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!
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Why Dutch?

Just out of curiosity
Settling in Holland / Belgium
Work in Holland / Belgium
Study in Holland / Belgium
Preparing for the Inburgeringsexamen
Dutch speaking parents
Dutch speaking partner
Total votes: 470


Highs & lows of learning Dutch - my experience

Post by maggsy » Thu Oct 06, 2005 5:37 pm

finnsterfran wrote: Its been said that Dutch is German wannabe English ^-^
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)

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

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Post by LaPingvino » Thu Oct 06, 2005 6:31 pm

Yes, I see that problem at school... There's a girl who's here from Canada to learn Dutch, but most time people speak English to her... I think most people don't consider it bad talking English to those people... (They don't see it's bad for learning...)
Ik ben een Nederlandse Esperantist, heb een aardig taalgevoel en kan vaak dingen goed uitleggen, hoewel ik natuurlijk ook niet perfect ben...

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And so it begins...

Post by g-and-c » Thu Oct 20, 2005 2:43 am


My intention is for this first post of mine to be the only 100% English one. :D

Last edited by g-and-c on Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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No offense?

Post by Tom » Thu Oct 20, 2005 3:31 am

No offense, but I think people who say “No offense, but …” know full well that what they are about to say is indeed offensive.

If you want to learn Dutch, great, so do most people here.
If you want to move to the Netherlands because it suits you, that’s great too.
But you don’t have to introduce such negative feelings about “the States” to bolster your desires. It serves no positive purpose.


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Post by Bieneke » Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:39 am

g-and-c wrote:My intention is for this first post of mine to be the only 100% English one.
Good! I am looking forward to your next post. :wink:
Tom wrote:But you don’t have to introduce such negative feelings about “the States” to bolster your desires. It serves no positive purpose.
We have been through this before in another topic. Only too often I hear Americans burning down the USA, which makes me want to write down all the wonderful things about America. I think it can indeed be offensive. On the other hand, if a strong dissatisfaction with your home country (be it the USA or any other country) is a reason to move to the Netherlands and study Dutch, I believe you should be able to share it here. Reaching for something positive is as valid a purpose as avoiding something negative, isn't it?

Anyway, welcome g_and_c :D
(are you two persons?)

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Post by Laura » Fri Oct 21, 2005 9:14 am

So I've been here for a while but I don't think I've ever introduced myself properly - groetjes allemaal, mijn naam is Laura... maar soms LJ.
(I think you probably could have guessed that)
I'm 23 and I work in London as a botanist.
I started Dutch because I have Dutch friends at work and I thought it'd be fun to be able to say "How are you?" or "It's teatime!", but then I got interested and it sort of spiralled out of control. I really enjoy learning new things and it's excellent to have native speakers to practice on (who laugh, but don't mind, if I go wrong). I'm not taking classes or anything, which is why I'm paying more attention to the names of biological things and not, say, how verbs work. Which is why my sentences are rubbish. :oops:
But that also means I don't ever have homework except that which I give myself. Also, I only ever write Dutch so my Dutch conversational skills are almost non existent - I can just about cope with "tot ziens" and "dank je wel", oh and "je zou beter moeten weten!" (don't ask...)
I'm having lots of fun with this forum and learning a lot (I think).
with warmest wishes, en veel succes allemal,

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Post by tzt » Thu Oct 27, 2005 12:14 pm

Ik ben tzt en ik kom uit Finland. Het is belangrijk dat ik Nederlands leer omdat ik nu in Nederland woon.

Hmm, hope I got that about right. Anyway, I've now lived in Delft for two months and am taking an evening course in Dutch. I speak Finnish, English, Swedish and een beetje French and German and keep mixing up my languages, especially Swedish and Dutch. :lol:

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Post by ArkticWolf » Thu Oct 27, 2005 3:42 pm

Hi all,

I'm 18 years old, and come from Australia. I've always been interested in the Dutch language, and always wanted to speak a second language. I'm not good yet and I've just started, but I think I'm starting to get off the ground.

Many poeple I play games with are Dutch, which is an inspiration for me to learn. English is all we speak here, so the grammer is different and much a learning curve for me.

