Ik heb a confession.

In just 10 days I am returning to my home land. Well ok, not necessarily my ‘home land’ because that’s England but the country which has my heart will soon have the rest of my body I nit for a few days.

i-see-your-mouth-movingWhen I first started this blog I was all about the language, I threw myself in to learning Dutch and loved it. I even got 2 certificates and by March 2014 I could hold a pretty normal conversation, my final exam was a discussion on animals and fun facts about the long neck of a giraffe. But with just 10 days to go I have to openly admit my Dutch has melted away to nothing. There we go, I’ve put it out there. Ashamedly so Ik heb geen Dutch.

As much as I am ashamed by this, I spoke very little Nederlandse in the Netherlands anyway but I fear slightly that I won’t remember enough to pick up on conversation topics. I am rather hoping that once I hear those dulcet tones on the aeroplane security video it will all come flooding back (fingers crossed).

I can’t wait to get back onto the Lowlands for a few reasons, a few of which I am going to share here.

  • twitter-fed458I am long overdue a hug from my Dutch family. My best friend in particular – is that too much to ask? I’ve had a pretty trying year and some 500+ days since my last trip has left me almost desperate to see them.
  • I miss the Dutch people. I am a people watcher, no matter where I am or who I am with I like to watch people and the Dutch way of life fascinates me and always has done, from the relaxed style of the guys and gals to their very active cycling chic and questionable supermarket items.
  • It the place I feel most relaxed. In my nine years of visiting NL it feel like my second home, I know where I am (to a certain extent) and being away from the UK in a place I find so comfortable helps me to put my every day stresses to one side. I get the chance to just be me and with my ever growing responsibilities to my family, as a new home owner, and in full time employment in Politics life gets pretty stressful at times. In the Netherlands I am anonymous and don’t have those responsibilities. I even get the chance to let someone else decide what I do and what I eat every day. (No it’s not just indecisiveness – I really don’t mind if we do anything or nothing).
  • Singing in the car. Dutch radio is one of the greatest assets to The Netherlands. I just love it. It’s so varied and one minute it’s the latest number 1 and the next track is a belter from the 80’s followed by some Dutch song I’ve never heard before but am singing along to by the 3rd chorus. Variety really is the spice of life over there and that’s something we don’t get much of here.  the-radio-was-on-a-commercial-break-the-whole-time-humor

So off I go, here I come. I simply cannot wait to get back to the land of clogs, the cheese eating, fish swallowing, bike riding, lanky lands of Orange. There will always be a piece of my heart in Holland. Its a love that words can’t describe and a pain that only return tickets can heal.

Improve your Dutch or pay the price!

New rules from the Dutch Government that came in to force earlier this year mean that people with poor language skills will be forced improve themselves by attending language classes or suffer the consequences.  This rule is for people claiming benefits in Holland. Those who refuse to improve themselves risk having their benefits cut. 20% for the first 12 months before being cut all together if no improvement is made.

It sounds like a harsh new rule but one I thought would harness debate. 

Continue reading Improve your Dutch or pay the price!

Super Geek Mode continues – Starting to talk to myself now!

Upping the practice again this weekend. In a bid to outthink and over prepare for next Wednesday’s lesson I have again been practicing by conversing with myself. I walked to work this morning and quite comfortably managed to have a fully Dutch conversation with myself. Apologies to the old guy walking his dog behind me who now knows, if he understand my garbled Dutch, my plans for this weekend.

Continue reading Super Geek Mode continues – Starting to talk to myself now!

Day One of Super Geek Mode!

I’ve got 6 days till my Level 2 exam. I am doing at least an hour a day. I can’t commit to any more than that. Ages ago I dug out my old GCSE French Questions and translated them into Dutch (via the-powers-that-must-not-be-named being Google Translate). I’m going to use these for a framework of my practice. Todays practice was Huiselijk leven.

Continue reading Day One of Super Geek Mode!

The Power of Alternative words (Term 2, Lesson 9)

In this post I am going to be waffling about the use of alternative words in place of ones you may not already know plus giving a handy little language exam tip that has never failed me!

Generally speaking I enjoy my drive back from class. It’s a little English wind down that I really appreciate after being bombarded with conversation that I only confidently understand just over half of. On my drive back from college tonight I started thinking back at some of the notes I had made. Queue note: If you don’t know the word, just explain it.

Continue reading The Power of Alternative words (Term 2, Lesson 9)