I have started taking official Dutch language classes. My company offers 7 beginner courses for free! Many of you may know that most people in Amsterdam speak fluent English. But I feel it’s rude (bordering on arrogant) not to at least try and speak the language of a country that you call home. So I’m trying. Before arriving in The Netherlands I knew ZERO words. Literally, didn’t even know how to say Hello. Which turns out is ‘Hallo’ pretty easy. But after that words get hard and there are some weird vowel sounds and guttural throat noises that I try real hard and imitate. At this point I can order wine, beer, and snacks at Cafes…and I’m pretty good with most items in a grocery store (as all labels are in Dutch). I count this as a big accomplishment but I’m pretty sure it sucks.
The coolest part about my Dutch courses are how many different cultures are represented. We all work for the same company but my classmates are from Israel, Turkey, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Egypt, and Romania. There are 15 people and I’m the only American, only native English speaker, oh and the only non bilingual person. The class is taught in English and increasingly more Dutch as we learn. I can tell time (sort of), greet friends, spell, order a coffee, and tell you how many brothers and sisters I have. I can also complain about the weather which is an important topic of communication for The Netherlands. It’s either too cold or too warm most days.
Did you know that ‘Dutch’ translates as ‘Nederlands’ in Dutch. And ‘German’ translates as ‘Deutsch’ in German. If that sounds confusing it is. I’m not sure why the English language decided to seemingly swap some words around so haphazardly.
Recent photos near the Old Church