Dutch, Story Time

One Year Immigrant Anniversary

Oh boy I’m writing my first blog after two months of incredibly hard work. I have so much I want to share and not all of it is related to the house for those who couldn’t care less about the renovations, fret not I have other content heading your way. We just need to build our office desk so I can just sit and pump out work left and right. That came out wrong. Did it? Am I just over sensitive because I have to relearn how I write blogs? But anyway you’ve seen the title so you know what this blog is about but let me do the introduction and build myself up to it. Seriously how did I write blogs before?

The second of June has been a special day to me these last few years. The man of my dreams, my husband, birthday is on that day. So back in May 2017, we received my VISA. After getting the acceptance letter we had to wait two weeks as my approval didn’t show up in the system and we couldn’t get the stamp in my passport before it finally showed up. My big goal was to arrive before Onno’s birthday as the perfect birthday present because let’s face it his future wife being there for his birthday without ever having to leave again is a pretty good present. Things managed to work out and I landed on his birthday last year. So it’s safe to say that on Saturday we had a lot to celebrate. Added to the list of things to celebrate we had our first week in the house which still feels unreal. I worked incredibly hard this last week to unpack almost everything so the house could feel more like the home by Saturday.

We woke up bright and early to Speculoos running into the bedroom and jumping on the bed with his packet of treats. Treats he jumped up on the bookcase to get to. Treats that if he eats to much of he gets the runs. Hence why I put it in high places I thought he wouldn’t be able to reach. After Onno chased Speculoos down the stairs to get his treats, while he was downstairs he made me cup of tea because he is just that great. I do need to add I sang happy birthday to him six times. I’m incredibly tone deaf so it borderlines on torture. While we had our breakfast in bed my dad called and sang happy birthday in the same tone deaf brilliance that I inherited from him.  After the phone call Onno and I went downstairs to bake the milktart (a South African delight that Onno loves) before attempting to work on some small things around the house. After about an hour a nap was in order to restore the balance in the universe. A few hours later we resurfaced to get back to work. I once again sang to Onno till he left the bedroom to escape my brilliance. We very slowly got to work on the small things left to do in the house, mainly putting up a storage space on top of the washing machine and putting up the last bit of handles in the kitchen (a hole needed to be drilled in before we could put the handles on). While I started preparing the pork roast Onno finished the mini bookcase in the office. We stopped there for the day well it’s his birthday we can’t work the entire day. It was a nice day. We got some work done around the house, we relaxed and watched our favorite series together on the couch like the good old times and then enjoyed an incredibly delicious pork roast meal followed by dessert. We ended our night with a bubble bath, boy oh boy our bath in the new house is magical.

Honestly it still blows my mind that I’m living in the Netherlands now permanently. I’ve never been here for one year straight without going back to South Africa. Onno and I never had one uninterrupted year together. This last year was a crazy whirlwind of emotions, 2018 being the roughest emotional roller coaster ride I’ve ever been on, but I’m so incredibly happy to be with him. I’ve said incredibly a lot in this blog post. No idea where that is coming from. But anyway back to the blog; a year ago I never would’ve imagined where we are today and I’m just so excited to see what the next year will bring us. I have no idea where I’m going with this. I’m mainly just so happy, overwhelmed, emotionally unstable, tired, blessed and so much more.

A quick little side note before I end the blog (I really need to get back to work. We’re building our office desk today.) I failed the speaking part of my Dutch as a second language test AGAIN. It’s so incredibly frustrating. This time I failed with 9 points. Come on man throw a girl a bone! Anyway I will attempt another round later this year as well as starting to prepare for my immigration test (I have another two years to do that but who knows how easy that will go down). I’m also going to start the process of getting my driver’s license. Unfortunately my South African drivers license doesn’t mean shit here so I have to redo the entire process (yes I’m still butt hurt about this fact). We really needed me being allowed to drive when we moved and now that we live in a smaller ‘city’ further away from everything, we really need a car. Onno is going to do most of the driving but who knows, I might want to use it every now and again. I haven’t looked into it too much but hopefully I can scratch it of the list this year.

