Groeten uit Frankrijk ! / Forward to settling in NL permanently

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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Moss
Nieuwkomer
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:59 am
Country of residence: France
Mother tongue: French
Second language: English (Great Britain)
Third language: Italian
Gender: Male

Groeten uit Frankrijk ! / Forward to settling in NL permanently

Post by Moss » Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:17 am

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Hallo dames en heren !

My (nick)name’s Moss, and I’m a 21 year-old student uit Frankrijk ! I have a few questions regarding moving to the Netherlands on my own Image

Why Dutch ?

Well... apart from my love for languages, unfortunately (or rather fortunately...) I can’t keep up with what’s happening over here... and after all these years I gradually felt like the lifestyle and context didn’t suit me at all and that I just needed to change horizons big time :
since I’ve got pretty much nothing to lose over here (as in few friends, single, no family besides my mother and two brothers who I live with and one of them will be moving to Japan, nothing of value like a car for example…) I figured it was time to leave the country and start a "real life" elsewhere.
After thorough comparison, questioning, thinking and a little bit of curiosity I ended up choosing the Netherlands almost without question :
I had spent a lot of time comparing the many cultures, geographies, demographics, and even politics of each countries I’ve picked (within Europe, because can’t be bothered having to file a visa every nth day) and this one happened to be the fittest.

What I’m planning to do now is to finish one or two undergraduate courses over here (musicology since last year, and possibly taking English this year) and then get a basic job for a year to save up for the big departure. Then once I’m over there, find studies, complete another course, get a real job and get my life going.

Experience

It’s been always said that people in the Netherlands have a quite fluent English, something that is nonexistent over here, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable or nowhere near respectful towards people by getting over there and have my way with Engels of Frans only… I plain need to learn the language not only for its practical usage but also as a matter of cultural respect, like I said earlier I wouldn’t dare to show up somewhere I’m supposed to live the rest of my entire life in and act like an impolite tourist… and this, we are quite known for, alas...

Like plenty other people on here, I’ve started with Duolingo and just couldn’t let go of it in the 40+ days of using it, also trained on Memrise a bit, not the same experience but that’s all I have.
I’ve had met a friend from the Netherlands on another forum, we had talked for about a year and then somehow lost track of each other recently… Sad stuff, but the few tips I had from that friend were quite useful I guess (I’ve learnt a lot of profanity... Ik hou van vloekwoorden !)

If we exclude one school trip to England that lasted for about 3 days, I’ve never travelled outside of my country because our funds never allowed us to and therefore have never been to the Netherlands… I’m quite curious as to know what it “has in stock” but from the start, I don’t think of settling in Amsterdam for example : I’m very fund of “not-too-urban” places and I can already speculate from what I’ve seen that I won’t be enjoying the possible “capital syndrome” that kind of plagues Paris already; although I can’t rule out the possibility of studying there, it still seems like a great place to visit and I will bounce back and forth to check how things are going over there for the next 3 years prior my departure.

As for my questions

Not to be lazy but do you know which steps I’m supposed to take if I have to integrate there and leave my country permanently ?
Do you think I’ll be welcome over there?
Is there anything that I should be aware of that would throw me off as a foreigner? (Although I’ve pretty much seen all stages of Dante’s inferno here in the outskirts)
Besides Duolingo / Memrise is there anything that would help me learn the language intuitively ?
What books are there to read for absolute beginners for example?
What music / film / series etc should I take a listen / look at?
Any idea of a town that would suit my needs? (I.E. not plenty nor too few people and a relaxed atmosphere...)
(more questions to come, probably...)


All in all, I would be more than happy to join the Dutch community, get to learn the language properly and start a new life from scratch enjoying the broad culture this place has to offer. Image

PS : sorry for posting in English, mijn Nederlands is slecht... :-P

Thanks a lot for your help.

Moss.

ngonyama
Superlid
Posts: 1317
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:15 am
Country of residence: United States
Mother tongue: Dutch (Netherlands)
Second language: English
Third language: German
Fourth language: French
Fifth, sixth, seventh, ..., languages: Russisch, Xhosa

Re: Groeten uit Frankrijk ! / Forward to settling in NL permanently

Post by ngonyama » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:36 am

Hallo Moss

Welcome on our -rather quiet- forum. Vacation time I suppose? Anyway, if you are a French citoyen you have the right to settle in the Netherlands, at least as long as there is no 'Frexit' or so. France and the Netherlands are both founding members of the EU. And that is all I know: I myself live in the US and so I am not the best resource about settling.

Learning the language is a little tricky because people will easily default to speaking English to you, but I'd recommend that you do insist on speaking Dutch with them because learning it will give you a lot better access to the country and the culture. I personally know two francophones who learned to speak it fluently, so yes it is doable, but the push needs to come from you.

You'll probably find a lot of useful stuff here already and if you want to start writing some Dutch I'll be happy to correct your writing for you. I also wrote the en.wikibooks course Dutch https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Dutch. You can have a look at how useful that might be. I also worked on the fr.wikibooks version néerlandais https://fr.wikibooks.org/wiki/N%C3%A9erlandais and there may be some useful stuff there. I put a whole bunch of sound files there, but my francophone buddy there quit and that makes it harder for me to reorganize the rather messy set up there into something more cohesive. My french is pretty reasonable but certainly not flawless, particularly in writing.

Of course there is a sh*t load of other resources on line, or you could aks here if anybody wants to skype with you. But I don't guarantee that anyone answers. As I said it is pretty quiet here lately.

