Posts Tagged "Vlaams"

Learning Dutch is silly.

Posted on Nov 20, 2013 | 5 comments

Learning Dutch is silly.

Maybe when you read the title of this post you thought I was going to go on about how silly it is to learn a language that so few people speak and that is not so useful outside of the Low Countries. I sometimes had the feeling when I first came here, especially during the frustrating days, that I was putting a lot of time and effort into a rather useless pursuit. Depending upon where that tricky creature called life decides to take me in the future maybe my knowledge of Dutch will prove useful, or maybe not. It’s hard to know, but that’s not really what this post is about…

Along the journey of acquiring some proficiency in this mysterious little language there have been lots of laughs. Anyone that’s started out on the monumental journey of learning a second language can attest to the fact that it always challenges you to see things from a different perspective… to break out of the linguistic norms that have structured your life and thought processes up until the present and to begin to realize that not only are there many different ways to express your thoughts and feelings, but there are also many different ways of living life.

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Musical Trivia

Posted on Jul 31, 2013 | 7 comments

What do Belgians know about Americans? Well… if you watch Belgian TV you might think it’s only The Simpsons (another post about the Belgian addiction to The Simpsons here), Swamp People, and country music. Needless to say I’m doing my best to change the stereotype. Anyway, I saw this artist performing this song on Belgian TV the other day and just had to laugh. I immediately recognized the music to this song and it took me straight back to my childhood when my sister and I used to play our tapes in our boombox and dance and sing on the picnic table. Can you tell which country song this is?

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Dutch, the mythical unicorn of European languages.

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 | 20 comments

Dutch, the mythical unicorn of European languages.

Let’s be clear, unicorns unfortunately do not exist and neither does Dutch, my friends. Perhaps you’re saying “no way” and typing “does Dutch really exist” into the google search bar right now. If you click search, Wikipedia will try to inform you that it does indeed exist, but I’m going to tell you why it doesn’t.

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Dutch Words I Can’t Keep Straight

Posted on Jun 21, 2013 | 13 comments

There are a few lot of words in Dutch that I just can never seem to get right. This list is really a running one, as I always seem to be forgetting things, or my knowledge of certain words seems to become hazy after not hearing or reading them for a while. I thought I might share my follies here as a bit of comic relief. I do have to laugh sometimes because it often creates an unusual mental picture, especially in regard to the first example.

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5 Things to Eliminate Wintertime Woefulness

Posted on Dec 21, 2012 | 2 comments

 

grumpy catIf my second winter here has made anything clear about the relationship that Belgium and I have with each other, it is that she often does little to cheer me up during this time of year. The combination of gray and drizzly skies, permanently statically-charged hair, and an aching brain brimming with language and terminology combined with the stress of approaching exams in multiple languages has made me realize that during this time of year it is more important than ever to see the things I love about this place and to cling to them, allowing them to warm up my thoughts and inspire me to treat Belgium a little kinder until she starts to return the kind thoughts in spring.

Here are five things I can say that I appreciate about Belgium:

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