Language Course 2 – Week 7

Another massive week was underway before I realised it! It’s the strangest thing that you just seem to blink and it is the beginning of another week of class and you’re wondering if you should have done your homework. (Of course I always do my homework!) Monday always seems to be a big lesson too, stuffed with as much information as possible, allowing it to ferment for a day, then you can come back on Wednesday and practice everything which should be sitting in your brain.

We jumped right in to the fray with answering questions for “how frequently” and “have you ever”. Keeping in mind that the Dutch would never simply answer with “I have” (Ik heb), you have to answer with “I do that lots” or “I do that never”. Of course the answers will differ depending on whether you are answering in the present tense or past tense (remember het perfectum) “I have never …”

Of course the perfect questions to practice all of this on are; what you do in your free time (vrij tijd)? But you needed to expand your answers as much as possible and branch into what you like more, what you like less, and we did this using the sentence conjunction “but”. “I enjoy cooking, but I like eating more!”

Of course to use het perfectum correctly it is used in the sentence context of “I have” or “I am”, so you need to know if the word you are using at the end of a sentence is a “have” (heb) or an “am” (zijn) word. This takes memorization of word lists.

Once you know if the word you are working with is heb/zijn, you get to contend with whether that word you are trying to past tense is a regular verb or not. They follow different rules. Though some are just stand alone weird. It’s all fun and games until someone meets a “ge” blocker!

As I’m sure you can imagine, with all of this information to take in, and homework to do to get it to sink in, it spilled over into the next lesson quite significantly. Wednesday we paired up to practice exercises, and then swapped partners and practiced more.

Oefening, oefening, oefening …

We moved on to a worksheet pairing sentences with answers. This was more difficult than it sounds. I don’t think I’ve asked (in class) more often what a word meant than I did this lesson. I was in and out of my translation dictionary over and over again. But then, everyone else was looking up their own translations on their phones too, so I wasn’t alone. We all need to expand our vocabularies, and making us ask in class is the way to do it I guess!

For the final section of the lesson we moved on to adjectives. We were given pages of pictures and needed to use our adjectives to compare them to each other. Large, larger, largest. Small, smaller, smallest. You get the idea! The Dutch have a similar language rule that goes like this; Lekker, lekkerder, lekkerst! (lekker = tasty or nice)

I was managing to stuff up my pronunciation of words really effectively. Unfortunately this wasn’t helping my partner who had missed the last lesson and was following my lead for how to pronounce the words. Also, fastest way to figure out you’re saying things incorrectly is having other people not know what the heck you’re saying when you’re reading off a cue card and they can’t see what word you’re meant to be saying. I obviously need to listen to my recordings a lot more. Lesson learned.

So all I all it was another noisy and talkative week of lessons! Which when you think about it, if you’re learning a new language, is exactly what you want! To be able to speak the language!

2 thoughts on “Language Course 2 – Week 7

  1. Now that I am in Beijing, I am able to actually practice speaking. It certainly makes a big difference. I also found a great tutor who meets with me two days a week. We’re not following a strict lesson plan. She helps me with words and phrases I need to communicate on a daily basis at work and on my own. It is hard to balance homework and Work (with a capital w) which is why I am here to begin with. Keep it up!

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