Category Archives: in learning Nederlands


This is the Dutch word for pet insurance.

It makes sense now that I know more Dutch words, but it’s still a mouthful. Sheesh!


I had to buy some material yesterday.

After making my selections, I approached the woman across the large cutting table and handed her my bolts.

Then added: “Ik spreek alleen een beetje Nederlands.”  (I only speak a little Nederlands.)

She looked at me, smiled (phew! this is always a tenuous situation for me as I have had mixed responses to this small utterance) and said: “Wat is uw eigentaal?” …………….. Yay! I know what this means!! (What is my mother tongue?)  “Engels,” I replied.

“Well, we can speak English if you like.”

“Dank u, maar ik zal spreken Nederlands.” (Thank you, but I will (try to) speak Nederlands.)

As she was cutting my material, she said to me, “Uw Nederlandse klinkt goed.” (Your Dutch sounds good) MY DUTCH SOUNDS GOOD!!!!!!

“Oh, DANK U WEL!!!” (Thank you so much.)

She said in English, “Your few words sound like a Dutch person.”

I was beaming, to say the least.

First friend date

Even though I have been here for over a year and a half, today was my first new friend date! After our Dutch class, Feli and I went for coffee in the city. Feli is from Romania and has a similar story as me, coming here for our fellas. 

It is very strange for me to have not made friends with people already as I have when I lived in other countries, but the difference here has been that I live amongst the boers (farmers) and have not been involved in many social situations. It is so nice to have made a nice friend now!!! Yay!!!

Neighbour has pumpkins!


Our neighbour does this every year. She leaves a little cash box outside with the various squashes and people put their money in and take a pumpkin. She sometimes has free cucumbers.

Mini mole

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Moley, moley. Rudy had this poor little guy cornered…so I saved him.


  • Jon says this is a shrew, not a mole
  • Machiel says the Dutch word for shrew (spitsmuis) translates to pointy mouse hahahaaa

Ik ben een vrwouw, ik ben geen bloemkool.

I am a woman, I am not a cauliflower.

in learning the Dutch language…

The Dutch letter IJ and other fun language stuff

The Dutch alphabet (equally for the Netherlands and Belgium; there is only one standard language and one alphabet) has 26 letters. The last three letters are x, y, z. In many Dutch primary schools they are taught it as x, ij;  the y —when spelling— is called “Griekse y” (= “Greek y”), but pronounced “Griekse ei”, or just “ij”. Also “i-grec”, which is a French loan. This may be because the example IJsbeer (polar bear) is easy to understand for six-year-olds, but words that start with a Y are invariably difficult and learned naturally.

So, not  only do I have to contend with additional (IJ) and sometimes-nonexistent letters (y), I have to roll my Rs, make hairball noises with Gs and CHs, differentiate between gender and neutral nouns and take a deep breath before pronouncing the endless string of  single words, like arbeidsongeschiktheidsverzekering (unemployment insurance). And how about nine consonants in a row: slechtstschrijvend (worst writing)?!


GACK! Ik ben Renée Lamoureux. That is my biggest sentence in Dutch. My class today was fun and I did learn, but mostly it was me staring and being handy for the “English word for it”. Today we did antonyms:

zon                    maan

kort                   lang

They said I should write down the words I don’t know (‘But I don’t know how to spell them’, I cried inwardly). I don’t know if it’s a hang up or a legitimate way of learning, but I can’t seem to recognize or remember a Dutch word if I don;t see how it is spelled. For instance, they said ‘liefde’, which I shrugged my shoulders at…then the opposite word ‘haten’. Then they said “love” and I blurted out, “Ahhhhhhh, liefde! I knew that.” But if I had seen the spelling, I would have known right away.

I think I tromped all over some of the other words, like: lijdelijk and eeuwig/vast, giereig and gul, verwaarlozen and verzorgen. *sigh* it’s usually those dame Gs!

M says it’s better for me to learn this way (the not-having-to-know-how-everything-is-spelled way) because I will recognize the spoken word rather than relying on JUST how it is spelled and what I perceive to be the correct pronunciation. He ~might~ be on to something, but it terrifies me. It’s like jumping into the pool without my water wings!

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