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  1. That's difficult. It just all feels natural to me, but can you give some examples on what you're stuck on, maybe I can give you some pointers. There's an article on Wikipedia, titled Subject-verb-object, which includes this interesting bit:
  2. Ah yes, the letter ij. Officially it shares its place in the alphabet with the letter y (like in telephone listings), but they're really not the same. Even though it is spelled using both the i and j together, it must be considered a single letter, which becomes apparent when it's capitalised, for example in the name of the largest lake in he Netherlands, the IJsselmeer. As for the pronunciation, I'd say it's somewhat a mix between the English A and I. Note that there also exists the ei, which is pronounced very similar, though there is a subtle difference. The ij is often called the 'long ij' and the ei then is called the 'short ei'. I would say the ei is pronounced a tiny bit 'flatter' than the ij. Ask someone to say the words hij and hei and try to hear the difference. The ei is not a single letter like the ij is, for example in the name of the city Eindhoven, you can see only the e is capitalised. And yes, there are notable differences in the pronunciation in various dialects. Some may sound rounder (more like the English I) and some sound way flatter (like a short e as in 'help').
  3. I think that's just a translation. The Dutch word werkwoord literally translated is 'work word', but the true translation is just 'verb'. We only divide verbs in the two categories weak and strong verbs. Strong verbs 'change' when used in past tense, while weak verbs stay fairly the same. For example, the verb blijven, meaning 'to stay', in past tense is bleven. You see it loses the ij, so this is a strong verb. And the verb werken (to work) in past tense is werkten, which is hardly different, so this is a weak verb.
  4. Yes, that's true. Most often, you won't really notice it, but there are some areas where it is difficult to understand.
  5. Note that in recent decades, a lot of the female forms have gone. Journalist, for example is used for both male and female journalists, same with fotograaf, schilder, bakker and muzikant. On the other hand, I noticed you left out the female form of teacher, which is lerares.
  6. Yes, the root word is 'de meid' (which of course is feminine, so it's a 'de'-word), but the meaning is slightly different. Meid can mean 'maid', as in 'room maid', but it's also used to signify the girl is more grown up. Sure, feel free to contact me, I'm interested in your progress. But I'm sure your Dutch is much better than my Spanish
  7. Daedalus

    Het words

    Thanks for this list. As a native speaker, I just know when to use de or het, and it's hard to explain why. This helps people learning Dutch a lot.
  8. Yes, Southern speech is soft like that. Southern is generally considered to be 'under the rivers'; if you look at a map of the Netherlands, you can see a row of rivers running across the country which separate the South from the rest of the country. There still are differences in the various provinces though, but especially Brabant and Limburg are known to have softer speech. It's also much closer to Flemish. Oh, and on topic, I kept meaning to add that Tulpen uit Amsterdam originally is a German song, not Dutch
  9. Small typo there, it's spelled 'meisje'. Just to clarify: 'meisje', meaning 'girl' is linguistically speaking neutral gender, because it is a diminutive word. All diminutive words are neutral, and therefore always are het words. Just like: de hond / het hondje. Notice diminutive words end in -je (sometimes -tje, depending on pronunciation).
  10. There certainly are differences. I don't know about spelling, but Flemish uses some grammatical constructions you don't hear in Netherlands Dutch. I think though, you should be fine learning Dutch and then adapting once you get to Belgium. Actually, it is similarly true in England. I just learnt plain English in school, but now I live in North England, I do notice differences in speech. But I adapt automatically, just stay in frequent touch with the local population and you'll pick it up.
  11. I understand what you mean, Jay. It just sounds weird. It doesn't sound as poetic as English songs. And when musicians do try to be poetic, it's still weird, people call it pretentious and try to find everything that's wrong with it (example: by Abel). And I must say, now that I'm living in the UK for nearly two years, whenever I'm back in The Netherlands, the language as a whole just sounds a bit weird. Not as subtle or flowing. Tulpen uit Amsterdam is a classic and a tourist favourite of course Do you still dislike it when it's played on street organs, without the lyrics? Btw Trellum, that song I posted in this reply is what Dutch from the South of the Netherlands sounds like. There's still different accents in that, but you can mainly tell by the way the letter 'G' is spoken, much softer than in the North.
  12. Daedalus


    Feel free to start a small talk topic in here if you want. It would be a good thing to have, I think, as you'd probably use it the most in everyday life.
  13. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your time and you managed alright with Dutch so far. Keep us updated
  14. Yes, I think that might be true, although it differs from person to person. But I do think Dutch people are more direct than British. Especially if they're originally from Amsterdam. But it's not always meant rude, so try not to feel strange about it. I think it's considered more rude, sneaky and shrewd when people are not direct when insulting someone. Think of like in films bad guys say something like: "it would be a real shame if something would happen to your wife." Well, that's obviously threatening, but not direct at all. So we think that's mean. At least if they'd say "I'll kill your wife for this," they're being honest about their intentions
  15. That's a good one. It can be difficult to come up with these though. I've got another one. If you're ever in a Dutch speaking place, and someone suddenly shouts something about 'beer', don't get too excited about the prospect of having a glass of the cool, alcoholic beverage; they're likely just warning you that there's a bear on the loose.
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