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About drpiggledy

  • Rank
    Language Newbie


  • Currently studying
  • Native tongue
  • Fluent in
    English, Dutch
  1. A dictionary app? I know, it's not what you're asking for. I don't know of any apps such as you describe but I've found that at more advanced levels the best way to improve vocabulary is to read a lot and then look up every single word I'm not certain of the meaning of. The conscious act of looking up a definition really helps to make it stick in my mind. Also, I don't know about you but I tend to skip over words I'm not certain of rather than loom them up unless I tell myself to do it and make the effort. Using a dictionary app as opposed to the traditional book does really speed the proc
  2. I've recently downloaded this app, as I wanted something on my android tablet to help me study English grammar. It was made by UCL, University College London, so you know it's from a reputable source. There's a free version which will let you try out a good portion of the course for free, and the paid version is very reasonable. Though interactive, I find that it's really just a grammar in the traditional sense. Not that much different from, a book. I'm impressed by it and am finding it a great help in improving my understanding of English grammar, but it's really lacking the option to boo
  3. It's great to see that there's a few of us here. And very interesting that we all seem to be living abroad! A Dutch language thread would be great. Aphex, the struggling for words thing is very familiar. Whenever I'm back visiting I always have some issues making the switch back to Dutch. Though since my daughter was born I use Dutch a lot more again (seeing as I'm speaking only my native language to her). Of course, it's not a high level of Dutch, speaking to a toddler. The word no features a lot, more than anything.
  4. I've got two kids. I speak Dutch to them (my native language), my husband his native English. Once they go to school they'll also learn Irish from primary level. My eldest, at 18 months, is just starting to talk. She uses a mixture of Dutch and English words. For example, she will say 'hap', the Dutch for bite, when she wants food, but 'juice' when she wants a drink. Her doll is the Dutch pop, but on her feet she wants shoes. She also uses a few words that sound mostly the same in both languages, such as book. I find this fascinating. It's like she doesn't even realise that mammy and daddy
  5. Interesting point you raise about translations. I've no qualifications or training translating, but in my academic work I've had to translate a lot (thousands!) of documents from Dutch to English. To be honest, I often felt I was just muddling along, without having a real clue as to what I was doing. Given the purpose of the translations, what I've been doing is mostly been trying to translate true to meaning. Of course, often I'd first be transcribing from a difficult to read handwriting, then translating the source text from Early Modern Dutch to modern Dutch, before translating into Engli
  6. I am often embarrassed that I cannot speak, understand or read Irish. It is a bit silly of me, as many Irish people barely speak the language, and no one expects a foreigner to learn, no matter how long they've lived here. Still, my husband speaks Irish very well, his father grew up in an Irish speaking family, and my in laws are from am area where Irish is still spoken a good bit. Also, there's so many signs and things that are at least bilingual. It frustrates me not being able to read them even though I can get by with English perfectly well, obviously. It is high on my to do list, to l
  7. Nog andere Nederlandstaligen hier? Any other native Dutch speakers around? Would love to chat to some of you, as living in an English speaking country for the last seven years I have begun to realise my Dutch is getting a bit rusty, especially in writing. Or, for anyone who has a question for a Dutch speaker, please feel free to shoot. I'd be more than happy to help if I can!
  8. I've also found that learning other languages has helped me understand my own native language better. I'm Dutch, fluent in English, have a good working knowledge of French and German and have done some Latin as well. Despite their differences, I find it fascinating that words and even expressions sometimes occur across all of those. With English and Dutch, in particular, I find sometimes that essentially the same word will have a subtly different meaning. This makes me eager to learn more about etymology and the development of languages and how they have influenced each other over the years.
  9. As a bit of background, I'm a native Dutch speaker, but have been living in an English speaking country for the last seven or so years. I also completed my postgraduate education here, which means I wrote a 100.000 word dissertation in English. This was an interesting experience. There is a definitive difference between speaking/reading the language at (near) native level, using it in writing in an informal manner, and having to write to a high professional and academic standard. Obviously, in academic work it is crucial to use excellent spelling and grammar. That could be challenging, as it
  10. The first book I ever tread in English was one of Ronald Dahl's works. I cannot remember which one now. I always had my nose in a book as a child and eventually I ran out of things to read in our small local library. They had some children's books in English as well. I had already read the book in translation, and had been learning English in school for a few months. I figured I might as well give it a shot and struggled my way through. I've learned most about English from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. I read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings in English as a teenager. Then I met my husband
  11. I'm a native Dutch speaker myself, so I'm perhaps not the best qualified person to answer this. However, my husband, who is a native English speaker, says he was indeed able to pick up Dutch much quicker because he already had a good working knowledge of German. He wasn't fluent in German though. The two languages have the same root, and a lot of vocabulary and grammar are indeed similar. So I would say that being fluent in German will give you a definitive advantage in learning Dutch. The biggest issue people seem to have when learning Dutch is finding natives to practice with. Even thou
  12. Hi all, I'm a Dutch person, but have been living in Ireland for over seven years now. Married a local and everything, and now use English more than my native tongue. I like to claim I'm fluent in English at this stage, but at the same time I continue studying the language. I find that my understanding of the finer points of English grammar still escape me, and my vocabulary is still expanding every day. At the same time I've been wanting to learn more Irish as well. I've picked up some of the basics, but it is so different from anything else I've ever done that it is difficult. I also le
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