23.1.13

Spreek je Nederlands?



Wat is jouw voornaam en familienamm? 
{Lana McCoy}
Dag Lana. Hoe gaat het (met jou)?
. . . 
Begrijp jij het?
{Huh?!}
Begrijp jij het?

. . . . 


Are you completely lost?! Yeah, me too! 
Welcome to the confusion of my #1 New Years resolution! Chris and I finally received our Belgian residency papers! Well, I suppose that's not entirely true; Chris has his papers (I'm still in the midst of the TEDIOUS residency process) which means we were able to enroll in Dutch classes! Yippie!

Last night, we walked to our first language class, expecting an orientation in English and a really slow transition back into the classroom. No such luck! I felt like I was back at Middlebury College, immersed in a mind-numbing Russian (only) language course. 
The Dutch teacher did not use one word of English. 
Not one. 
Three hours of Dutch (only). 
Are we ready for this?!
For a second I thought we were in the wrong classroom. "We're signed up for Dutch 101 . . . "
We were completely lost, but exactly where we were supposed to be. 
We sat in a room with 25 students from Spain, Tunisia, Palestine, Bulgaria, Poland, Senegal, Romania, Brazil and Portugal, and we were all speaking the same language - very elementary Dutch and international pantomime.

As Chris and I walked home, we laughed about how wrong our expectations were. The reality is, there's no better way to learn a language than to 100% immerse yourself. We may be in over our heads, but we are going to do all that we can to tackle this new challenge. 

. . . . 

Today, I started sticking sticky notes all over the house to help us learn new vocabulary. 

Koelkast = refrigerator
plafond = ceiling
bord = plate
mes = knife
schoenen = shoes
paraplu = umbrella

and so on, and so on . . . 

Whenever Chris opens another cupboard or drawer, he'll be faced with the Dutch word for cup (beker/kop) or underware (ondergoed).

 I think I may turn this into a game!