Language Course – Week 3

We were straight into learning new information with our fifth lesson. I love that you are there because you want to learn, so there’s a real drive and determination to everyone who is still with the class. (We appear to have stabilised with about half of the students who attended on the first night.)

We began with having a quick test to see if we could hear the difference between words as they were being said without the spellings in front of us to guide our judgement as to whether they were long (lang) or short (kort) vowel sounds. We were paired up to check over our answers and I didn’t do too badly.

Next we moved on to how the Dutch tell the time where I discovered that not only do the Dutch have five and ten, past and to the hour, but they also have five and ten, past and to the half hour. Also, it’s not half past the hour, it’s half to the next hour. This should be all sorts of fun to get my poor noggin around!

We then moved on to infinitives. This was made even more fun as, I’m fairly sure that when I was in school no one actually classified for me what an infinitive is. I’m sure it would have been easier if I had any memory of getting up to these in the bits and pieces of the other languages I did learn in school, but what with my age when I learnt Italian, and my absences from High School for French, German and Japanese … well, you get the idea. Just one more hurdle I need to overcome.

Lesson six began well enough, with all of us trying very hard to make it all the way through ordering at a café. The pilsje (beer), bitterballen (food), wijn (wine), and koffie (coffee) should make for a goed (good) feast if it ever arrives!

I’m fairly sure that in the future, so long as the waiter talks slowly and repeats themselves multiple times, I may get through it. Wait. What do you mean this won’t be an open book test?!?

We then moved back to grammar and structure, focusing tonight on syntax. Again, I have no recollection of lessons on how to correctly structure a sentence. But here I was, unlearning what I hadn’t learnt, and relearning the Dutch way. This one I’ll have to practice a little harder. It’s a good thing I have sheets and sheets of homework to do this weekend!

Speaking of languages, Kia Ora, and Happy Waitangi Day to all the Kiwis for last Wednesday!

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