#dutch, 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, Dutch, General Life Tips

How To Learn A New Language

There is four parts to the process of becoming relatively fluent in a language. There is writing, speaking, reading and listening. As some of you might know for the last few months I’ve been actively studying the Dutch language. I would rate myself an 8 out of ten in all of those 4 parts meaning I know my stuff when it comes to learning a language. Before I share this knowledge with you I do want to state very clearly that learning a new language isn’t easy and will take some time. It will also come with quite a few frustrations but give it time. You will get there.

The perfect place to start is listening. Listen to the radio and watch movies where the language is the only language. I would recommend kid movies with English subtitles to start off with. The more you hear the language the better. Some words will start to stick in your brain and the language will stop sounding so strange and different as you familiarize yourself with it on a daily basis.

Speaking is the next up on line. Now that you’ve heard the language and have familiarized yourself with the basics you can start speaking it. The best possible thing would be for you to speak out loud with people of that native language so they can correct and help you with your pronunciation but otherwise just follow along with movies. The more you speak in this language and the more you practice your pronunciation the better it would be. Don’t worry about grammar and all that jazz. You will pick that up with time and the reading and writing part will help a lot.

Reading pretty much can go in hand with speaking and writing. I read kid novels out loud with someone of the native language where I concentrated on pronouncing the words correctly and also learning new words as I go. Thus not only did I widen my knowledge inside the language I also practiced the speaking part. It’s a win, win.

Writing is the last part. I started off by rewriting a kids novel. This taught me to recognize the grammar more and get used to writing the language. Also by writing the words down, reading those words before you write it just hammers down the language even more. Once I felt my level was high enough where I could write on my own I found 101 conversation starters online and would answer these questions in Dutch. You can do this by answering this question out loud as if talking to someone or writing it down as being interviewed. This was a brilliant practice that really took my Dutch to another level.

All in all you really just need to give yourself time to learn the language. You won’t be fluent and perfect overnight. Just take on day at a time and keep trying. Best of luck!

***

PS I want to be fluent in five languages and I’m currently on number three. The most difficult language I want to learn is Japanese. I think the next language is a tossup between French, Spanish or Italian. I can’t choose yet. I’m definitely going to give myself more time before I jump in with another language. Learning a new language can be quite exhausting. Best of luck!!

PS. For all of my fellow friends that want to ace the Dutch as a second language test; I wrote a blog just for you! Here is the link: https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/11/10/dutch-as-your-second-language-nt2/