Spreek je Nederlands?

Wat is jouw voornaam en familienamm? 
{Lana McCoy}
Dag Lana. Hoe gaat het (met jou)?
. . . 
Begrijp jij het?
Begrijp jij het?

. . . . 

Are you completely lost?! Yeah, me too! 
Welcome to the confusion of my #1 New Years resolution! Chris and I finally received our Belgian residency papers! Well, I suppose that's not entirely true; Chris has his papers (I'm still in the midst of the TEDIOUS residency process) which means we were able to enroll in Dutch classes! Yippie!

Last night, we walked to our first language class, expecting an orientation in English and a really slow transition back into the classroom. No such luck! I felt like I was back at Middlebury College, immersed in a mind-numbing Russian (only) language course. 
The Dutch teacher did not use one word of English. 
Not one. 
Three hours of Dutch (only). 
Are we ready for this?!
For a second I thought we were in the wrong classroom. "We're signed up for Dutch 101 . . . "
We were completely lost, but exactly where we were supposed to be. 
We sat in a room with 25 students from Spain, Tunisia, Palestine, Bulgaria, Poland, Senegal, Romania, Brazil and Portugal, and we were all speaking the same language - very elementary Dutch and international pantomime.

As Chris and I walked home, we laughed about how wrong our expectations were. The reality is, there's no better way to learn a language than to 100% immerse yourself. We may be in over our heads, but we are going to do all that we can to tackle this new challenge. 

. . . . 

Today, I started sticking sticky notes all over the house to help us learn new vocabulary. 

Koelkast = refrigerator
plafond = ceiling
bord = plate
mes = knife
schoenen = shoes
paraplu = umbrella

and so on, and so on . . . 

Whenever Chris opens another cupboard or drawer, he'll be faced with the Dutch word for cup (beker/kop) or underware (ondergoed).

 I think I may turn this into a game!


  1. Good for you both taking on Dutch. I was so motivated when I first arrived in Norway to start Norwegian lessons but here I am over 6 months later and I haven't started. Perhaps I should use you as motivation ;)

    1. Well, check back in with me in like a month or two and see how my language lessons are going! I am way in over my head and a little anxious, but going to give it my best shot!

  2. Haha, Lana and Chris, this is so funny!
    Hey, if you need a dutch speaking hand...just give us a call!

    B and B

  3. So funny that read this in Dutch, I was like: since when do I follow Dutch blogs :-) But good on you that you're learning our language :-) maybe I should start commenting in Dutch so you can practice :-) so: veel succes met je lessen Nederlands!

  4. Learning Dutch is not one of the easiest things I have done - it took nearly two years of lessons before I started feeling even remotely comfortable - but in the end (now on the tale end of year five!) I'm pretty much on top of it.. what a mission!

    I think the break-through point in learning Dutch is when the person you are speaking to responds in Dutch instead of English - to get to that level requires some serious skill, particularly with pronunciation - and for my Australian tongue it just wasn't so straight forward.

    In any case, good luck with the lessons. Don't rush yourself, and watch as much stupid television as you can. I fully suggest "Thuis" on een every night, it might be brain numbing, but it's brain numbing in het Nederlands!!


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