The Dutch Exam. I passed! Woohoo! Bring out the fanfare! I didn’t manage to cram in any more revision other than the conversations in my head in the car on the way there. My exam was last Wednesday so I am a little bit late in filling you all in with the postmortem of it all.
Turns out my tutor didn’t quite think the same way as me and asked me nothing about the things I had revised! For the exam we had to do: a personal introduction, discussion on chosen topic, ordering in a restaurant, asking a question, making something negative, making something smaller, the perfect past tense and then rearranging a sentence. All of that in about 10/12 minutes. I went about 4th I think I can’t quite remember.
Did my tutor go to town on me or what?! My goodness I had a rough ride of it. I don’t care what any of the others say I could have done their tests easy peasy but my own…well! I told her at the end that it was tough and she claimed that she was “testing my level” to see how good I was. I was relieved it was over when she’d finished!
Here’s what happened.
After my personal introduction we had to pick a subject from things such as; food, colours, hobbies, animals, weather, travel etc. for some unknown reason I picked animals. Don’t ask me why because I hadn’t even revised them!
Q: Wat is jouw favorete deer?
A: Mijn favorete deer is een giraffe
A: Zij hebben een lange ____ (couldn’t remember the dutch for “neck”). Zij zijn lang en grote. (Turns out the dutch for “neck” is “neck”)
We carried on a little like that for a while talking about my other favourite animals. I decided that I also liked birds. Why did it say that? Because all that was in my mind was that irritatining tune “Vogeltje wat zing je vroeg, is de nacht niet lang genoeg, nee, de nacht is altijd veel te kort, omdat het tegen vieren, zo ‘s morgens tegen vieren, omdat het dan pas echt gezellig wordt.” So yeah I talked about owls and bird and wings and stuff.
Ordering in a restaurant. That was ok. I had to order a mushroom omelette. We ad-libbed a lot too about drinks and how much did it cost. She asked me if I wanted something else starting with a “t” I didn’t know what she meant at all so I politely refused. At the end she asked me if I knew what she was offering and when I said “no” everyone laughed. I must have been bloody convincing!
Asking a question. That was pretty straight forward. We talked a little about hobbies too. She asked me if I could sing. I said yes of course I love karaoke!
Q: kan je zingen?
A: Ja natuurlijk. ik houd van karaoke na een fles wijn
(That got a few laughs too!)
Negatives. I’ve got those sorted I think now. It’s a case of thinking before I speak! ( not always my strong suit!)
Making something smaller. Pretty much the case of just adding -ch sound on the end of anything. Stoelje. Mannetje. Kaartje.
Forming the perfect past tense. The bit I was dreading. I didn’t want this to come up at all. In a sentence structure I felt comfortable. I got the “strong irregular exceptions” – obviously. Ik betaal. I knew that verbs starting “be-” don’t have the “ge-” added and very weekly went with my gut instinct of ik heb betaald. But my answer wasn’t very confident. The next one she gave me was pretty much exactly the same. I got both right but they were weak responses. Everyone else got the easy ones! Ik koop. Ik loop naar de supermarkt.
Word Order.By this point my nerves where frayed and without having the sentence wrote down I knew I’d struggle under the pressure of everyone watching. I did them. About 3 she gave me I think.
The relief when it was over was just overwhelming!