Saturday, June 27, 2015

Summer adventures 2015 - part 1: Dutch learning

Summer has come again and it is the first time I don't feel useless, since I am working full time since February!! I have to say that I am fighting SAD with a lot of confidence this year. But I'll write about both in another post.
Like every summer, I am not teaching much, since almost all my students are on holiday. School exams are over, language exams are over  I only have one student taking exams next month (and I am writing about her some other time as well), so this means free more evenings for me.
Free time is limited, but at least there is some free time.
This summer I have "discovered" a site called "Future Learn" , where you can actually learn a lot of interesting things. I enrolled in various courses and the first one which had my complete attention was a beginner course for Dutch. I had started Dutch a long time ago, even before my son was born, with a private tutor at home!! I loved the language - I always considered it something between English and German. Let's say an easy German or a difficult English....
  • If you speak both languages, this can be both a blessing and a problem. It gives you the sense that you can understand everything, but sometimes the words that remind you of a familiar word mean something else. There are a lot of false friends between Dutch and German / English.  For example: 
Bellen: in German it means "bark", in Dutch it means "call on the phone"
Meer: in German "sea", in Dutch "lake"
beef : in English the meat beef, in Dutch "tremble", "earthquake"
boom: in English a big sound, in Dutch the "tree"
  • Dutch Grammar is a n easy version of German in my opinion. If you know the rules in German, this is a piece of cake
  •  Pronunciation IS a big problem. I still can't pronounce words like "mooi" or "huis" correctly. It needs a lot of practice. 
  • Listening comprehension is also a problem, if you listen to native speakers, since they talk really fast for a beginner and there are sounds you cannot even pronounce yourself!!!
All in all I am happy with my progress... 
This course is designed for 3 weeks, which in my opinion is impossible, since it also has a lot of video lessons and detailed Quizlet exercises.
 They are also giving you the chance to get a certificate with a small cost, which I am probably going to do. 
So, that's it for now!
You can find information about the differences between Dutch and German / English over here and here!!

BTW with this one, I have managed to fulfill 18 of my 30 New Year's small goals!!  

Keep learning and enjoy your summer!

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