Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Hmm, Watcha’ Say?

Posted at: 14 Nov 2018 | Student Affairs

As soon as you arrive in Amsterdam you are confronted with the local language, which seems to be a mixture of English and German. But don’t worry, most of the locals have a good command of English, and you might even understand some Dutch words right from the beginning. However, you will feel a difference if you approach them even with a little Dutch. In other words, you don’t have to, but you can try to pick up the language.

The AUAS offers a so-called “Dutch Survival Course” for all those students who are eager to learn the basics. The lecture starts with simple phrases such like “Goedemorgen” (Good morning) and “Hoe heet je?” (What’s your name?), continuing with counting to ten and spelling your name correctly. It is getting more complex when you start talking about the structure of a sentence and conjugating verbs, but once you understand the system behind it, you will improve your skills quickly.

The aim of the course is to prepare you to handle normal daily chats in Dutch. It takes place once a week and the best thing is, you don’t need to worry about money, because it is all for FREE! Nice, right?

Obviously, another and the best way to improve a language is just going out on the street and talking to the locals. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes as most really appreciate your enthusiasm about learning Dutch and will help you. It is also not wrong asking them to explain individual words you don’t understand or even to speak slower. This seems a bit difficult in the beginning, but will make you feel more confident after a while, until conversations in Dutch become normal to you. You just have to try it out!

You may be asking yourself now whether the whole effort for such a short stay is worth it at all? Well, it is all about your personal interests in learning a new language. Not only are people more open to you, but also it can help you to connect more easily with your local fellow students.

Nevertheless, it is also no problem and you will have a great time as well when you decide to speak English during your stay. It is all up to you whether you give it a go or not!

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