Alright that’s it for the blog. I’m sorry that I’m all over the place. I wish there was more I could say about my one year as an immigrant anniversary (boy that’s an uncomfortable mouthful) but honestly we just ate, slept and worked on the house all day. Nothing special. I’m sorry for being absent so long, I really tried my utmost best to avoid it from happening but the renovations was full of surprises and I just couldn’t keep up with everything. It also didn’t help that throughout these last two months I’ve had some big dentist appointments (read actual torture) but I have three more appointments to go before I’m almost done for the year. And by almost done I mean I have to get two teeth implanted and that’s going to take another few months before the gums are healed enough. Hopefully it will go into next year because honey I’m so drained. So much pain. So tired. Anyway I’m going of track. I will be back to my regular updates moving forward with a lot of exciting things coming up. I will start sharing some house related DIY projects soon, but other than that…I’M BACK!

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

heart-2954170_1280

PS. For those who is reading The Girl Writing In The Train, a new chapter will only be up near the end of June or beginning of July. I want to catch up with my blogs before I return to my creative writing. I can’t get into the flow of things when I feel like I’m behind on the blog aspect of my website if that even makes sense. I hope you will understand.

Dutch

My Attempt At Being A Tour Guide In Amsterdam

If there is only one thing you should know about me is that I’m very much in tune with my sense of direction…in South Africa. In the Netherlands, well let’s just say it’s takes me some time before I figure out what direction is what. I’m not kidding. What I think is the right way is NEVER the actual way. Here is a prime example of my brilliant sense of direction in the small and flat country.

gfhhfh.png

Here is the full caption that I posted with the picture. The sun is shining here in the Netherlands and I decided to somehow find my way to one of my favorite parks I always go to with Onno. Yeah it didn’t exactly go according to plan, swipe right and you will see my attempt. The fact that I tripped over my laces on my way out of the apartment should’ve been a foresight but it doesn’t end there. Oh no my foot slipped on the petals (three times) and the first time (because the seat was still too high) I lost my balance and gracefully fell over. In front of the central station, in the middle of the day…in the holiday period. Yeah people saw. Someone even asked me if I’m okay. I just felt the need to reassure them and myself that I’m not a complete amateur and I know how to bicycle. And as I was trying to find the road to the park I somehow circled back to the station twice till I found the Museum park which wasn’t even that pleasant because it’s packed with screaming kids and I’m an old fart that likes to read in parks. I’m back home, licking my wounds and playing with Speculoos (I then proceeded to tag my cat’s Instagram page. Cringe.)

What is your point women? Well basically I don’t know where the hell I’m going in this country most of the time (well I’m quite good in Rotterdam because I lived here for long enough but take me off my route and I’m lost) so picturing me as a tour guide is laughable. Where are you going with this? Well give me some time. I’m writing a blog for the first time in over a month. Like how do I open a word document? Where is J on the keyboard? Does auto correct still work? Does the internet on my laptop even still work? Is my blog still a thing?

Jokes aside, let me just get to the point. It’s 10pm and I’ve worked on the house the entire day and my brain is losing its ability to put words into functional sentences. I’m not even sure if I’m writing English right now. Oh lord imagine future Cassy trying to edit this blog tomorrow so it can go up on Monday and be like what the fuck?

GFJHDFGFJDGJHGjfbgjhgjh fbrwjgubvgyugkjabfyutwhjfsbdj hvfeywgfbf gfhjbchgqeyfvcm vyffghcbluilerhbcdzhjzgvcfeygfsd yugeyufweguy gfeyuwfyfuryufryrfguf yyuyreauywoie uriroturwkhckjbvyuegvhbr fgeuhfihi8whfbvjsdhgufgewugf

Wait what? What the hell past Cassy?

