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Author Topic: Immigration to the Netherlands and Learning Dutch Quickly  (Read 18248 times)
sockysockthesockman
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« on: April 25, 2012, 5:47:46 PM »

O fora my fora,

Do any of you happen to be living in the Netherlands now, or to otherwise have some sense of how the relatively new, much more stringent immigration laws affect academics?  I'm an American, which makes things significantly more difficult than if I were an EU citizen.

It's my understanding that part of this is that I would have only a year to pass a comprehensive exam in Dutch as a second language.  I pick up languages easily but have not studied Dutch before.  I could certainly get to decent Dutch in a year of immersion, but I'm sure I wouldn't sound like a native.  I'm curious to know if anyone has any inkling about whether decent would be good enough for the Staatsexamen NT2 (Program II).
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ronnimichelle
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2012, 11:47:03 AM »

We moved to the Netherlands in 2004 for my partner to work at a Dutch university. He taught in English. The university sent him to what was widely referred to as "the nuns" -- a hardcore two week immersion course in Breda on the grounds of an old convent. He went into the nuns fluent in German & English and came out pretty proficient in Dutch, too. It didn't take him long to catch on.

At the university, and in his department, They may have had some meetings in Dutch, but in personal exchanges, the Dutch always switched to English. I don't know if he would have eventually had to teach in Dutch. My overall impression of the experience is that most non-Dutch learn Dutch, but that English is okay, at least for a while, and you will be fine as long as you put some effort into learning Dutch -- which is actually made more difficult by the Dutch people's English proficiency and tendency to switch every conversation to English.
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outtahere
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2012, 5:27:32 AM »

I am in the Netherlands working at a university now.    Ronnimichelle is right about personal exchanges.  Most people will always talk to you in English, even if you learn Dutch.  The nuns in Breda are the most common way to learn dutch (though I didn't do that).  Make sure your university will pay for that.   

I should note that I haven't taken the NT2 (for daily life) or NT1 exam (for universities, translators, etc.).  Most of my teaching is in English, but I also teach in Dutch.  To get Dutch citizenship, you have to pass the NT2 exam (but you also have to give up your American passport unless you're married to a Dutch citizen).  Generally they give you 2 years to learn Dutch, but I HIGHLY recommend immersing yourself right away.


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alpha_bet
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Posts: 274


« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2012, 6:22:56 PM »

... because eventually, oh sockeysockthesockman, if you stay long enough, you're going to need to write things like (10-page) reports on theses to committees and all other assorted bureaucratic types of things... all in impeccable Dutch (believe me, Google translate will not be your friend there) ... and sooner than you think!
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dickturnip
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2013, 5:08:49 PM »

I am flemish, so dutch is my first language.

Since TV shows and movies are never overdubbed here, but always subtitled,
most dutch-speaking people also speak relatively fluent english.
However, they have a (sometimes annoying) tendency
to start conversating in english with foreigners if their dutch is not tht good.
You'll always have to stand your ground and make it clear you wnt to speak dutch.
It's easier to learn native languages in countries were most people only know a single language.

But if you DO learn dutch, you will get a lot of respect from everybody...
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promovenda
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2013, 9:13:55 PM »

I am flemish, so dutch is my first language.

Since TV shows and movies are never overdubbed here, but always subtitled,
most dutch-speaking people also speak relatively fluent english.
However, they have a (sometimes annoying) tendency
to start conversating in english with foreigners if their dutch is not tht good.
You'll always have to stand your ground and make it clear you wnt to speak dutch.
It's easier to learn native languages in countries were most people only know a single language.

But if you DO learn dutch, you will get a lot of respect from everybody...


I'm American, but have lived and worked in both Flanders and Holland.  I speak Dutch. Dickturnip is absolutely right. Many Dutch-speakers will switch to English, which makes it hard to practice. Take a good course of Dutch for a year (there are some in every urban area - ask your colleagues or other expats for recommendations), and be absolutely hard-nosed about speaking in the Dutch you know to practice, even if native speakers switch to English (or even complain about your lack of speaking fluency!). You will be able to pass the Staatsexamen, and when you speak Dutch well the native speakers will give you additional respect.
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"You're a wonderful bartender, Promovenda.  The hamster bestows one of his special nibbles on your ear."
oldfullprof
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Representation is not reproduction!


« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2013, 10:23:59 PM »

I'm fairly fluent in German, as well as English.  I found studying Dutch hard because the resemblances to the other two kept blocking the Dutch out.  But I've never spoken it with Dutch folks, just studied it here at home. 

I was gratified that virtually every German I met on the trip I just took was delighted to speak German with me.  It didn't used to be this way.
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