Waarom Nederlands? - Why Dutch?

Discussion in 'Nederlands (Dutch)' started by Joannes, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. Joannes Senior Member

    Belgian Dutch
    (English translation follows -- traducción en castellano sigue)

    Dag allemaal,

    Het hoeft geen geheim te zijn dat ik een grote fan ben van Outsider op dit forum. :) Ik zou dan ook zijn geweldige idee in het Portugese forum hier navolging willen geven. (Aangezien het daar al enkele maanden bestaat, neem ik aan dat het binnen het bestek van dit forum valt, en dus ook hier toegelaten is.) Ik ga zelfs zo lui zijn om de tekst gewoon te stelen, want die is goed en mijn Spaans is lachwekkend. Dus, 'mijn' vraag:

    (De Nederlandse versie zal ik maar voor eigen rekening nemen, zeker? :rolleyes::D)

    Dag allemaal,

    De laatste tijd is het me opgevallen dat sommige forumleden die hier vragen komen stellen uit verre landen kwamen, en ik vroeg me af wat hen heeft aangezet tot Nederlands leren.
    Maar ik wil deze vraag stellen aan alle posters hier op het forum die Nederlands niet als moedertaal hebben. Wat motiveerde je om voor Nederlands te kiezen? En zijn er veel mensen die Nederlands leren waar je vandaan komt?

    Bedankt voor jullie antwoorden. :)
  2. jonquiliser

    jonquiliser Senior Member

    Svediż tal-Finlandja
    Uhum. Schijnt dan dat ik de eerste ben te antwoorden.. Dus, al vele jaren geleden, als ik de middelbare school afgestudeerd was, wilde ik naar het buitenlaand gaan. Ik had al vroeger aan Nederland gedacht, maar vond dan via een vrijwilligersnetwerk een project in België en bracht daar bijna een jaar door. - Helaas leerde ik niet zoveel Nederlands zoveel als ik zou gewild hebben - 't was een beetje moeilijk, gedeeltelijk omdat ik aan het begin niets kon en dan Engels sprak met alle, gedeeltelijk omdat de mensen daar goed genoeg in 't Engels konden spreken om met mij te praten zonder te veel moeite, en wat meer is, eigenlijk liever z'n Engels oefenden (denk ik)...

    Maar, ik heb een paar boeken de grammatica en misschien kan ik nog dit echt grappige taaltje een beetje beter leren ;)
  3. avok

    avok Banned

    I was a bit surprised as there is only one response to the question. I dont speak Dutch but for some reason I wish I could speak it because it reminds me of old English and my limited German enables me to understand some of it. I find it more Germanic than English but more Latin than German :) So the loss of noun declension would make it somewhat easier for me to learn Dutch.
  4. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Count me in as another who doesn't speak Dutch, but finds it an appealing language. The Dutch orthography is quite esthetic. :)
    The sound of Dutch is a little funny, because of the unusual guttural sounds, but not unpleasant. It's clearly distinct from German (at least, the spoken versions I have heard of each were distinct).
    Its occasional lexical and phonetic similarities with English are also interesting.

    Groetjes. ;)
  5. Joannes Senior Member

    Belgian Dutch
    Dank je, jonquiliser, om mijn oprechte vraag niet te laten verkommeren en met je antwoorden ook anderen daartoe te hebben aangezet. :) Om weinig blootgesteld te zijn geweest aan Nederlands, is het jouwe toch van een uitstekende kwaliteit! Ik zou niet durven gokken waar je je tijd in België hebt doorgebracht; er duiken amper dialectische kenmerken op in je Nederlands, wat opmerkelijk is voor een Nederlands dat je al doende hebt geleerd, in België. Sterk!

    Thank you both very much, avok and Outsider, for sharing your interesting views!
  6. jonquiliser

    jonquiliser Senior Member

    Svediż tal-Finlandja
    En dank jij Joannes dat je mijn fouten hebt gecorrigeerd! Da's juste, ik wilde toch grammaticaboeken zeggen - jammer dat ik me niet meer met mijn moedertaal vergist - eerder dan met Romaanse talen - dat zou dichterbij het Nederlands komen...:rolleyes: :p

    (Overigens was ik in West-Vlaanderen; in Oostende. Een beetje slaagde ik erin om Westvlams te leren, moa nie veel... :eek: :D)
  7. Lopes

    Lopes Senior Member

    Dutch (Amsterdam)
    Je gebruik van 'dan' in plaats van 'toen' is ook redelijk Vlaams geloof ik ;)
  8. Lugubert Senior Member

    In my TH, I thought I'd take petroleum chemistry. So when I in 1967 got a chance to work at Shell in A'dam during summer recess, I thought it perfect. At the time of application, I knew no more Dutch than I had seen on chocolate wrappers. But I like languages, so to prepare myself, I bought a miniscule grammar and rushed through the main points a couple of times.