Okay enough fooling around. For real now. My father’s girlfriend did a European cruise through Italy, Spain, England, Portugal (maybe France?) and the cruise ship made a little pit stop in Amsterdam for the day. I’ve heard so much of her these last few months and was dying to meet her so I took the day off from renovations and went through to meet her and her family. We exchanged gifts and her family members met us at the cruise terminal soon after I arrived. Oh wait you need to know this story. I will get to my day as a tour guide through Amsterdam soon.

So South Africans are known to have a really hard time with going to England. I’m not even kidding. The travel agency told all the South Africans going on this trip that they wouldn’t have to apply for the British VISA as they won’t be leaving the ship on the day it’s stationed there. As this would save a lot of money and time they obviously took the agency’s word for it…Well they flew to the start of the cruise and was denied access to the boat because of this and over 30 South Africans were abandoned. This obviously ruined a lot of holidays for a lot of people. It’s disgusting really. Some of these people have saved for years to do this trip and because of the agency they get abandoned in a foreign country? Unfortunately my father’s girlfriend, Althea not Anthea (my dad got her name wrong and kept calling her Anthea and now it’s a funny joke) family was one of them. Three adults and one child were stranded. They managed to make a bad situation into a good one by still exploring some of the other European countries and met up with us in Amsterdam as they could join the cruise from there.

Okay back to my tour guide story. We started off at the central station and walked through the city center, making a pit stop at Primark because hello it’s Primark, before walking further into the bustling city on the hot day. We headed to the Museum park before taking a break at a small café on the side of a canal. We ended our day with a hour long canal cruise. That’s it folks. Hey I never said I was a good tour guide and there really wasn’t a lot of time to go far and show more of Amsterdam. Wait we did stop to buy cheese and take a picture of a flower decorated bicycle. Oh and we did stop at a little church in a side street. That’s about it. Nothing super fancy. Well that was unsatisfactory.

I had a great day though. I met my father’s soul mate and I can take great comfort in the fact that Althea truly loves and cares for my father. Yeah that’s about it. I’m sorry this blog isn’t that exciting but it’s now 10:30pm and I really can’t think of a fun way to milk out this tour. Maybe, it’s a miracle I didn’t burst into flames in the church? Well that’s a bad and untactful joke. Let me think of something else…we nearly got killed by a hot dog truck? Well not really. The guy came up to us and asked us to get out of the way while his buddy drove into the little area to park the truck. Heck when I say drive, he barely moved forward. Okay so that’s not anything juicy. Let me think…Okay there is honestly nothing. It was just a nice day out, getting to know each other and just walking through the city.

Before I go, here is a link to a proper website about tourist attractions in Amsterdam — http://www.netherlands-tourism.com/things-amsterdam-ultimate-top-50/

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

heart-2954170_1280

PS. I apologize for the lack of updates these last few blog days. Some things at the house took longer than what we thought so there honestly wasn’t any time to write. I will make up for it by basically low key, well not even low key, spamming you all with everything renovations related once we’re moved in. I also have a lot of great ideas that’s not related to the fact that we bought a house. I’m so excited to write them all. If I wasn’t struggling to keep my eyes open I would be writing them now.

Dutch, General Life Tips

Afrikaans Speakers Learning Dutch

I’m writing this one specially for my fellow South Africans here in the Netherlands. Specially the new ones. Now not all South Africans speak Afrikaans so this one is only for the little handful who do. Dutch is quite difficult for Afrikaans speakers because it’s so close yet so far. You can’t get away with speaking Afrikaans to a Dutch person. Yes they might follow you a little bit if you speak real slow but it’s only going to get you so far. Same goes for an Afrikaans person trying to follow a Dutch speaker. You might get a rough idea what they’re saying if they speak slow enough and they don’t have an accent but again it will only take you so far. Eventually you have to speak and learn proper Dutch.

