Swimming is considered very important here in the Netherlands, probably because most of the country is below water level and everywhere is surrounded by canals, rivers and dikes, as well as the sea. So there is alot of water around and alot of emphasis on all children learning to swim. There is a set of... Continue Reading →
Z is for zeker, zeggen and zien. Zeker means certainly and is often used as a one word answer, or two words with yes first! Zeggen is to say and zien is to see. These are two verbs that are irregular and I often get their past tenses confused. Zaggen is saw and zeiden is... Continue Reading →
The Dutch more commonly use the dipthong IJ instead of Y. In fact as rocket boy learns to write he will be taught to write what we would recognise as a small y, but puts dots on top of both parts to make it an ij, and that's the 25th letter of the alphabet. And... Continue Reading →
W is for wellus Welus and nietus are often shouted back and forth between the children in a "yes it is", "No it isn't" fashion. I'm already tired of it and I'm sure it will continue for some years. Any tips for minimising this behaviour greatly appreciated!
V is for vervelent and verlegen These are two words which I have to really concentrate to get the right way round: vervelent is bad (as in badly behaved) and verlegen is shy. I'm sure one day I will get these the wrong way round and describe my shy child as bad!
U is for ui Ui is onion, and it's a really difficult word to say. It pluralises as uien, which is also tricky!
T is for tachtig and twijfelen Tachtig means eighty and I think that it is unique in Western European languages for the particular sounds combination that it uses. Unfortunately I can't find the details of it now. SO if anyone knows what I'm talking about please comment and let me know! Twijfelen is to doubt,... Continue Reading →
S is for stamppot Stamppot is a mashed potato dish with kale and smoked sausage, which is all cooked in one pan. Though you can get all sorts of different types of stamppot with other things added. In fact you can probably make it with whatever you fancy. Mashed potato is a Dutch staple. So... Continue Reading →