Posted on August 13, 2011 by vicki
Tags: belgium

Halfway through our one month long intensive Dutch course and there a a few words that come to mind: interessant (interesting) and een beetje moeilijk (a little difficult).

The course has a really good mix of nationalities, with people from France, Poland, Portugal, Cameroon, Turkey, Ecuador, Canada, Ethiopia just to name a few. We are some of the few students who only speak one language. The course is taught solely in Dutch so the teachers are pretty good at miming. The pace is pretty demanding, and we are required to learn about 50 new words every day, so Rodney is very excited about a flashcard program that he has discovered.

The language itself reminds me a bit of the way that Yoda speaks (eg. “When 900 years you reach, look as good, you will not.”) in terms of its sentence order. They tell the time in an interesting way too - for example, 9:30 is said as half ten and 9:35 is five after half ten.

The course also includes some social events. The other night we had a multicultural evening with a barbecue and a few performances. Some interesting instruments were playing, including the ney (a Turkish flute) and a home-built electronic harp. The clear standout though was a professional mariachi band from Mexico that were brilliant.

If you ever wondered about how the Dutch alphabet differed from the English alphabet, or what Dutch Sesame Street is like, wonder no more!

And here is another interesting video that explains the absurdity of the Belgian political structure with a touch of humour.

Tot ziens!