I recommend you read these two blogs of mine as an extra or before you read this blog.

Blog number one is my experience with the big Dutch test and how to prepare for the test. I do have to add after I wrote that blog I found out I failed two of the tests (just barely) and I just wrote those two tests back in the beginning of March. They changed the program (not that much to make a difference in the content of this blog. They just upgraded the system. It’s a lot better. The speaking test was a lot easier in my opinion.)

https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/11/10/dutch-as-your-second-language-nt2/

Blog number two I give tips and tricks on how to go about learning a new language. It’s really helpful so definitely give it a read when you just started learning Dutch.

https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/11/10/how-to-learn-a-new-language/

Now let’s move on to my Afrikaans speakers. So once you’re deep into the I’m going to learn Dutch process you will probably start to talk a lot in Dutch (I definitely recommend this. It’s exhausting but it’s really going to improve your Dutch.) and you will make mistakes here and there. First of all just stay strong and if you battle with a word or how to pronounce something pause and ask for help. Here in the Netherlands when a Dutch speaker hears your broken Dutch they will switch over to English for your own comfort. I know it’s rude but they mean well. Just switch back over to Dutch and be straight forward with them. “Hey I’m trying to learn here. Help me please!” It’s not going to be easy but just keep at it. You will improve. I didn’t take this course because I felt like I was a little ahead (read I didn’t want to spend money on it) but this course looks very promising — https://www.zuidafrikahuis.nl/cursus-nederlands

The one main thing I recommend is get a little notebook you can carry around on your person to write notes in when you notice your Afrikaans mistakes that consistently slip in. I call my book: “Afrikaans oopsies!” It might sound Dutch but that’s almost never the case. The Dutch language is a special language hey. It will take a few months before you learn when to use “de, ben, zijn, heb” and etc. Alright before I share some of common mistakes I made (still make) I want to share a funny story. So we all know in South Africa a bill at the cashier is called a “slippie” well here it means G-string. It’s a “bon” here so just keep that in mind.

Amper = bijna

Basically every time you want to say “amper” stop yourself because it’s “bijna”.

Ander dag = laats

Aspris = expres

Baba = baby

Bekommerd = besorgt en ongerust

I always forget this one.

Baie warm = heet

Blameer = schuld geven

Bly = woont

Dun = small

Deurmekaar = verward

They do use “doormekaar” when someone is confused over a pack of cards. A person is “verward”.

Druip = onvoldoende of niet gehaald

Daglig = overdag

Eendag op ’n reëndag = op een dag

Eenkeur = op een keur

Ek wonder = ik vraag me af

Gunstelling = lievelings, favoriete

Hoender = kip

Gets me all the damn time.

Hardkoppig = koppig

Hartseer = verdrietig

Irreterend  = irritant

In klim = in stappen

Kombuis = keuken

“Kombuis” is a boat’s kitchen here.

Kar = auto

This one always get me. Insert rage filled scream. My trick is think of a car as an automobile. This way you remember it’ “auto” in Dutch.

Kos = eten

Kombers = deken

Kwaad = boos

Kettel = waterkoker

Kleinseerig = kleinzielig

Lekker = leuk (alleen lekker kos of lekker weertje)

Awwwh we Afrikaans speakers use “lekker” for everything. It’s the way of life. When you want to say “lekker” it’s probably not the right time to say it. It’s only correct when referring to food or when saying the term: “lekker weertje” otherwise it’s “leuk”.

Lip ice = lippenbalsem

Los my uit = laat mij met rust

Min = minder, weinig

Mince = rundergehakt

Mikrogolf = magnetron

Mat = vloerkleed

Navorsing = onderzoek

Opgewonde = heel veel zin in of enthousiast

Oomblik = ogenblik of plotseling

Partykeur = soms en afentoe

Reg = goed, klaar

Here you almost never say “reg” only when you’re talking about direction (but not really it’s “rechts” and “rechtdoor”) and the law. So I know in Afrikaans we use “reg” all the damn time – “Die kos is reg!” – but stop yourself and choose another word because it’s never “reg” when you want to use it.

