Posts Tagged ‘taalunie’

Welcome to a language learning journey

June 26, 2009

And now, a presentation just in English- I promise to translate it as soon as time and skills will allow…

my journey with Dutch (Het Nederlands) almost began in 1992, when I was offered a position as a controller for the Italian branch of a French/Dutch company.

as customary (for me), before even signing the contract I went to buy one of those “learn a language by using it” books.

eventually, at the last minute, business changes required a change in my commitment- and the reason for switching job was conflicting with the new requirements- therefore, I put the book on a shelf.

fast forward to late 2005, when I decided to become resident in Brussels Belgium (after sharing an apartment for few months), something that I achieved formally in early 2006.

it wasn’t until Spring 2008, when I started looking for a position or consulting activities in my field (see here) that I discovered that actually Dutch was the second language, after English, and before French, for most activities.

I came to Dutch from a past (limited) knowledge of German.

Dutch has a considerable overlapping with German and English, with a certain number of French words scattered here and there.

Let’s say that I started with audio courses during Summer 2008, after brushing up my German to kick-start Dutch, had to stop for some time, resumed in Winter, and pushed forward in early 2009.

So, my knowledge of the language is really adding Dutch structure to English word (the language of science and technology)- again, cheating.

Yes, I studied the grammar few time- but without using it 😉

I tried to test the waters with some locals- but I discovered that, despite the unification of Flemish and Dutch (official website here), spoken Dutch can still have confusing differences.

And most movies are not dubbed- just subtitled.

As I was seeing the motivation drifting, I pushed forward, and I will have a first test on June 29th.

Pass or fail? Come back on June 30th 🙂

Meanwhile, tomorrow I will post as a prologue my suggestion on which material to use to teach yourself the language.

And how to choose the appropriate material for your own purposes.

Have a nice learning!