Saturday, 19 February 2011

Learning Dutch (1)

From Coisas Minhas


A couple of days ago, I got this pretty postcard from my Dutch friend, Hanny: a long letter I was able to understand quite well. :-) I'm making progress with my Dutch ;-)
Yesterday, we met in a very cold, but beautiful Amersfoort. We spoke in Dutch most of the time: simple sentences, current affairs, of course, not the King's Speech ;-)

There are still words that I find very difficult to pronounce like "Onafhankelijkheid" [Independence or “Independência” in Portuguese].
Yesterday, I couldn't say it. Today, I tried again, and it came easily. Let's see tomorrow...

Before coming to the Netherlands, learning Dutch never crossed my mind. I remember once a colleague said she was learning Dutch and that was all my relation with this Germanic language. I've never studied German either. Only French and English.

The first time I heard a Dutch word was already in the KLM flight when the pilot said “Dames en Heren,...” which means “Ladies and Gentlemen,...” or “Senhoras e Senhores,...” in Portuguese.
The first written Dutch word I remember to see was “Aankomst” [“arrivals” or “chegadas” in Portuguese] in the corridor of the airport, when I was arriving.

On the bus to Haarlem, where we'd stay in a Hotel for three days, I noticed the word “reis” written on the ticket. “Reis” in Portuguese means “kings” and in Dutch, with a different pronunciation, means “travel”. I didn't know that by the time.

Quickly, I learned that “volgende halte” is “próxima paragem” (next stop), “trein” is “combóio” (train), and “tram” is “eléctrico” in Portuguese.

On our way back to Portugal, in the airport, I learned three more words: “vertrek” ("departures" or “partidas”), “luchthaven” (“airport” or “aeroporto”), “vliegtuig” ('flight” or “vôo”).

Until that moment, “reis” was my favourite word.

A couple of days later, knowing that we would be living here in November, I began to look for a house in Almere. Visiting Interimmo's site, I learned more four words:
“huur” (arrendar/to rent)
“koop” (comprar/to buy)
“huis” (casa/house)
“makelaar” (agência imobiliária/real estate agent)
I remember I wasn't able to understand the descriptions of the houses. Thank God for the photos!
Nowadays, the site is in English too. ;-)

A month later, in the evening of November, 4, we arrived in the Netherlands to take care of the paperwork and rent a house.
Next morning, at 9 o'clock, we had an appointment with the “Belastingdienst” or “Repartição de Finanças” (Tax Office).
I remember to see the word in the building when we were arriving by metro. “Belastingdienst...so different...” I thought...

(to be continued)

10 comments:

Margarida Elias said...

Que interessante. O meu primeiro contacto com a língua holandesa tem sido graças a ti. Acho que já conheci holandeses mas sempre falaram em inglês comigo. Achei graça na agenda as palavras em holandês: algumas são muito estranhas, outras lembram o ingês ou o alemão (de que sei muito pouco). Acho espantoso como já conseguiste aprender tanto e acho normal que não consigas dizer "Onafhankelijkheid"(onafanquelijcaid????)...:))))
Bj e bom Domingo!

Presépio no Canal said...

@ Margarida, ontem, ate a Hanny se engasgava a dize-la :-)) Imagina eu...pareco uma crianca a tentar aprender uma lingua nova...e acredita, sei muito pouco...

Teresa said...

Ahah, reconheço muito bem essa sequência de palavras aprendidas. Fico à espera das próximas.

Sara said...

É curioso que, apesar de não teres a intenção de aprender a língua, ela foi insinuando continuamente a sua presença. Penso que quando se vive no estrangeiro, será quase impossível furtar-se à sua presença.
Espero que continues a fazer grandes progressos!

Beijinho e bom fim-de-semana!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Lieve vriend, ben ik Nederlands leren ook en ik begrijp een beetje van het te wijten aan het Engels, maar om te spreken is een andere zaak! Having the Romance and Germanic languages under your belt is quite useful!!!! Anita

Presépio no Canal said...

@ Sara,

A vinda para ca foi muito rapida e com pena minha, nao houve tempo para frequentar um curso introdutorio da lingua, ainda em Portugal. :-(
Teria dado tanto jeito...

Eu nao queria refugiar-me constantemente no Ingles, uma vez que vinhamos com uma perspectiva de longo prazo.

A partir do momento que pisei solo Batavo, esta tua blogerfriend virou uma esponja, ;-))
Procurei absorver tudo o que e informacao, todas as palavras possiveis...e aquelas que me parecem impossiveis tambem ;-))

Bjs! :-)

bikim said...

que máximo!!!!!!
aprendi alemão hà 3 anos atrás e lendo consigo tirar umas pelas outras no holandês! é muito parecido! agora concordo que falar seja muitoooooooo diferente!
é muito bom aprender uma nova língua!!! eu adoro! só não aprendo mais pq em pt é muito dificil arranjar cursos diversificados!
Boa sorte!
Rosa

Presépio no Canal said...

@ Obrigada, Rosa :-)
Aprender coisas novas e sempre um desafio e eu gosto muito de desafios :-)
Bjs!

Welcome to my blog said...

Hoi Sandra,
Je doet het heel goed! Het is verwarrend als woorden in andere talen op elkaar lijken. Op mijn werkvloer kom ik veel buitenlandse studenten tegen. Zij kiezen vaak voor Engels om zich uit te drukken, maar ik probeer ze altijd Nederlands te laten spreken. En dat lukt! En dan zijn ze zo trots!
Groeten,
Jacoba

Presépio no Canal said...

@ Hallo, Jacoba! Bedankt! :-) I try my best...

In the beginning it was not easy. So many new words, a completely different grammar and a very difficult pronunciation.

I improved my skills after I gave myself a time of silence and relax of the language, so that my brain could adjust itself to all the new information.

Must be very interesting working with foreign students.
I understand their pride on their Dutch skills :-) each new word is a kind of achievement ;-)

Dutch is not an easy language but with patience and perseverance, day by day, we can learn it.

Glad to hear that you create opportunities so that they can speak Dutch :-) and improve their skills! It's very nice to have that kind of support when learning a new language.

Groeten,

Sandra