Sukkel = worstel/worsteling

This one was quite funny because I was like “Ek sukkel hoor!” but yeah “sukkel” isn’t a word here. “Ik worstel om dit te doen.”

Skaars = amper

So basically as an Afrikaans speaker when you want to say “skaars” its “amper” here.

Stamp = duwen

Spasie = plaats, ruimte

Stadig = langzaam

Stort = douche

Spinnekop = spin

Skottelgoed = afwassen

Sensitief = gevoelig

Tumbledryer = droger

Terg = plagen

This is when you tease someone.

Verhouding = relatie

Vervelig = saai

Dutch speakers use “vervelend” when something bad happens or a case of bad luck.

Vinnig = snel

Verskooning = excuus

Venster = raam

Vloekwoorde = scheldwoorde

Warmwatersak = kruik

’n koek in jou hare = klitten

That’s only a few of my Afrikaans oopsies. It has really helped me because now in the back of mind I knew about these words and after a few more slip ups eventually I remember the right word for what I want to say. I wish you all the best!

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

heart-2954170_1280

PS: If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me. Ek sal jou enige tyd help waar ek kan! Lekker daggie verder!

 

Dutch, General Life Tips

Translating My First Blog Into Dutch

This upcoming week is my last full week to prepare for my second round with my Dutch test. I’m hard at work trying to study for the two tests I failed and have wracked my brain on how to incorporate my Dutch studies with my blog at least once. It’s a two birds one stone type of thing. I need to write a blog for tomorrow and I need to study. So what better way than trying to challenge myself with my Dutch writing abilities. I’m going to attempt to translate my first ever post here on my website. As I know not all of my readers can read or understand Dutch I’m going to add a little footnote of my thoughts in between parts (read sobs, rants and frustration but I will be funny about it). I will also underline what words I had to Google translate or call a friend (read ask husband). This should be interesting! Here goes!

—Body Best Friends Forever / BBFF

You are your own best friend.

What I mean with this is quite simple. When you’re feeling down in the dumps and filling your own head with negative thoughts stop yourself and ask this question: “Would I say any of this shit to my best friend?” Over my dead body honey. I will never tell my best friend they’re fat or make them feel guilty about their binge. I will never judge them for something they’ve done that I maybe don’t agree with. That’s not me so why on earth would I say any of this crap to myself?—

Licchaam Beste Vrienden Voor Altijd | BBFF

Jij is je eigen beste vriend.

Wat ik bedoelt is eigenlijk heel simpel. Als je slecht voel en je eigen hooft met negatieve gedachtes vulden, stop jezelf en vraag jezelf deze vraag: “Zal ik ooit deze slechte woorden tegen mijn beste vrienden zeg?” Oor mijn dode lichaam schatje. Ik zal nooit voor mijn beste vrienden zeg dat zij vet zijn of ze (hul?) laat schuldig voelt over een binge. Ik zal nooit ze oordeelt over iets wat hul heb gedaan wat ik misschien niet mee zaam stem. Dit is niet mij zo waarom zal ik deze slechte woorden voor mij zelf zeggen?

***

Lord that was anything but easy. I have no idea how this going but that was anything but easy. It will be curious to see how right or wrong that went…will ask Onno to rate me below…Stay tuned. That short little paragraph took me five minutes to translate. It’s nearly 11pm. Damn I’m going to be here for awhile. Okay let’s continue!

