Monday, 16 August 2010

Talking Double Dutch: Attempting to conquer a hard language

Speaking Dutch (or trying to learn it) has been my main obstacle since living here.
I find that I am too long in the tooth - and unknowledgeable in the truth - to be learning another language and trying to use it in my everyday usage and context. This has left me feeling momentarily frustrated, dejected and an overall failure! I'm a person who loves to communicate and when I am not understood or there is no clarity, I can sometimes lose my sense of balance and act a bit strange!
I mean, I have had some Dutch folk nod sympathetically with me and even emphasise with me about the difficulties of learning Dutch. They've even admitted it that speaking the language is very hard and takes a while. How's that for a vote of confidence for my fragile ego?
Because I do not speak Dutch fluently or even hardly, it is impossible to get a job in my field as a counsellor. And before a thought bubble is formed, my husband is not from Holland - he is also a transplant from another country - Dominica in the Caribbean; his Dutch is not very fluent. He has tried to speak to me in Dutch, but he's given up!
When I first got to Holland, I took the proverbial bull by the horns eager to immerse myself in the language, the culture and surroundings. However, I don't think that the Dutch population have been too exuberant towards me, I guess due to my twisting up of Dutch syntaxes and the mangling of Dutch pronounciations. But I tried, I really, really tried!
I searched and researched free online language resources - there are so many out there; I just used my new best friend 'Google' to utilise my Dutch searching abilities and the world of free websites and resources opened up like Aladdin's treasure trove. I discounted paying for any language course as my husband's budget was tight. I mean, I'm trying not to look at all of this as a failure - as I see this as a victim's option - but I feel that I am constantly swimming upstream and being passed on the way by the bigger fish out there in Dutch Land.
So, I guess it is back to the drawing board and back to my online language learning resources. Oh, and a large dosage of optimism to keep my Dutch tongue alive and kicking.
Tot Ziens!


  1. I hear ya. I just had one class and boy oh boy, this will be a big battle. But I'm not worried. I think it actually takes time and that may be longer than we want.

    It's too bad that the intensive courses aren't cheaper because it sucks that you can't work in your field. :P

  2. I know:( And that is where my frustrations lie...
    Trying to do my utmost best, as I don't see failure being my option! lol