Sisterhood of The World Award!

sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award1So picture this if you can…I’m there in my kitchen taking a fresh batch of vanilla cupcakes out of the oven (I’ve become some what of a domesticated goddess as of late, I blame the Great British Bake Off) and I get an email notification that the lovely Miss Charlene Spillane has commented on my latest blog post nominating me for The Sisterhood Of The World Award.  Two things came to my mind instantly 1) I was so pleased that she had read my post and liked it and 2) I was confused I’ve never heard of this Sisterhood-thing before but was intrigued.

I started my blog on August 1st 2014. I started it really for myself as a way to mark off milestones in my Dutch language and for an outlet to ramble on and on about all think Dutch. Charlene, i think, was my first ever follower and most definitely the first person to comment to me and wave a friendly hand. For anyone who hasn’t checked out her blog, why the hell not? She is currently living it up in Amsterdam (not jealous, no not one bit ;p) and self teaching Dutch too. I love reading everything she is getting up to and hope that the next time I am over in the land of Windmills and Cheese we can meet for coffee (well I don’t drink coffee but Dutch Chocomel, made with milk of course NOT water, is the best substitute).

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Nieuwe Schoenen

A topic on which I have had mIMG_5580any conversations about in English and it seems quite apt with my blog post this morning about Klompen . This section was a discussion in a shoe shop with Marcel en de verkoopster. Again it is a great vocabulary builder as I have covered ordering things and buying things in a shop but this section puts it into more of a conversational way. There are useful little phrases throughout. The Dutch seem to list facts about what they want rather than express prose at great lengths. Here is an example:


Other useful sentences from it include:

Ik heb hier dat model in uw maat – I have that style in your size

Mag ik die meteen even proberen? – Can I try them on right now?


The Dutch for “How do they feel?” is Hoe zitten ze? Which translates to “how do they sit?”


Dat is niet goedkoop – That is not cheap! (Definitely a phrase I need to learn and listen to!)


Followed by the classic line that has tipped me other the edge of buying yet another pair of heels I will never wear – U zult er zeker geen spijt van krijgen – You will not regret it (even though we sometimes do when they stay in the box and in the bottom of your wardrobe for months).


I’m not sure if I’ve mention the nifty little media player on the taalhuis website. The conversation is typed up and usually I rewrite it and colour in the new vocabulary but at the bottom of the page is the conversation read/acted out which is fantastic as it helps you to actually hear the new vocab rather than make it up. I’ve said many times about the difficulty of learning a language you don’t readily need being the speaking element. There is little point learning the “Maria-Dutch” when it is worlds apart from the Dutch that the rest of the world knows!


As for the Gramma and Vocabualry Training I think this section has been my favourite so far. Part 1 is combining two sentences with conjunctions. I got 7/10, I am literally ecstatic! Here’s and example:


Hij heeft weinig geld. Hij werkt hard (hoewel) = Hij heeft weinig geld hoewel hij hard werkt.IMG_5584


Part 2 is the “Odd One Out”. Which is basically self explanatory e.g.:


Rood – Groen – Kass – Blauw

Lopen – Fietsen – Rijden – Eten

Mooi – Leuk – Lekker – Lelijk


The odd ones being kass (cheese), eten (to eat) and lelijk (lilac).

I’ve had a great session today! Only 3 days until class starts, lets hope we can keep this up!



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Nou breekt m’n klomp

Klomps, Clogs, Wooden Shoes…you know you love the idea of them and I would say that pretty much everyone knows what a clog is. They are most typically Dutch and simply wonderful. Not quite sure they are 100% practical for Dutch people or for any other kinds of people however they hold a stable part of the Dutch culture just as much as tulips, windmills and cheese.IMG_0164


A klomp is a clog from the Netherlands. Klompen are whole feet clogs. I even carry one with me everyday! (Along with my Albert Heijn trolley key which doesn’t fit anything in England, Eiffel Tower Keyring and VFest Lanyard!)


The Oxford English Dictionary defines a clog as a “thick piece of wood”. They made their debut as an ‘early’ shoe centuries ago with its original invention not quiet know. In terms of Holland and The Netherlands According to
the oldest wooden shoe comes from a different dyke, the Nieuwendijk in Amsterdam in 1230 made of alder wood. We can allege that the wooden shoe in its current form has been in existence for about 800 years. – How amazing is that!

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Heb je al een fiets?

The intermediate sections is ridiculously upper level for me! The topics are obvious topics, like this one, “Heb je al een fiets?” but in a much more detail. Now I know this is obviously going to be the case and conversations will contain much more than “Dit is sen boek. Debicycle boek is blauw

Learning this way really does help with expanding the vocabulary and learning useful little sentences such as:

Ik sta nog steeds liever in de file – I would rather get stuck in traffic. (Definitely a useful one for living in the UK!)

Ik maak me wel een beetje zorgen om je – I do feel worried about you quite a bit.

Je moet ook wat ontspannen – You must relax

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Dit is Nederland

I’ve gone back to following my little online lessons. Those of you who have read many of my blog posts know I used to use a website ( for my background learning before classes start. When I went off on a mad one about Tenses and Word Order I left the work on the website to one side. So today I’ve gone back to the site and started on the intermediate pages.

It’s pretty intense and it took me a second or two there is no easy transition from beginner to intermediate believe me! When I sat back and looked at it properly I was surprised by how much I got straight away.

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My favourite bridges in The Netherlands

When I first went to The Netherlands I went with a rather limited, no completely idealess view of the country, its customs and its people. I remember being asked what I wanted to do whilst I was over there and being a little dumbstruck due to my lack of cultural awareness. After getting over the “omg its so clean and so flat” I started to take notice of the country and its little quirks. The Netherlands is basically water mad and living where I live in England its something I’ve never really had to notice. So what started off as a little joke between me and my best friend has kind of become a thing. In this post I’m going to talk about bridges. I have a thing for bridges. We even have a fluctuating league table (even I don’t really know the current status of the top 3 I’m leaving that to my Dutch counterparts!).

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Tenses Recap!

So I did a tenses recap covering the basics. I did it as an open book using my pervious notes on the “rules” etc and my trusted Dutch dictionary. I got a whopping 28 out of 35. I surprised myself! There were a few I got wrong purely through using the wrong word from the dictionary. I’ve put my little list here down below and I’ve kept my mistakes in but corrected them next to it. I did do this open book, I am nowhere near ready to be able to do this on the spot and it took me over an hour to write 35 sentences!

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