Aussies in Sweden
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The Dutch Language

USEFUL SITES

Dutch English online dictionary http://www.majstro.com/Web/Majstro/frames.php?gebrTaal=eng quite an excellent translation site. It's webmaster is Dutch and so the Dutch-English-Dutch translations are especially complete. I checked it out with my favourite word (which is AARDVARK) and it works!

Dutch English online dictionary (another one) http://dictionaries.travlang.com/DutchEnglish/

Dutch corpus http://www.elis.rug.ac.be/cgn/ for the fanatics amongst us

English Dutch online dictionary http://dictionaries.travlang.com/EnglishDutch/

Intertaal http://www.intertaal.nl/ bookshop specialising in language books and dictionaries

Onze Taal http://www.onzetaal.nl/koppling/dutch.htm useful site full of interesting links for learning foreigners learning Dutch

Van Dale http://www.vandale.nl/ Dutch equivalent of the Oxford Dictionary - it is the definitive dictionary, and the most respected. I bought three van Dale dictionaries (Dutch, English-Dutch, Dutch-English) when I arrived and they have been invaluable well worth their high price tag. (NL)

ONLINE DUTCH LANGUAGE COURSES

Acht for Taal http://mediatheek.thinkquest.nl/~kl044/tmain.htm

Duidelijke! Not an online course, but worth mentioning. Dutch language course specifically for the basics needed in the workplace. Course is made up of 16 TV programmes and 16 radio programmes. You need a self-study package (ISBN 9065334394), cost approx €25. Tel: 030 - 2946946 for details.

Dutch Flashcards www.dutch-flashcards.com Here you can learn Dutch online with our effective Flashcard System. With only 5-10 minutes a day you will be able to improve your Dutch in a short time.

It has some nice features like your own word lists, mouseover explanations, a loop flashcard feature, a text analyzer and we publish a new text (dialog, jokes, news) every week

Integral Dutch Course http://www.sr.net/srnet/InfoSurinam/dutch.html from the University of Leuven, Belgium

IntertaaL http://www.intertaal.nl/ not a site, it's a bookshop, specialising in language books (over 150 languages, including Dutch). They have a useful online order system many language schools are listed, so you only have to click on your language course and it gives you a list of which books you need. (NL)

Learn Dutch Online http://www.learndutch.org/

Taalhuis http://www.taalthuis.com/ useful (free) site for Dutch lessons and further info on the language meant for Dutch as well, not just for foreigners

Dutch translation

Capita Translation and Interpreting: www.capitatranslationinterpreting.com home page and focus of our Language Translation Services

TIPS

I'll tell you about my experiences with this as well. I chose to go to one of the state language schools, and these were my reasons:-

* I was given tests in my spoken, written, read and understood Dutch to assess exactly what my level was, in order to place me in a suitable class. As these schools are large, they have more classes to choose from.

* Their teachers are very good, and have vast experience in teaching people with all levels of Dutch.

* I was placed in a class within two months of my tests.

* As these schools always have a waiting list, you are encouraged to pass your exams private schools have no reason to want you to go too soon!

* There is a pressure of sorts, which I found good if you miss more than three classes without a good reason, you lose your spot in the class. If you fail the exams two years running, ditto.

* There were about 10 nationalities in my class of about 15. The classes were taught ONLY in Dutch! Impossible when you speak no Dutch - No - it's a tried and true method for second languages.

* Our only common language was Dutch, poor as that was, so we couldn't cheat by reverting back to e.g. English when stumped - we had to just keep on trying. We also socialised in the breaks in Dutch, and several of them are still good friends.

* As they are state subsidised these schools are very cheap compared with most private schools

* They are in most towns in the Netherlands.

* You may find that you are obliged to take Dutch language classes in order to qualify for your visa to stay. If this is the case, then the Gemeente (locality) you are registered with should pay these costs, including the cost of the books.

* I passed my four NT2 (Dutch as a second language) exams after only two years, and I know others here who have been paying €200 per term for years at private language schools, and who are still struggling.

If you'd like to check this option out, ask at your town hall (Gemeente Huis) for details of which school is allocated to your gemeente. You will have to be registered as living in the Netherlands in order to qualify for these schools though. On the other hand, another Aussie Abroad here told me about her experiences at the school she was allocated to, and they were not particularly good at all, so it comes down to which teachers you get, and how that school's teaching policies are.

