Language Course – Week 2

A new week arrived with a new focus. The teacher has been speaking more English during class now (though not much, just enough to assist) and by building on what we’ve learnt so far I can now read and fill in a basic form with my personal details. Which lead to a hilarious conversation about my name. Again.

Ghoti, though amusing and erudite in English, is far less so once you have to explain it, (over and over and over again) to people whose first language isn’t English. The irregularities in English spelling are even more pointedly absurd and frustrating to anyone who’s been forced to learn English as a second language, and already thinks the spelling is insane. Some of the humour is lost when after an explanation people just look at you like you’re bonkers. Oh well. I still like it!

We spent more time revising our vowel pronunciation, and the emphasis structure of the language. For short vowel sounds you repeat “Amsterdam heeft achtentachtig pachtige grachten.” (“Amsterdam has eighty eight beautiful canals.”) For long vowel sounds you repeat “Het Spaanse graan heeft de orkaan doorstaan.” (“The Spanish grain has the hurricane withstood.”)

As an interesting side note, that second one is used in the Nederlands translation of My Fair Lady as a stand in for “The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain”, and fits the music perfectly! Now if I could just get that song out of my head …

In theory, by the end of that third lesson I was now able to correctly pronounce any written Dutch word. In practice this isn’t quite true, as I was proving towards the end of the class. I have some revision work to do. But I’m improving!

Homework was all about familierealties names and ties. Which I’m sure will make my schoonzus (sister-in-law) very happy! It also brought us neatly into the next lesson where we discussed all sorts of things like colours, days of the week, and months of the year.

With just this information we have actually been able to converse with each other! Not with much depth, but we have! And it was wonderful!

Now to build on that!

3 thoughts on “Language Course – Week 2

  1. Yay for progress! Sounds like the addition of English and the shrinking class size could also work to help make it an environment more conducive to your learning.

    Does Dutch have a word for “sibling”, out of curiosity?

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