On Nov. 23, 2005 I moved to The Hague from Washington, DC. This is my new Dutch life.


24 Dutch Classes and I Can Read a Menu

Ok technically I only attended 21 Dutch classes as I missed three for work. Considering that the class started with seven and ended today with two (one of them me), I think I did pretty well. I got a certificate and everything. :)

So the big question is, of course, "Can you speak Dutch now?"

On Day 1, our teacher taught us a little phrase and we all laughed and laughed b/c it was just so nonsensical. "Ik spreekt een beetje Nederlands." Translation: I speak a little bit of Dutch. I feel pretty confident in saying that ik spreekt een beetje Nederlands now. Considering that I had never heard a Dutch word in my whole life before coming here, I think that's pretty good. Heel goede in fact.

I have enough confidence to try to order food at a restaurant. I try and that generally seems appreciated. The Dutch aren't morons, they know they speak a difficult language. They also like to show off their English, so getting any of them to have a conversation in Dutch isn't easy.

But overall I try to read things, picking out the words I know and then guessing the rest. I can pick out parts of speech, which makes looking up words in the dictionary a lot easier. I managed to translate about a third of the Dutch subtitles during Syriana. I'd say that's heel goede too.

At this point I'm trying to decide if I should stick with it and go for the intermediate class. What say ye? Yay or Nay?



Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:38 AM GMT+2

Anonymous redsnapper said...

if you take Arabic instead, you can take calls for Ahmed and his mother, and Sharif too.

but yeah I vote for more Dutch lessons, if only to hear the example sentences from the intermediate class! aw yeah...

8:18 AM GMT+2

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bonus points if you can produce a sound file pronouncing this word: Bevrijdingsdag (5/5?)
I can't.

11:48 AM GMT+2

Blogger akaijen said...

No sound file production capabilities, but as far as I can tell phonetically that's:

buh-fry-dings-dakh (the g is throat-clearing sound).

Wish I knew when bevrijdingsdag was... It's only like a holiday once every four years or something? Is that right?

1:14 PM GMT+2

Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:30 PM GMT+2

Anonymous Marco Wesselink said...

Sorry for barging in, I was looking for something on Google and came across this place.

I'm dutch myself, so it was really interesting reading your story.

And yeah, you're totally right, Dutch people really do like showing off their english, although some people really have to learn to actually lose that horrible dutch accent when speaking proper english.

It was really interesting reading this stuff, funny where you can end up with search engines.

If you need any help with any dutch related things, you can mail me at: Marco_Wesselink@Hotmail.com

oh btw, Bevrijdingsdag is 5th of may, and it's celebrated every year.

9:29 AM GMT+2


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