The astute amongst you will notice that I didn’t provide an update for week 4. I made it to the first lesson that week, practiced my 150 most common verbs along with everyone else, we told stories about Willem, and then I put my back out so missed the second lesson of the week. After checking, I only needed to cover chapter four. Even with the missing lesson I didn’t seem to have any problems picking up with the rest of the class when I got there this week in time for …
Week 5, lesson 9. I knew I should have looked up how to say “sore back” as an explanation of my absence! For future reference it’s “zere rug”, and now I know. And you do too.
We began with question structure. Getting my words in the correct order for Dutch is more problematic than I hoped, but I’ll get there! I just need to stop thinking in English.
There was then some role-playing, and the ever important phrase “Kunt u langzamer spreken? Ik leer Nederlands.” (“Can you speak slower? I’m leaning Dutch.”)
After spending time running through various standard responses to frequently asked questions (“I’m off tomorrow” could be answered with “that’s nice” or “sounds enjoyable” … you get the idea) we then all stood up and mingled at the front of the classroom, pretending that we were at a cocktail party. It was remarkably amusing given how little we could converse. But then, how much depth does one go into at those things anyway?
One of the questions on our wee palm cheat sheets was “Hoe oud ben je?” (“How old are you?”) which I had mentioned to the teacher was a bit unfair (not to mention depressing) given that I’m the oldest in the class! So I have my own response to that now! “”Met de leeftijd komt de schoonheid.”(“With the age comes the beauty.”)
For homework we needed to Google (at .nl) all the various public holidays for the Nederlands. We also need to remember while doing this that days of the week and names of the months are not capitalised in Dutch unless they are “important”. For instance; vrijdag (Friday) isn’t capitalised, maar (but) Goed Vrijdag (Good Friday) is.
I had noticed this on some winkel (shop) doors where they posted their hours, but had written it off in my head as purely a design decision. Seems I was mistaken!
In lesson 10 the nitty got grittier. There is so much information to absorb in each lesson, and with each lesson building on the last, there’s ever more to revise and add to our knowledge base. First we continued working on sentence structure. We learnt that though one sentence can be said 4 ways and all will be correct, we learnt the Dutch way.
Then we moved on to learning the rules for pluralisation. Just to screw with my (and your) English mind, they do use apostrophes for plurals of words ending in vowels that aren’t “e”.
Finally we learned new sentences. We were creating sentences about hobbies, and whether we liked or didn’t like them. As with most of our classes, this ended up being quite loud and boisterous as we all spoke at the same time while trying to listen to our fellow students mangle the language.
As always, a wonderful week, and a LOT of homework for the weekend ahead! I think my brain may leak out my ears!