    When I got there, after a few days in a hotel, a stay in a family was arranged. Out of the four of them: the landlady, her sister and the landlady's two children, only the daughter spoke a little school English. So, I had to learn their language to communicate my wishes and questions.

    That was indeed lucky, because at work, everybody practiced their English on me, with one single exception, a man who understood that I wanted to learn Dutch, and promised that he would never use English to me.

    A really interesting thing about my learning was, that for a few weeks I mixed up German and Dutch a lot. Then another stroke of luck: another student arrived. She was my age, from Czechoslovakia. She knew practically no English, but was fluent in German. So, I volunteered to be as close to her as decency in those days allowed and as often as possible, and interpret when needed.

    When I had to use Dutch as well as German every day, progress was rapid. Before my two months were up, I managed most every situation in town in Dutch.

    I don't trust my writing skills in Dutch, but think that I still speak rather fluently despite lack of training the last some ten years, and I translate professionally just about anything within technology, chemistry and medicine from Dutch into Swedish. Having taken a couple of full semesters of university Dutch also helps, of course.

    Only years after my A'dam summer, I got to know that during one period, Dutch was regarded as a second official language in my hometown, Göteborg, Sweden! Dutch workers created a canal system in town, and lots of official town documents saved from those days are in Dutch.
  9. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    I find Dutch as a rather useful language to learn because of its guttural phonetics however I have no motivation to learn it. Every person I know who learns Dutch tells me that everyone there will speak in English to them, even after being persistent with Dutch replies. At my language acquisition rate, I might as well quit while I'm ahead!

  10. Suehil

    Suehil Medemod

    Tillou, France
    British English
    Most Dutch people will help if you ask them to, even the ones who want to practise their English.
  11. Spectre scolaire Senior Member

    Moving around, p.t. Turkey
    Maltese and Russian
    Indeed! I think you have hit the nail on the head. This is a major problem for foreigners learning Dutch – the natives simply don’t want to talk to you...:eek:

    Of course you can find environments consisting of monolingual individuals. As a young student I was once working a whole summer together with (mostly) elderly ladies in Hillegom. They taught me everything about tulpen and their ziekten, but this stuff gets booring in the long run. Searching for more intellectual challenges – I never qualified as a gardener nor as a botanist – the problem alluded to by panjabigator returned. Always and persistently.

    I could come up with exceptions – I have experienced several very pleasant ones – but English is always learking behind their Dutch as if they don’t really trust any foreigner to speak their language. And when they do, it is always me to suspect them of knowing less English than I know Dutch.

    I honestly think Dutch people need some blunt talk on this subject. I could mention two other countries in Europe – only two! – where the same “problem” obtains (but I think this would be off-topic). An interesting point is that speaking Dutch in Belgium is ubiquitously accepted – provided you are in Flemish-speaking areas, or even better, if you speak Flaams with natives in French-speaking areas.

    A long time has passed since my Hillegom intermezzo, and I have since then lived in Brussels for some years. De Standaard turned out to be a good newspaper, but I only used to read it once a week – consistently. The rest of my linguistic environment was (mainly) non-Dutch/non-Flemish.
    :) :)
  12. jonquiliser

    jonquiliser Senior Member

    Svediż tal-Finlandja
    I guess there are more factors than just suspicion of other's skills at speaking a language, though. As someone once commented on to me, Dutch-speakers aren't necessarily used to that others are actually trying to speak their language. Surrounded by areas where quite popular languages for learning are spoken, Belgians and Dutch people probably come across quite a lot more English/French/German speakers or learners... I can certainly understand that, myself also speaking a language that relatively few people study.