***

—When I catch myself with any negative thoughts about my body I imagine my best friend’s face and that I’m saying these words to them. In two seconds flat I’m beyond angry and over protective. I’m like oh hell to the no! Who the hell do you think you are with saying this type of bullshit to my friend? It doesn’t take me long to have a big Ahaha moment and just like that I snap myself out of the negative thoughts. I then proceed to tell myself what I would tell my best friend if they were saying these type of things about themselves.—

Als ik mijzelf betrapt negatieve dingen over mijn lichaam denken dan zal ik mijn beste vriendin voorzinnen en mijzelf zien deze woorden voor haar zeggen. In twee seconden ben ik boos en over beschermend op haar. Ik was net nee, net een groot vet NEE. Wie denk je is je om deze onwaar en negatieve woorden voor mijn beste vrienden te zeggen? Dit neemt mij niet zo lang om een goot Ahaha moment te hebben en zo snap ik mijzelf uit de slechte gedachtes. Ik zal dan doorgaan voor mezelf te zeggen wat ik voor mijn beste vrienden zal zeggen als zij deze woorden over zijzelf (ze?) zeggen.

***

Over protective was difficult to translate into Dutch. Husband got stumped and we had to Google. It really wasn’t as hard but hey it’s late and our brains are currently fried. I doubted so many things while attempting to translate this one but I’m somehow got through this one. I also feel that I cheated a little bit because Google translate saved the day twice although I only added one extra letter. Licchaam is lichaam. Negatiewe is negatieve. I’m learning hey! Which was the purpose of this post. I wanted to work on my Dutch and write a blog post. Two birds one stone remember. Is this even entertaining for you all?

***

—“I’m fat.” Fat is just a substance in your body and guess what without fat you won’t be alive. So what if you carry a little extra fat? You are soft and great to cuddle with.

“I’m ugly.” No honey those thoughts are ugly. You are anything but ugly. You are a wonderful human being so don’t you dare dill your sparkle.

“I’m a horrible person.” Are you kidding me? Serial killers, child molesters, rapist and puppy kickers are horrible people.

“I ate two chocolate bars. I basically ate all my hard work away.” What type of chocolate was it?

So snap out of it. Look at yourself in the mirror and repeat after me.—

“Ik is vet.”  Vet is alleen een inhoud wat in je lichaam en raad eens zonder vet kan je niet leven. Zo wat als je een beetje extra vet om je buik dragen? Je is zag en geweldig om mee te knuffel.

“Ik is lelijk.” Nee schatje deze gedachtes is lelijk. Jij is enige behalve lelijk. Jij is een wonderlijke persoon zo je durf niet om je fonkeling te doffen.

“Ik is een verschrikkelijk persoon.” Grap je? Seriemoordenaars, kinderen molesters, rapits en hond schoppers is verschrikkelijke personen.

“Ik heb twee een chocola reepjes gegeten. Ik heb eigenlijk al mijn harde werk weg gegeten.” Wat zoort chocola was dit? Was dit lekker?

Zo snap uit dit! Kijk jezelf in the spiegel en herhaald na mij.

***

Damn that was hard. My brain is fried at the moment but I’m almost there. Onno is questioning my constant what is this word in English but it’s too fun to write this without him knowing. I must say this is challenging but I’m getting there. Let’s get through this last part! I’m just too excited to find out how I did. I want to see my rating!

***

I’m WORTHY!

I’m BEAUTIFUL!

I’m FABULOUS!

I’m AWESOME!

I’m a magical unicorn…

Ik is waardig!

Ik is beeldschoon!

Ik is fabelachtig! 

Ik is geweldig!

Ik is een magische eenhoorn 

*** 

I laughed so hard when i looked up what’s fabulous in Dutch. It’s hilarious. Unicorn in Dutch is also pretty funny. It makes me think of a squirrel and I just couldn’t stop imagining a little squirrel with his mouth stuffed full or nuts and wearing a pink sparkling tutu and homemade DIY unicorn horn. It’s magical. Now for the moment I waited since the beginning. My grade!