There are also courses like the one estarling followed. I think he spent a week in Holland for that. No idea how costly that was.

For a french speaker there are a few typical problems when learning our language, such as:

Dutch is a stress language, which means that the intonation is not really obvious.
French is spoken more in the front of the mouth than Dutch: the placement is different
Dutch has separable verbs, something unknown in french and often difficult the translate (goes both ways)
The gender of the nouns is different. French has masc-fem. Dutch used to have masc-fem-neuter, but it has mostly collapsed into common-neuter.
The word order of Dutch is pretty complex compared to french.
Dutch uses pronominal adverbs more than pronouns when combined with prepositions

Moss
Nieuwkomer
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:59 am
Country of residence: France
Mother tongue: French
Second language: English (Great Britain)
Third language: Italian
Gender: Male

Re: Groeten uit Frankrijk ! / Forward to settling in NL permanently

Post by Moss » Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:29 am

Thanks a lot for your reply, ngonyama !
ngonyama wrote:Hallo Moss

Welcome on our -rather quiet- forum. Vacation time I suppose? Anyway, if you are a French citoyen you have the right to settle in the Netherlands, at least as long as there is no 'Frexit' or so. France and the Netherlands are both founding members of the EU. And that is all I know: I myself live in the US and so I am not the best resource about settling.
Haha, it is indeed quiet over here, last post before mine dated from 12th Aug. …
Well that’s terrific, isn’t it ? :)
Politically speaking I’m not expecting Frexit any time soon given how French people are but I’m mostly concerned about “Nexit” (something proposed by Geert, I think?).
I wonder in which province I should be settling though...
ngonyama wrote: Learning the language is a little tricky because people will easily default to speaking English to you, but I'd recommend that you do insist on speaking Dutch with them because learning it will give you a lot better access to the country and the culture. I personally know two francophones who learned to speak it fluently, so yes it is doable, but the push needs to come from you.
Noted !
I think I’ll insist or pretend not to speak English, unfortunately both my (slechte) Dutch accent and English accent are sure to make them think I’m an English tourist or something… (When speaking English, I don’t sound French at all and in fact got mistaken for a tourist several times in Paris while giving instructions… probably down to the way I taught myself how to speak English… mistery !).
Culture is one of the primary reason why I started learning Dutch, I don’t want to be missing anything.
That’s good to know! If push, I must, then I will. :-P
ngonyama wrote: You'll probably find a lot of useful stuff here already and if you want to start writing some Dutch I'll be happy to correct your writing for you. I also wrote the en.wikibooks course Dutch https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Dutch. You can have a look at how useful that might be. I also worked on the fr.wikibooks version néerlandais https://fr.wikibooks.org/wiki/N%C3%A9erlandais and there may be some useful stuff there. I put a whole bunch of sound files there, but my francophone buddy there quit and that makes it harder for me to reorganize the rather messy set up there into something more cohesive. My french is pretty reasonable but certainly not flawless, particularly in writing.
Thanks a lot for these links ! (all bookmarked)

I could always help translating between French and English in my free time !
ngonyama wrote: Of course there is a sh*t load of other resources on line, or you could aks here if anybody wants to skype with you. But I don't guarantee that anyone answers. As I said it is pretty quiet here lately.
I guess I’ll have to Google a bit more, then !
I don’t know where and who to get in contact with, though...
ngonyama wrote: There are also courses like the one estarling followed. I think he spent a week in Holland for that. No idea how costly that was.
What are these courses?
ngonyama wrote: For a french speaker there are a few typical problems when learning our language, such as:

Dutch is a stress language, which means that the intonation is not really obvious.
French is spoken more in the front of the mouth than Dutch: the placement is different
Dutch has separable verbs, something unknown in french and often difficult the translate (goes both ways)
The gender of the nouns is different. French has masc-fem. Dutch used to have masc-fem-neuter, but it has mostly collapsed into common-neuter.
The word order of Dutch is pretty complex compared to french.
Dutch uses pronominal adverbs more than pronouns when combined with prepositions
If the stressing is the same as in English (not necessarily in the placement, like UK vs. US, but the whole concept of having stresses in a language), then it shouldn’t be a problem (or so I hope).
I know for a fact that French people struggle with English because the notion of stresses in words doesn’t exist outside of the semantic context (i.e. accentuating parts of your speech to make something stand out). As a result, we often end up sounding robotic and a bit “sluggish”, almost a trademark, haha.

I actually like how exotic Dutch sounds compared to English, phonetic placement is such an odd thing... In terms of alphabet vs. phonetics both French and Dutch are so intricate that they're even. :mrgreen:

Actually French isn’t completely masculine / feminine, any neuter is considered masculine by default, and quite a lot of people (especially from my generation) actually ignore this and would do things like forcing feminine gender on things that were virtually genderless by being masculine, plain odd when you know this rule has been anchored in our grammar since the middle ages... (Illiteracy is creeping faster than a spider on a windowsill over here).
I’m still wondering how one determines het from de naturally, it seems so difficult.


Yes, haha, My first experience with Dutch grammar felt like reading master Yoda’s testament. It’s kind of close to Japanese in a way...Image

Since I’ve reached a point where I perceive both French and English as equally difficult, it makes more sense to me to go through English to learn Dutch because they’d be much more related by default, as in both being germanic languages. I won’t bother with French, I think, LOL !

Cheers, Moss.

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