I just love that description of Dutch. It reminds me of a definition of Dutch I found on the net on an A to Z of Belgium: "A strange language spoken in Flanders and consisting largely of the consonants v,s,c,h,r and k. Dutch is surprisingly easy to learn. Simply fill your mouth with crisps and then speak English and German simultaneously without breathing". (http://www.isg.rhul.ac.uk/~martin/belgobib.htm)finnsterfran wrote: Its been said that Dutch is German wannabe English ^-^
I have recently moved to Belgium. I have been trying to self teach & my bf has been helping me as well. Although now I have registered with my gemeente hopefully I'll be able to start on my free Dutch lessons soon. I'm not expecting them to make me fluent but it will be nice to meet other people who are learning.
My bf is pretty patient but I'm sure it annoys him when I keep asking "why is it so?". It's interesting (at least for me) inconsistencies are easily accepted in one's own native language but when there are inconsistencies in a new language it needs to be explained. So when my boyfriend is tired of explaining things to me or has forgotten the explanation because it was so long ago that he learnt it, I can just come on this site! (Thanks!)
I was on a train learning Dutch with my bf (what is it with learning Dutch on trains?!) & we were sitting across from a family of mother, father & little girl about 3 years old. The mother spoke Dutch to the girl & the father English & she would reply in the appropriate language. She had a lovely little British accent. The scene completely shot my confidence to bits but in a way made me more determined to learn as if I ever have kids then I would love for them to be multilingual & be able to understand them!
Before coming to Belgium I tried learning Dutch using CDs. The lady on the CD had a particularly strong Dutch accent & I got as far as "goedemorgen". The gutteral sound was just too much for me. I wasn't sure I could pronounce it without straining something or coughing up something undesirable! And what happened to the "d" & "n"? There wasn't any explanation for this in my book (which is why I was so glad to have found this site). I thought if I couldn't say something as basic as "goedemorgen" then there was no hope for me. But the Flemish sound is softer & mostly people just say "hallo" anyways.
I find it particularly difficult to understand spoken Dutch. Of the little Dutch I know, I'm more comfortable with reading it than hearing it. I guess most of it is my own fault as if I'm watching TV it is all too tempting to switch over to BBC or CNN than watching a programme in Dutch or Flemish. Also so many people know English that I know I can always fall back on that if I'm desperate. I try to make a point not to rely only on English if I'm out but a lot of the time other people sensing my poor Dutch will reply in English.
I'm not looking to make my pronunciation perfect. I'm resigned that it never will be & there are so many different accents which also makes it difficult. I don't know if living in Limburg is helpful or not but they are known (& made fun of) for speaking slower here. I just want to be able to communicate, to have people understand me & to understand them.
I do my shopping at the market so I'm forced to practise my Dutch but after getting a koolrabi after asking for a komkommer I wasn't sure if that is such a good idea! Anyone know what to make out of it? Maybe I'll check out the recipe section........
Groetjes van Mags