Drum roll please…

“Cassandra did very well! I was very curious what was happening behind me with all the questions…Of course there is small area’s to improve in but most of it is smaller details. I give her 8+ out of ten!”

grade

Insert happy squeal! I’m feeling quite proud of my score! I’m getting better! Pretty soon I will be writing long novels in Dutch (not really) but it’s a skill I need. Dutch is after all the main language in my new home country. Oh the test is on the 7th of March so think of me on that day! Hold your thumbs please!!!

Oh here is the link to the original post if you want to give it a read without my Dutch translations. It was quite nostalgic to read it again. — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/08/09/body-best-friends-forever-bbff/

I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

heart-2954170_1280

 

Dutch, General Life Tips

Dutch As Your Second Language | NT2

This post is for everyone who wants to take the test to officially make Dutch your second language. As some of you might know, if you want to live and make a life inside of the Netherlands eventually you will have to get that certificate. I need it for my future studies and job.

I wrote all four tests on the 1St of November and the 2nd of November 2017 and there is a few things I wished I knew before I went in.

Writing

The thing I found the most difficult with this test was the subjects. There is two parts, each part has six questions. You will get different emails or short letters you will have to finish. They will give you guidelines as in write about this and that. You don’t get a spell check but you do get access to a dictionary (your own). I just found it difficult to fill in the blanks as the subjects are so random. They definitely test to see how quick you’re on your feet. It’s not that horrible, just keep an open mind. They do say it can be fantasy so it’s not the end of the world. I’m just a writer so I want everything to be a certain way and flow so that’s why I found the test difficult and frustrating. They also give you a word limit. That is hell to me. How can I possibly limit myself to 150 words? I can write 200 words in five minutes.

Speaking

The entire test was pure panic. I freeze up when someone puts me on the spot and that’s basically what the test did. They give you a few seconds to think about the question and then BEEP Speak as quickly as you can to say everything you have to say and don’t forget proper Dutch and pronunciation! Oh and don’t forget that grammar! BEEP Oh I really hope you said everything you had to? Oh you didn’t? Well that’s too bad. It was just pure panic for me. I would freeze up and to be honest I’m not sure what language I was speaking in the end but I somehow got through it. It was hell. I will be honest. What was so funny was before the test I was most worried about being able to speak with 30 other students in the classroom. How funny. I guess a way to prepare for this test is to test yourself in a similar setting. Get random questions or subjects where you have to give your own opinion on it. Then time yourself with reading the question, processing the question and thinking of your response and finally time your response. Record your response so you can hear it back and see where you went wrong.

Reading

This test was the easiest one for me. You basically get different articles with a few questions on them. You then have to choose between A, B, C, D. There is no tricks to it. You have all the test time to complete it so there is no pressure or rush.

Listening

Oh, the boredom. Honestly this one made me want to bang my head against the table. Basically you listen to a few people speaking while being interviewed. The interviewer ask questions and then you have to hear the answer that fits with your A, B, C, D choice. They give you more than enough time between every questions. Unfortunately if you know your answer in the first five seconds after listening to the interview you have to wait a minute if not more before you can move on to the next question. This drove me up against a wall. Honestly a sea turtle could be born, live 100 years and then die and you would still be waiting for the next question.

***

If you study hard enough and your Dutch is at a high level than all of these tests would be a breeze in the park.

Good luck and ‘Succes’!

 

Dutch, Story Time

I Spoke Dutch For A Week | Third Language

I decided to attempt a full week in my third language as that last little boost before my language test. It was quite an interesting learning experience and definitely helped to improve my skills in the language. Here is how it went.

Monday, Day 1

When I woke up I completely forget about my Dutch language promise and did the usual good morning’s with my husband. He didn’t have time to reply before my ah ha moment came and I repeated what I said in Dutch.

Goede morgen schatje. Heb je goed geslapen? | Good morning baby. Did you sleep well?

