My first language is french. I learned English in school, but not really. I sucked at english until I decided to translate my favourites songs from english to french (thank you Britney Spears and Eminem !).
After a few years, I discovered the pleasure of hearing the real voices of the actors I was watching on my favourite TV shows (like Grey’s anatomy for instance). So I did the same with english speaking movies, I started to watch it in VO with subtitles.
Internet access also played a big part in my learning of english. The Internet is in english for the big part, I had to read english so I wouldn’t miss most of the content. Tumblr, Youtube, Green Day forums …
So I read and understand English very well. But, since French school doesn’t really understand that a language should be spoken, I’m not that fluent with pronunciation and talking in general.
In Netherlands, they speak dutch. In Amsterdam, everybody also speaks english. What a great way to practice my english ! Especially since, when you meet expat, everybody speaks english, no questions asked.
Also, if you try to speak dutch in Amsterdam, and the people realize that you’re not dutch, they will speak english
to you !
So why should I learn dutch ? It’s complicated, everybody speaks english, practising my english will be more useful …
I think that when you go live a country, you have to adapt to it. You have to embrace the way of living people have there. Of course, you should keep your culture and identity too, but you also have to respect how people live in this country. I think part of adapting to your new environment and respecting its culture, is to learn at least the basic of its language.
So that’s what I’m going to do. I will learn the basic for the times I go to the market, in a cafe, restaurant … I want to make the effort because I am grateful that Nederland let me live in its place.
And also, I want to be able to buy some new things in the supermarket without translating everything with my phone …
There was already some language I wanted to learn. I bought books for japanese and yiddish, but I’m going to focus on dutch for now ! Wish me luck (or maybe courage is more appropriate 😉 )