Woordenboek Woensdag

… Otherwise known as Dictionary Wednesday.

Thanks to Mer for the suggestion. I’ll try to do a post each woensdag about some Dutch word or phrase that I’ve recently learned or found amusing or interesting.

Melissa asked how I get along with the Dutch language and I must be honest and say that my Dutch isn’t so hot. I don’t have to go through the integration program, which means I haven’t taken language classes here. I suspect I’d get a lot further if I did; self-study can be frustrating and hard to stick with. I do want to learn, though; it’s important to me. I know I’d feel much more confident. Not being able to speak confidently is bringing out the shyness that I’ve tried to get rid of over the years.

Sometimes the simplest words can be the hardest to remember or keep straight. Ironically, the words for easy and difficult are two that I’ve frequently gotten confused. It doesn’t help that they’re somewhat similar. Makkelijk (easy) and moeilijk (difficult) came up fairly early on in my studies, yet when it came time to use one of them in a sentence in real life, I’d forget which is which.

Fortunately, I have Dutch friends who have been happy to help me with some of my language quandaries. A few weeks ago, I was quizzing one of my friends on some of the language questions that had popped into my head earlier that day. In the midst of the conversation, I was reminded of my trouble keeping makkelijk and moeilijk straight. Usually, I try to find some sort of word or sound association to help me, but I’d been having trouble with these. As I was thinking about it, though, I realized that moeilijk is “harder” to say as a non-native speaker. Voila! I had a word association to help me! (Hey, I’ll take an association wherever I can find one!) Does that make it easier to remember makkelijk? No, not really, but having one become easier to remember has inadvertently made it easier to remember the other.

Hopefully next week I’ll have something a bit more interesting to write about. I guess I’ll have to do some more studying in order to find something! See what I’m willing to do to keep you guys entertained and reading? 😉

6 thoughts on “Woordenboek Woensdag

  1. I have got makkelijk and moeilijk mixed up so many time. It’s a dangerous one to get mixed up. Before you know it you could accidentally agree to do something when you really meant to say it was too hard to do.

  2. Having a Dutch friend to work with is invaluable. I have been struggling with the “W” sound lately: the books say to pronounce it ‘v’ while the tapes have it as ‘w’. I got a list of words starting with w and just sat down with a friend for half an hour to work through it.

    I gauge progress by how long it takes shopkeepers to switch over to using English (I don’t know whether I’m measuring their powers of observation or their tolerance, though)

    • I recently ran into some confusion with the W, too. That was the last sound I expected to have trouble with!

      It’s still a matter of bragging rights for my boyfriend and I to come home from shopping and say that we didn’t have to use English at any point. Small victories!

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