by Ruud Hisgen; Director, Direct Dutch
First published in ACCESS Autumn 2012 e-zine
Direct Dutch, one of the oldest language institutes in The Hague, explains why language learning is both a piece of cake and a tough cookie. The learning process is easy and at the same time, complex. A delicious challenge! The good news is that there is no bad news: the basics of Dutch are easy to master, especially for speakers of Germanic languages (such as English and German) and refining this mastery is great fun.
The greatest myth of all is that mastering a new language is only for those who have a linguistic talent. Nonsense. Every human creature is equipped with a mind that can communicate. All humans can make their wishes, desires, visions, fears, hopes, and intentions perfectly clear to others. In other words, we all have a talent for languages.
We need words
The other myth is that Dutch grammar is incomprehensible. The truth is that Dutch, as English, has a fairly easy set of grammatical rules. These rules are used for statements, questions, commands and other messages in present and past. The rules are so few that they can be learned in a couple of hours. Easy… However, a set of rules is not enough. We need words. And there are thousands of them. Several hundred
thousand words in fact. Not even a native speaker knows them all. Again there’s good news – successful communication can start with a few words (“Hello!” “O hi!”). For daily communication one or two thousand words will do.
Surprise yourself ! Learn a new language. Teachers at Direct Dutch will teach you to speak, and in doing so, you will gain confidence. Don’t fear failure. Practice and make as many mistakes as you possibly can. Be proud of them. For without mistakes there is no learning. Try and try again. And you’ll see that communication is only a few words away. Feel up to this delicious challenge yourself ? Turn to our website www.directdutch.com, give us a call at 070 365 4677, or drop by at our institute at the Laan van Nieuw Oost Indië 275 to learn more about our courses.
Direct Dutch Institute
Laan van Nieuw
2593 BS Den Haag
+ 31 (0)6 286 343 83
+31 (0)70 365 46 77