Thursday, August 4, 2016

Why I need to learn Dutch?

image of Netherlands :) 
I participated blc Dutch Summer School for 2 weeks to study Dutch in Drenthe, Northern Netherlands.

Why I learn Dutch?

I am Japanese married with Filipino.
Are there any reasons I need to learn Dutch?

One of reasons why I started to study Dutch is I currently live in Netherlands since last month.
I think it would be already enough reason to make an effort learning this.

However, if you know little bit about Netherlands, you may know I can survive by speaking only English.
Many are good English speaker here, especially people in a big city.

So, living in Netherlands wouldn't be good enough reason why I study this language.

In addition, as a Japanese national, people say it is quite good enough knowing English.

Still, I need/want to study this language because there are some reasons.

1. Acquiring information and responding immediately

In the supermarket, the cashier asks "Wilt u de bon?(Do you want your receipt?)"
In the very beginning of my stay here, I could not get what s/he said. Usually, I freeze once and blink quickly then finally I ask him or her to speak in English because I could hear only "bon". Later I learned s/he asked me whether I needed the receipt or not. Once I know it, it is very easy.

In another occasion, when I get train, the train was delayed. I wished I could get information of delay. Local people are kind and approachable, if I ask what happen, they may tell me the story. But it is good I would be the one have information and understand instead of relaying on someone.    

2. Having more fun and enjoying privilege
It is very important for me not missing any information about discount, something free...Words, in fact, I memorized very beginning of my stay were  "gratis" and "met korting". I am in the Netherlands, so I mustn't not miss these very important information.

3. Knowing Dutch people and culture more
When I was in the Philippines, it was very helpful to speak Filipino and dialect even very little. Language shapes people therefore if I know the language I may gain more knowledge about local people and their culture.
I noticed the dialect my husband speaks has more vocabularies of rice; rice just harvested, cooked rice, burn rice...these are not simply "rice"! It reflects their culture and their life. Japanese language has more vocabularies of "rain". For us, rain cannot be simply rain!

If I live here in Netherlands longer and keep on studying Dutch, the proverb or some expression make more sense to me, which leads more understanding this society.

4. Getting job
It is very practical reason.
Once I read job requirement, I see applicant must have at least NT2 level!! Hummmm, I did not expect this that much. I can, of course, avoid these jobs but if I have NT2 level, I will have more opportunities.
To be honest, my profession may not require me to learn Dutch. More on French or other UN languages such as Spanish and Arabic...but who knows..if I find the good job opportunity, then this requires Dutch language proficiency, I may miss the chance!

5. Having our common secret language
As I mentioned very beginning, I am a wife of Filipino man. We are one of numbers of international couple, use English as a means of communication.

Then, we have a problem. Everyone can understand what we are talking and even issues...if we both learn Dutch and speak in either Japan or Philippines, a few people might know our talk. We can discuss our concern without someone's presence.

6. Knowing (diplomatic) history of Japan
Centuries ago, Dutch, not English was one of the most close foreign language to Japanese. It was spoken among scholars and medical practitioners. It was diplomatic language when Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, landed Japan in 1853.
It is interesting to know Japanese at that time how they could learn Dutch/foreign language in general.

7. Always nice to learn language It is always nice to learn local language. Learning something new makes us alive. Once I learn it, no one can remove it from me :)

Lastly, based on my experience living different places, it is recommendable to learn language as early as possible. Usually once we move to new place, we are busy to know new set of things and busily process visa and so on.
Business would be great excuse not learning it. I DID not learn local languages in several places because I thought my schedule and work load were simply overwhelming. But I regret it. I could have learn even I was very busy.

It is not easy to learn new language but nice to learn.

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