I've started to get my feet off the ground and hopefully I can become better, with the aid of this forum and a few friends.

A big hi to everyone, and i hope to get started soon. But for now I need some sleep, almost 1:00am now.

Tot ziens allemaal! :D

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Post by Piggystardust » Sat Oct 29, 2005 3:02 pm


Hello everyone,

What a super site, I'm really excited about getting into this site/forum :)

Just to let you all know who I am. I'm 26 Irish girl (ok ok woman sigh) and have been living in Haarlem for almost 5 years, but my Dutch is terrible. I want to go to Uni here to study psychology, and need to pass the NT2 exam. I also am the very proud mother of a 6 month old girl, so learning the language is very important to me :)

Falling feels like flying, till you hit the ground :)

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Post by Bieneke » Tue Nov 01, 2005 9:22 pm

Hi Brenda,

Have you already decided where you are going to study psychology? Incidentally, I studied it at the VU in Amsterdam. I know the VU (http://www.vu.nl) offers Dutch courses for foreign students. The level is quite high because you are expected to reach a good level within a relatively short period of time. But having lived in Haarlem for five years must give you an advantage over the other students who just arrived. Good luck with your preparations for the NT2 exam!


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Post by Piggystardust » Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:26 pm

Hello Bieneke,

Thanks for your reply, and such a really useful website.. I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of time you put into it, so thank you very much.. I'm working my way though the pronounciation pages now.. even though I've been here so long there is so much I don't know :oops:

Regarding choice of where to study, from what I understand I would need to organise childcare for my daughter myself if I was doing a preparatory Dutch course with the university (since I would not be classed as an official student) and this would work out very expensive (as the courses are also not so cheap). I have heard that if you have a child but want to learn Dutch, that the gementee in your town can help you. SO I've called the gementee in Haarlem, and I'm now on a waiting list.. I have to call them back in a month if I don't hear anything.. :) Obviously places first go to non EU people who are obliged to take Dutch lessons.. but I'm hoping at the beginning of next year to get onto an intensive course that will run 4 mornings a week.. and Amie will be in childcare in the same building. In the meantime I'm studying a little each evening on my own....

That's the plan for now anyway :) I'm going to do yet another course with the English Open University this year.. I mean 2006 really, and hopefully by Sept 2007 I will have my NT2 and be accepted into an university..

Nothing like planning ahead eh?
Falling feels like flying, till you hit the ground :)

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Post by Sue » Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:00 pm

Piggystardust?????? Is that really you??? Long time no speak! How are you doing??? It has been another forum and another lifetime ago since we last spoke! I am now over here in Almelo with my new Dutch fiance - how times change!

Nice to see you again - glad that you are doing well.

Sue (6.7) :D
The only difference between a rut and a grave... is in their dimensions.


Love = ... Dutch?

Post by Guest » Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:17 pm

I am learning Dutch because... lol... my boyfriend is Dutch. I am from Canada and moving in a few months to Europe. Although I have a job in the Czech Republic (dear god, another language to learn *groan*), my intent is to eventually move much closer to my love :).

He is most supportive of my attempts, even says my accent is sweet, and so are his family and friends. And even if they weren't, I'd still do it for him. He is practising his French, so it's only fair... ;)

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Other is such a *pourous* response

Post by mabing » Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:53 pm

Regretably I had to use 'other' as my category. I'm a fairly big believer in fate and to get out of the boredom of work-eat-sleep that is London, I had thought of taking a foreign language - Dutch - for no particular reason. Helaas, the class was full, but I got a job offer in Amsterdam a few weeks later out of the blue so it just seemed to be.

Although I don't need it for my work, like others on this site I enjoy languages and remember the satisfaction I got when I studied Japanese, of communicating through an acquired tongue.

My ancestors (five generations ago) were from Gelderland and I guess I'd like to learn it to understand them better too.

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Post by oddett » Sun Nov 06, 2005 7:50 pm

Honestly I start learning Dutch for pleasure. I applied for PhD in Canada and then I decided to study Dutch (I know this make no sence :lol: ). And most of my friends joked with me that I would "really" need Dutch in Canada :lol:.
In fact I think that Dutch sounds sweet and that`s why I decide to study it.

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