About a month ago I said that I was going to learn (some) Dutch in time for Castlefest. I had wanted to learn Dutch for quite some time and it seemed a great excuse to attempt it. Dutch also seemed possible to attempt as I’d been able to understand bits through my previous German and English knowledge, and with practice, I’d learned to understand even more.
The second part of a medley from ‘3 Musketiers’, the first song in it being the
first thing I ever heard in Dutch. See, musicals do really run my life.
However, when attempting to speak the language I quickly became disheartened. This is the worst thing that can happen with a language. I am a big believer in the fact that, if you want to learn a language because you love it then it will happen. If you don’t love that language then you are going to be hitting your head against a brick wall.
My main problem came from the fact that the ‘different’ sounds in Dutch were sounds that I hadn’t really encountered before and, learning alone, it’s hard to work out if you are doing it right or even good enough. The main problem I had was with the ‘g’ sound, and I don’t think I’m alone with this. I can listen to it a million times but, when trying to say it, I sound like either a furious cat or a slowly deflating balloon. Neither sound is particularly conducive to making friends in the language!
It didn’t take me too long to realise that I was probably just rushing myself. By using my trip as an excuse I had also given myself a deadline and this is not the way I work. The deadline made it even worse when I encountered an issue and made everything a lot harder. Suddenly, learning Dutch, something I had wanted to do, turned into a chore that I simply wanted to avoid. Whoops.
So now I’m going to focus on doing what I do best… I’m going to watch musicals (in Dutch) and maybe try and pick up some words. I’m going to re-find my enjoyment, keep going, and see what I can do.
On the bright side, it gives me an excuse to go to the Netherlands again next year to practice.
And because you can never have too much Pia in one post!
Mijn leven is van mij (Ich gehör nur mir), from Elisabeth.