    And little note; people here for example answer in Dutch with no hesitations, in spite of us learners making lots of mistakes :)thumbsup: thank you!!) and I guess there are other people like that around, who realise that someone wants to learn. So it's not all that impossible, you just have to be insistent ;)
  13. argentina84

    argentina84 Senior Member

    Göteborg, Sweden
    Argentina Spanish
    Hallo! Well, my Dutch is not even basic, just a couple of words. I started studying it because a friend of mine is Dutch, and he is coming to visit me next summer holidays (winter holidays in Europe) and I want him to feel confortable here..we both speak English, but I think he will like my trying to address him in his own first language.

    Also, I find it a very interesting language, because, as someone mentioned, it is more Germanic than English, very much like Middle English.

    And, last but not least, I wanted to try and learn a language that not many people study...it's quite difficult because I don't find teachers here, but I am doing my best. And my teachers suggested that I study a difficult language...Dutch is difficult for me because it is a Germanic language and Spanish is a Latin language.
  14. tom_in_bahia Senior Member

    Teixeira de Freitas, BA, Brasil
    South Florida/Phoenix-Tucson/the Adirondacks. Native of North American English
    Well, I have never studied Dutch formally and had a long layover in Amsterdam once, that left me more curious about the language than I previously was. A close friend of mine (a polyglot as well) started to study Dutch because some of her family had immigrated there from the Philippines years ago. So she took a course and went to work for the US embassy there. The culture was also interesting to her.

    The reason I've studied several languages was because of their ties to my heritage. However, when I start to study languages that fall outside of this category, I think what first gets me going is the way the language "looks" (I guess you could say its aesthetic), and not necessarily the practicallity. Dutch was always a language that I felt "attractive" and also an interesting spin on English, but with nuances that make it an "alien" English (not to say that I think Dutch is an offshoot of English!). If I had time, I would study Dutch to reach a passing familiarity with the language.
  15. Frank06

    Frank06 Senior Member

    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)

    We are willing to re-open the thread, but on the sole condition that the policy of one thread / one topic will be respected.

    In case of doubt, don't worry about opening a new thread.

    Moderator Dutch Forum
  16. Joannes Senior Member

    Belgian Dutch
    Thank you, Frank. And thanks everyone for your answers! Keep them coming, this is very interesting.
  17. Espadachin Member

    Canada, English/Francais
    Voor mij was het oorspronkelijk een kwestie van liefde, zo te zeggen. Ik leerde een nederlandse vrouw kennen toen ik in Duitsland werkte, en alhoewel wij ons in 't Engels en Duits konden praten, wilde ik iets van haar taal ook leren. Maar het was tevergeefs, omdat (zoals ik later vond) zij en al haar familie zijn Fries! Wat voor een verbazing, dat ik er helemaal niets van wist!

    Want ik al Engels en Duits kon, was het makkelijk (min of meer) voor mij Nederlands te leren, omdat ze zo dichtbij elkaar zijn. Natuurlijk zijn er dingen die ik niet heel versta, maar meestal kan ik mij verstaanbaar maken. Ik ben ook (in het verre, verre verleden) van nederlandse afkomst, dus kan ik ook zeggen dat het iets met mijn eigen geschiedenis heeft te doen.
  18. alisonp Senior Member

    English - UK
    I acquired Dutch (more a reading knowledge rather than the ability to speak it) years ago on my translation course because we were required to do a third language and the others on offer didn't appeal. Plus, since I already had German, it made understanding Dutch a lot easier. Unfortunately, I haven't really been able to keep it up.
  19. oceanside New Member

    USA, English
    I am trying to learn a few phrases in Dutch because I have Dutch friends and I think it is polite to speak at least a little in their language. Also, I want to begin to understand some of what is being said at the table or in the bedroom!
  20. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Omdat ik al Duits had geleerd en Nederlands te leren vond ik niet zo moeilijk. :D
  21. Tchesko

    Tchesko Senior Member

    Paris 12

    I must admit I decided to learn Dutch out of necessity: I need it for my work. I have to read quite a lot of documents that are mostly only available in Dutch. The online translators are not yet very efficient. I have found out that learning Dutch helps me understand what I read much better than if I didn't learn it. :)
    Besides necessity, I also decided to learn (rather than not to learn) because I like foreign languages and because I, like jazyk, already have studied German, which makes learning Dutch soooo easier!
    However, all this only started recently (June 2007) so I'm confident I'll have lots more questions for this forum and its foreros.

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