Language Course 2 – Week 8

Week eight? How did it get to be week eight already?! Well, I guess it is, and I’ll just have to deal with it! So much information is being crammed into each lesson, but as we all realised, next week is our last full week of lessons!

So we dove straight in to working on our limited conversation skills. The premise being that when you speak to people and they tell you something, you have to respond. If our responses are reflexive, then it gives our brains time to come up with further conversation! In English these phrases would be “How nice!” or “That’s interesting.” Or “Oh damn!” In Dutch, all these begin with “wat”, so we also have to get used to “wat” not being a question. Harder than you’d think!

We built on our past tenses and then practiced them by asking each other questions about what we had done over the weekend. There is still a long way to go for me with remembering all the words that I have at my disposal in order to answer more fully. Along with past tenses came the practicing of which sentences were “heb” (have) and which were “zijn” (are). Just to make this interesting, some words can be both a “heb” and a “zijn” word (though not in the same sentence), depending on whether you use the words “via”, “langs”, or “naar” within the sentence.

But enough of that! It was time to move on the Real Estate! First discussing the types of housing that is prevalent in Amsterdam and the Netherlands, then moving on to listening to a conversation about looking for a house to rent, before being given our home work which was pages of words to memorise from our text books!

With all of these new words in our brains we worked at our pretend makelaar (real estate agent) jobs and proceeded to buy and sell houses to each other. Mijn huis heeft drie slaapkamers! (My house has 3 bedrooms!) It was a lot of fun!

We spent what seemed like a lot of time refining our conversation skills, asking each other about our houses, and what we did “gisteravond” (yesterday evening).

We then used a list of subjects from our text books which we had to frame questions around. Whoever framed the correct question, then asked it of their partner. The partner then had to answer. Harder than it sounds!

As we moved on to “zeg/zeggen dat” (said/said that) we filled in sections of the text book, but then came back to the same list of topics for making questions from. We were in groupings of three by now, and once the first person phrased the question, and the second person answered it, the third person then had to restate the answer phrased as “They said that …” keeping in mind that the words of what you are paraphrasing change order from how they were initially said.

The second lesson was odd, as I have no notes from it written in my note book, but lots of examples scribbled through my text book. I don’t think I’ve had a lesson previously where I haven’t taken notes from the white board. Weird.

Anyway, I have lots more pages of home work to do now, and I’ll have to get it done early as we have guests coming next week! (I’m sure at least one of them will want to help me practice my Dutch!)

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