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Archive for the ‘Learning Dutch or Other Foreign Languages’ Category

When the doorbell rang late Sunday afternoon, it took a moment to register in my brain. Lounging lazily in the family room with my feet propped up on the coffee table and the Sunday Times Culture magazine section spread across my lap, I suddenly felt my shoulders tense and the hair on the back of my neck stand […]

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I’ve been back in the United States for a week now, and I’m still adjusting. Daughter and I are here for an extended period visiting family, beginning to check out universities, attending a pre-college program (her) while I hole myself up to work on some writing projects, and so on. Oh, and eventually spending some […]

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As a writer and blogger, I would be the first to tell you how important social media is in getting your work out there, sharing it and finding kindred souls who find something of value in your words. That value may be information, inspiration or entertainment. If you’re really fortunate, occasionally you win what I call the Writer’s […]

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I must confess, I’m exhausted. I’ve just closed the front door after another visit from my delightful eight year old Dutch neighbor, Catarina. She stopped by to discuss Muppetpunten (Muppet points), as covered in my previous post An International Trade Representative’s Got Nothing On Her. That makes two visits in eight days, which constitutes a new record. It […]

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Late yesterday afternoon, the doorbell rang. As I opened the heavy oak front door, I found myself face-to-face with Catarina, my adorable eight-year-old Dutch neighbor, she of Learning a Language? Child’s Play fame. She was standing there with a tennis racket slung over her shoulder and an air of urgency about her. ‘Hallo Catarina, hoe gaat […]

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When we last left the inimitable guest writer Gry Tina Tinde in Part I: A couple of hours before our rendezvous Mikhail called and said unfortunately something had come up. He would get back in touch. All I could do was wait, as I did not have his number. Months passed, but there was no […]

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I’m excited to share that we have another guest post by the multi-talented Gry Tina Tinde. Many of you remember Tina’s first guest post, the wild and wacky adventures of A Ski Instructor to Die For or more recently her piece On Marriage I Go With Brad Pitt. For anyone just joining us, Tina has spent a lifetime […]

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[This post is for Patti in Leiden, and all the other nice folks I met last weekend at the I Am Not A Tourist International Fair in Amsterdam. She and her husband are new to The Netherlands. Welkom!] Lord knows my fellow Adventurers know that I’ve been trying to learn Dutch. I certainly have been harping […]

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As reported recently in I Am Expat, The Netherlands ranks second IN THE WORLD for English speakers in non-English speaking countries.  How cool is that?! The longer I live abroad, the more I travel, the greater effort I put into trying to learn foreign languages, I have to tell you: this is seriously wonderful recognition. It […]

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  I’ll never forget learning my first words of Dutch. Ja. Nee. Dank u wel. Alstublieft. Yes. No. Thank you. Please. I learned them from Husband more than two years ago. Son, Daughter and I were visiting him during their school spring break, and had arrived in Den Haag (The Hague) the day before. Husband had been living […]

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I’ve been stewing all weekend about the whole Ryan Giggs affair (yes, pun intended; it’s the only humor you’re going to get from me today). For anyone living on the west side of the pond (or who’s been residing in a cave in recent days), Ryan Giggs is the incredibly talented, Energizer Bunnyesque Manchester United side […]

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Yesterday I was in the Albert Heijn picking up a few items for dinner. It was 5:30, so the store was crowded with people stopping in on their way home. The Dutch eat promptly at 6:oo, you’ll recall. It’s almost as if there is a silent whistle that goes off at 6pm each evening, one […]

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While perusing the internet for news this morning, this BBC article entitled ‘Poor Language Skills ‘Leave Britons Out of EU Jobs’ ‘ caught my eye. It seems that while Brits make up 12% of the population of the European Union, they only fill 5% of the jobs in the EU Parliament and Commission.  This is due in […]

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Hey there, I wanted to share with you that today I am over at The Unexpected Traveller with my very first guest post. Since The Unexpected Traveller is based in Belgium, you could also say that I’m travelling today as I cross the border to visit our neighbor to the south. I’ve been following The […]

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It suddenly dawned on me yesterday: I’m basically an eight-year-old trapped in an adult’s body. Now I don’t mean that I’m immature. Although I’ll admit that I do have my moments. Then again, who doesn’t? And I’m not talking about being ‘young at heart’. At times I am very much so. Probably not as much as I’d like, […]

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I ran into my Dutch neighbor Anneke the other day, and we started chatting. (Well, okay, Anneke was chatting and I was stumbling, but hey, it works.) That’s when I heard it. She used a phrase that just rolled off her tongue. It was spoken with such casual effect, just the right intonation and delivered with an almost imperceptible […]

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I was leisurely drinking my coffee this morning, catching up on postings I’ve missed recently at my favorite blogs. Loved this one over at Wordgeyser, so check it out. (You may recall that said Wordgeyser was the recipient of my inaugural ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, …’ feature, here. This of course reminds me that I am overdue for the […]

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I’m warning you upfront that this post is going to be a little juvenile. Okay, maybe a LOT. Every language has a few words that just seem, well, odd. Or silly. So funny-sounding that it’s hard to take them seriously. When you have to actually use such words, it’s hard to keep a straight face. […]

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If you ever try to learn a foreign language, it is imperative that the first phrase you learn to say is ‘this is a very difficult language’. Or something to that effect. You might think you should learn ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ first, but those are words people, not phrases. (Okay, if you say ‘thank […]

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It’s nice to be back after a short break that, while busy, was enjoyable, interesting, rejuvenating and restorative. I’ll share more about that in an upcoming post. As readers who follow earlier posts of mine will know, I’m big on reflection and New Year’s resolutions. In fact, the posts The Write Lesson Learned and Letting Go and then Most […]

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