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Off topic: Ik zoek collega's
Thread poster: ItalianLinguist
ItalianLinguist
Italy
Local time: 10:08
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Jun 21, 2006

Sorry for posting this in English but I am still at the WAT IS JE NAAM? – phase...more or less.

I have no idea if some of you remember me: few months ago I posted a thread where I asked for information about IT jobs in the NL. Well, we made it and my partner is working in your country and I will reach him in about a month time. We'll live in Amstelveen…So, I am wondering if there is the possibility to meet up with a couple of prozians, interested in socialising, exchanging tips about our profession (and not only!), and/or available to teach me some Dutch (language, culture..).
I easily understand the language because of my German knowledge but I am afraid of the confusion I risk to make by mixing up these two languages together. I have reached on my own level A2 EU Framework, and I definitely want to take a course once there. What do you think about Dutch courses offered by the volksuniversiteit in Amstelveen?

I hope some good (lonely) freelancing soul takes my announce seriously!

Tot ziens!

Tamara


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Zsanett Rozendaal-Pandur  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 10:08
Dutch to Hungarian
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Language courses - aside Jun 21, 2006

minuscola wrote:
I have reached on my own level A2 EU Framework, and I definitely want to take a course once there. What do you think about Dutch courses offered by the volksuniversiteit in Amstelveen?


Hi Tamara,

I hope all is going well with your partner's sister. It's a good thing you two have found a way to relocate to Holland.

Just an aside, as I don't live in the Netherlands anymore (also, I'm not Dutch and not lonely). I attended a course by the Volksuniversiteit in 1999 - things might have changed since then. There were many people in the group, with varying levels of motivation, pretty normal for such a group, I guess. A lot of grammar exercises, where the whole group works together. Also, a lot of people tend to enroll in these courses just to get to know other people, who will by definition be foreigners. (Nothing wrong with that, I had a lot of foreign friends, but at that level they rarely speed up the learning process.) So if you're a fast learner, you'll probably end up being bored to death, unless you get lucky with the group. I dropped out.
What did it for me in the end was simply living in Amsterdam, hearing Dutch daily and trying to speak, even if it wasn't always correct. A lot of Amsterdam people tend to reply in English when they hear that you're not Dutch, but if you persist, they'll switch back to Dutch eventually. Just don't let yourself be pushed into using English.

What also helped enormously, culturally as well as languagewise, was my Dutch boyfriend whom I met there, but I guess that's not an option for you anymore. (Although it really makes a difference - living in Norway with a Dutch husband now, my Norwegian is progressing more slowly than my Dutch did at the time.)

Given that you've already reached some level of Dutch (I don't know the EU Framework system), I would say you're on the right track already. Once you're in the country and get the chance to speak Dutch daily, most of it will come by itself, just give it some time to sink in. It can never hurt to try a language course, and it might work better for you than it did for me. I can hardly think of anything that I've learnt from courses, although I can remember learning many things from people/pop songs/newspapers/books, etc. But then again, I've always been someone to learn best through experience and practice.

Efficient alternatives to a language course can be other types of courses, where you get to mix with natives - perhaps you play an instrument or you sing or dance, paint, whatever, you could join a group in that direction. The Volksuniversiteit has all sorts of creative courses, and there's the cultural organisation of the University of Amsterdam, CREA (http://www.crea.uva.nl/). I think the same 1,5 hours in such a course would boost your language more than a Dutch course.

Good luck!
Zsanett


[Módosítva: 2006-06-21 11:02]


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ItalianLinguist
Italy
Local time: 10:08
Member
English to Italian
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TOPIC STARTER
thanks! Jun 21, 2006

Thanks for your tips, I will follow your suggestions!
Where are you based in Norway? I worked loooooooooong time ago in Geiranger, wonderful landscapes there!
Back to work now,
Nagyon koeszoenem!! (or something like that!)
Tamara


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Maria Rosich Andreu  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:08
Member (2003)
Dutch to Spanish
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Dutch as a foreign language Jun 21, 2006

When I went to study in Amsterdam, I took two Dutch courses at the Uva (Universiteit van Amsterdam). The first was a basic course starting from nil and the other was a middle level (1 and 3 in their system, which at the time went from 1 to 4).

The first course I took in summer, it was quite expensive and in my opinion, not worth the effort. It was a very diverse group, I remember there were some people who had difficulties with reading the latin alphabet, to give you an idea of how fast the class went.

Later on, since I was an erasmus student, I had the chance to enlist for free in the other course. It was a higher level and we concentrated on writing, which is what you don't learn in the street, so I thought i'd give it a try and it was a great success. It also helped me not only to get to know other foreigners in Amsterdam, but also to get my first translation jobs.

Good luck!


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