As Onno works all day I had the entire day to myself and it’s not like I talk to myself, well I do but inside my head most of the time so my Dutch really came out to play when Onno came home. I also received some disappointing news on Monday and I forced myself to tell everything that happened in Dutch instead of just throwing in the towel and switching over to English. The rest of the evening went well.

Tuesday, Day 2

It went smoothly. I remembered to speak Dutch from the get go and did just that. I made a few slip ups but you could follow me and understand what I’m trying to say. It was getting there.

Wednesday, Day 3

I started getting the hang of it, but at the same time it started getting harder to keep my concentration. I can’t really say if it’s because of all the Dutch and the level of concentration I need to speak proper Dutch, or if it was my family worries. Basically I would start speaking Dutch without any thought about it but it didn’t always end up well because my full concentration wasn’t on it.

Thursday, Day 4

Around this time I was getting a little sick and tired of it if I’m honest. It was annoying to have to concentrate and rethink every single word before you say it. Although I really can’t tell if my family worries played any factor in this. I still spoke Dutch although I was tempted to throw in the towel. Yeah. It was okay. It was difficult to keep going and try to actually speak proper Dutch and not just throw some words together.

Ate apple – Dutch when I don’t concentrate

I ate an apple – Proper Dutch when I concentrate

So you can see why I need to concentrate when I speak Dutch.

Friday, Day 5

It was a really suck-ey day and I barely spoke but the little I did speak was in Dutch so yay?

Saturday, Day 6

My normal Dutch without much concentration was improving and although my emotional state was still on the low side I was getting there. I kept to my promise by only speaking Dutch so I did have my pride to push me through my last few days.

I ate apple – Dutch when I don’t concentrate

I ate an apple – Proper Dutch when I concentrate

Sunday, Day 7

I was emotional, frustrated and just over it. I was tired of having to struggle through my sentences and conversations but I pushed through. I didn’t speak a hell of a lot but I still staid Dutch.

***

This entire week would’ve gone a hell of a lot better if my mental state was better that is clear but at the same time I still stayed true to my promise and spoke Dutch 95% of the time. 5% was when I slipped up with Onno (I would repeat myself in Dutch when I noticed) and when I spoke to family members. To explain a little, my father heard he had to go under the knife and since I’m so far away…well it’s really nerve wracking. It feels horrible to be so hopeless. I tried to stay positive but it was difficult because I knew my father needed me, I could hear it in his voice but I couldn’t physically go to him and help him. It hurts and it will never stop hurting. You always want to support and help your parents. Onno and I did step in and tried to help where we can but yeah there is only so much you can do when you’re on the other side of the world. I’m still proud of my progress I made this week. I started picking up on my most frequent mistakes and now that I know them I can try to nip it in the bud. It still slips out and it grind my gears but I almost always pick it up and fix my mistake.

For all my Dutch readers this one is for you. So my most frequent mistake that basically slips out every two minutes is “reg”. Now in Afrikaans this word can mean many things; right (you’re right) and ready. But in Dutch you won’t ever use the word in that context and that’s when I run into a wall. It’s GOED en KLAAR. I’m repeating this for myself for a little extra reminder. It’s only “reg” when it’s “regs” for turn right or when you’re talking about the law. It’s honestly the finer details that always gets me.

I’m learning slowly but I’m definitely getting there. I won’t rate myself as being fluent in Dutch but if I have to score myself then I would give myself 8,5 out of 10. My biggest hurdle I need to surpass is my confidence when speaking Dutch with complete strangers. If someone puts me on a spot I get nervous and my Dutch comes out all poop-ey and if a stranger does this it just gets ten times worse. I even struggled to speak Dutch to my mother in law the first time. I just get so embarrassed. It’s something I’m sure will pass and I’m sure once I get my results it will give me a big boost of confidence. That and when I start my job I will just have to get used to it. I’m more nervous about getting a job and speaking understandable Dutch the entire day with so many strangers than my big language test. All well. I just have to put my head in the game and get it done.