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Fiona » Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:28 pm

I love going to France and Germany and speaking in those languages, and I'm eager to learn more, so I thought Dutch would be a good one to learn, partly because it looks quite similar to German, and partly because I have an internet friend in Belgium who said he'd help me if I got stuck. I'm also attempting to learn Welsh, but that it a very strange language, and I haven't got very far with it at all.
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Polyglot

Postby Bieneke » Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:50 pm

Hi Fiona,

Nice to have another polyglot around (the other being Marco). With your knowledge of German, Dutch should not be so hard to learn. Veel plezier!
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Lived there by chance, and now always go back

Postby kalvos » Thu Aug 25, 2005 1:40 am

I was supposed to live in Cologne, but a change of plans found me in Amsterdam. It was 1991, and I stayed for six months. I fell in love with the language, but I could not practice ... no one would speak to me in Dutch because my beginner's Dutch was so bad.

So when I was in America, I started to learn through tapes and books, and then by listening to Dutch radio online, and reading the Volkskrant. I return to the Netherlands once a year, and will be back again in October (performing at Zaal 100, Mellotone Studios, and Karnatic Labs!).

Then I found your site last week, and found it better than any tape or book course I had taken -- and also discovered my Dutch was just a little bit better than I thought!

Thank you for your website, which also explained to me some of the mysteries of the "little Dutch words", as I called them, especially the confusing "mee". :)

Dennis

PS: Bieneke, I just saw you are in Gent. I will be there for a concert of my music at De Rode Pomp on October 22!
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why dutch?! ahhhh eeerrrr

Postby Cheryll » Fri Aug 26, 2005 9:09 am

I am learning dutch because I am married to a dutch man and sadly I do not have any better option but to learned it because I live in a ducth country which people speak ducth except my husband with me, he talks english. I find it really very difficult. I had just my exam to determine my level in my tall les, I wonder which level I would be.. there was leze,schrijven,luisteren and spreken...my gosh it was really moeilijk me and my husband laughs about my answers, which I can always really laugh about it when I remember it. oh my favorite lines in dutch are; ik spreek geen netherlands, jij spreek engels?,Ik ben bly, and het is er koud hehehe, well it is cold here, well anyway, this is a nice website.

I assume people that post messages here have beter nederlands than mine.
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better dutch

Postby Koala » Fri Aug 26, 2005 3:00 pm

Hi Cheryll , No they don't. All who come here are struggling in some way or other. Some better than others some worse. The point is not to give up and little by little with help we will triumph. I envy the fact that you are living where you can emerse yourself in the language. That will help you a great deal. Take care I know its scary. My daughter was in Belgium for 4 months and she said half the time she felt like a pole cos everyone was talking around her and she felt like she wasn't even there. She speaks no dutch is married to a Belgian and is dyslexic. She was 12 before she could read her own language of english and her father in law wants her to learn dutch. You can do it just give yourself time. All the best koala
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Postby andrew » Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:00 am

I'm from New Zealand, but moving to Amsterdam in just under a month -- the reason being I met a Dutch girl whilst in Thailand. I went & stayed with her for a month or so and picked up very little Dutch, mostly because everyone's English is so good. I just feel a bit awkward making everyone speak English when I'm around so... giving it a shot. Plus the fact that so many Europeans speak at LEAST 2 languages, likely more... makes me feel a bit embarrassed only knowing 1 properly!

Been using "The Rosetta Stone" CDROM, which is an interesting way of learning -- no real memorization, you just pick up how everything works over time through repetition. So now I can pick up on a bit of spoken Dutch, and get the general idea of written Dutch... I'm just not so good on actually speaking/writing it. Hoping to learn a bit more from this site. Good luck everyone!
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Re: why dutch?! ahhhh eeerrrr

Postby Sue » Tue Aug 30, 2005 1:47 pm

Cheryll wrote:I assume people that post messages here have beter nederlands than mine.


I know a lot of people that are struggling - myself included. I have heard of people that spend ages in the dark and then suddenly the lightbulb comes on and it all clicks. I am still waiting for that! I am starting to think that I will never learn.

Good luck Cheryll!

Sue :D
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Postby Cheryll » Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:30 pm

harteilijk bedank Koala and Sue, yes there is no space of the giving up but just go on and so on that one day I will get awake I find myself talking in dutch with my husband.. oh I wish that time will come soon, I would make my husband ang my mother in law happy about it. She once told me that I refuse to speak the language... ouch thats quite a hit, if it was only easy!!!!!! well, well, she have to practice her english with me hehehe Im just kidding!!!

You know, I notice people with less english or no english at all learns dutch fast! I dont know if you agree with me, I went to a summer taal Les in VIOZ, VertelingenWerk (sorry m not good at spelling) and my classmates there are from other countries, and those who do not speak english or have little english knows ducth quite well and learns fast. well i was thinking they should be or they will not be understood, because at least I have english quite most people here in the netherlands speaks english.

oh andrew that is quite true, my husband knows german and a little french. My native language is not english, english is just my second language and dutch hopefully will be my third.

I always laughs at this: "Hoe heet je?" because if you say that sounds like WHO HATE YOU, if my husband ask me that question for my dutch practice I will always answer him "no one hate me, do you?" and the words I always heared from my neighbors are hoi,doie and dag! and my husband asks me what I learn today, I always say hoi,doie and dag hahaha I cant help to laugh at it.

anyways, learning can be fun! right sue? we should always think they can speak it why cant we? :wink:
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Postby elliottp » Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:53 pm

Hello all, it's so nice to see dutchgrammar.com (my favorite Dutch learning site) with a forum and with so much traffic on it.

So why Dutch?

My roomate/partner is an American (like me) who lived in Nederland for 12 years and speaks very good Dutch as well as fluent Spanish. Since we live in Texas, Spanish would probably be more useful to me as well as easier to learn but I just find Nederlands to be a more interesting language. I've always been interested in languages and I figured that since I had a built in resource for help, I'd try to learn Dutch. I've been studying for about a year, mostly alone since, for whatever reason my girlfriend seems reluctant to speak Dutch to me. I have no idea why. I find it pretty difficult and have bouts of boredom where I lose my motivation and forget half of what I've learned until I get motivated again and start back up.

It's a bit frustrating since there just aren't so many resources for Dutch as there are for other languages but I suppose I can understand why. In any case, I'm happy to see this forum and even more happy to see so many posters here.

Hi Everybody!
--Elliott--
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