If you have ever seen the British comedy series - "Mind your language" you would agree that it is one of the most hilarious series ever. It is about adult students from different parts of the world, learning English as a foreign language and the slapstick comedy that they involuntarily indulge in as they mince the language in their own in way. Well, I had the proud privilege of being in one such fun class!!
I decided to take a Dutch course as soon as I started my program in TU/e. The class had people from Mexico, Spain, Germany, India (of course!), America, Greece, Italy, France and Nigeria. The group was meant mostly for PhD students so one can imagine the sort of geeks that this class had. There is something about learning a language. It takes you back to your more childish form as you begin to learn communicating from scratch.
The Nigerian guy was the hero of our class. He would answer ALL questions with - "Nee, dank je wel" (No, Thank you). The Spanish guy who was attending the class with his girl friend would just repeat all that she says, or simply " Ik ook" (Me too!). The most hillarious time was when a guy wanted to know how to propose to his girl friend in Dutch and he ended up practicing it with the guy sitting next to him who freaked out! We were in splits!!! One of our teachers would always speak in Dutch but she would also use a lot of sign language to make it easier for us to understand. We would half the time keep guessing what she was talking about. She would do the funniest of expressions. We not only learned the language but also got a lot of insight into the Dutch culture.
I just completed my Dutch written exam. I have an oral exam next week. I think I will pass :). Am contemplating whether I should take up the intermediate level course. Would I be staying here for more than two years?
Point to consider - For several of the grammar rules, we used this as the aid - "xtc koffieshop" :D Rings a bell anybody?