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The turtles are reading a book


I’m learning Dutch. I’ve got an app on my iPad where I’ve started in an enthusiastic way to learn the language. You might ask “Why on earth Dutch?” when most Dutch people speak English better than we do. Well it’s a family reason. My future daughter in law is from Belgium. Pause for thought.  Now there seems even less logic now as I hear you say, ” then learn Flemish” which is her native tongue. Well I can’t find anything for free where I can learn Flemish, and as Dutch is close then Dutch it is. This is not quite like saying that French is next to Germany so learn French when you go to Germany, Dutch is apparently close to Flemish. At least I hope so.

I’m getting on with it quite well and so far am being spoken to by a woman, who tells me how to say phrases like ” Women are important” and that the “Turtles are reading a book”. I’m not quite sure how this will go down when we get to Belgium and try it out. I suppose that the designers of the language course have chosen these  phrases to help with the  mind boggling pronunciation of the words. I have had to buy screen wipes for my iPad.

A recent spell of learning introduced a man saying the words, and he pronounces “risjt” ( rice to you and me, a most important word ) in completely different way to the woman, despite her importance. I thought I was getting on fine till he came along, I was sure she was going to stay the course with me. It’s been a small setback.

Occasional tests and phrases that are presented are so odd that there are times when I just can’t quite believe what I’m supposed to translate, but I’m gratified that at least some of the words stay lodged in my grey matter. The fact that they are probably the least important words in the Dutch dictionary is entirely coincidental. It’s almost if I’m expecting a dutch person to ask me on the special day: “Hello, the horse does not wear clogs”. Hopefully I’ll be ready with an answer that hopefully will not include risjt in the answer.





6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Good luck with Dutch! I tried it about 20 years ago when I lived there but everyone spoke English to me when they heard me struggling with ‘sch’, ‘ij’ and ‘g’!

    April 22, 2016
  2. I think I will need it, the phrases are getting stranger as I progress.

    April 22, 2016
  3. Luc Lorent #

    It’s worth the effort. Als beloning krijg je lezende schildpadden te zien 🙂

    April 23, 2016
  4. I’m sure it will be. I now need to work out the last part of your reply!

    April 23, 2016
  5. Is the app Duolingo by any chance? I’m learning Spanish with it, and important phrases like ‘my dog does not eat apples’ .

    April 26, 2016
    • It is indeed, I wonder if it’s the same chap trying to speak too many languages, or perhaps dogs do eat apples in Spain.
      It certainly rarely rains on the plain.

      April 26, 2016

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