FRISIAN

It's a little known fact that the Netherlands actually has TWO official languages: Dutch and Frisian. Frisian (or Fries as it's known in Dutch - pronounced freeze or Frysk-as they call it themselves) is widely spoken in the northern provinceof Friesland. They have their own TV programs, radio, press and literature, and many signs (incl. all road signs) are in both languages. Children there learn both Dutch and Fries. If you're to live there you'll learn Fries from the locals, but make sure you learn Dutch as well, or you won't be able to speak to anyone outside the province! If you're interested in learning or improving your Frisian:

English-Frisian online dictionary http://dictionaries.travlang.com/EnglishFrisian/

Frisian-English online dictionary http://dictionaries.travlang.com/FrisianEnglish/

online course in Frisian http://mitglied.lycos.de/seelt/frikure1.htm

useful site for all sorts of useful Frisian links http://friesecultuur.pagina.nl/

Received a very interesting mail from a very attentive reader of this page - Ron Hahn of Seattle, USA :

The Netherlands have FOUR official languages. Add to the two mentioned ones Limburgish in Netherlands Limburg (southeast) and Low Saxon in other the provinces and part of Frysl'n. The Low Saxon varieties of the Netherlands are related to those of Northern Germany (where they are unfortunately called "Low German"). These four languages (and also "Low German") are officially recognized there and by the European Union. Many Dutch will still say that Limburgish and Low Saxon are Dutch dialects. They are NOT, not linguistically and not officially either.

Thanks Ron.

SWEARING IN DUTCH!

The League Against Swearing http://www.bondtegenvloeken.nl/ has been putting up a hard fight to stamp out swearing in NL, and they even give you ten reasons why I don't swear in case you can't think of any yourselves, ya lazy bastards!

MISCELLANEOUS DUTCH LANGUAGE SITES

An Englishman's Difficulties With the Dutch http://www.cwi.nl/~steven/spelling.html humorous article by Steven Pemberton of the CWI

Digital Library of Dutch Language and Literature http://www.dbnl.org (NL)

Dutch sayings http://www.spreekwoord.nl/ (NL)

Dutch tongue twisters http://www.uebersetzung.at/twister/nl.htm

Language resources site http://www.sociosite.net/about.php is designed to get access to information and resources which are relevant for sociologists and other social scientists. It has been designed from a global point of view - it gives access to the world wide scene of social sciences. The intention is to provide a comprehensive listing of all sociology resources on the Internet. The enormity and constantly changing nature of the Internet makes it impossible to develop a definitive and comprehensive listing.

Poldernederlandshttp://cf.hum.uva.nl/poldernederlands/english/main_engels.htm interesting site about Dutch as it is widely spoken, rather than ABN (Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands the Dutch equivalent of Queen's English). The site notes that taking into account that the current speakers are middle-aged (educated) women, Polder Dutch must have started in the 1970's. It has been a result of women's emancipation. From a sociolinguistic point of view, Polder Dutch is a very interesting phenomenon: for the first time, women lead the way in a language change that drifts away from the language variant that was the norm. Since the amount of Polder Dutch speakers grows very rapidly every generation, in men/boys as well as in women/girls, it's reasonable to expect that Polder Dutch will become the norm instead of standard Dutch.

SNEVT http://www.snevt.nl Dutch examination board for translators and interpreters (in case you're really inspired to buck up your Dutch) (NL)

Wilhelmus- the Dutch National Anthem http://www.wilhelmus.nl/ not as boring as the site sounds and not only because this is a national anthem with truly weird lyrics. The site also includes some favourite 'alternative' national anthems (like Waltzing Mathilda for us), including Hup Holland Hup which is a football favourite. You can also hear folk anthems of the Dutch provinces.(NL)

Yahoo Dutch English Study Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dutch-english-study-group/ Yahoo members group where Dutch native speakers help English native speakers with the language, and vice versa

ENGLISH / DUTCH TRANSLATORS

All of the below are professional, qualified translators of Dutch-English and/or English-Dutch. You can probably find a translators (vertaler) or interpreter (tolk) almost anywhere in the Netherlands check you local Yellow Pages. These links are just a sampling.

Eloquo http://www.eloquo.nl/english-UK.html English to Dutch translations only

Eulenhaupt http://www.eulenhaupt.com/Engindex.htm lawyer as well as a translator - specialises in translating legal documents (also in German).

Informatie Beheer Groep
If you have a qualification (degree, diploma or certificate) from an institution outside of the Netherlands or even if you have only done part of the course and would like to have it recognised in NL, you can try contacting the following organisation:
Informatie Beheer < Groep
Afdeling Diplomawaardering
Postbus 30157
9700 LJ Groningen
tel: 050 - 5998036

(street address: Kempkensberg 4-6, 9722 TB Groningen)
http://www.ib-groep.nl
email: vragen@ib-groep.nl

M.C. de Geus http://www.degeus.com/index.html specialises in translations for IT, computer technology, electrical engineering, electronics, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, architecture, environmental engineering

Netherlands Society of Interpreters and Translators (NGTV) http://www.ngtv.nl/ you can search on this site for a translator in the Netherlands by entering the languages (from and to), the town, and/or area of expertise. You can click on ENGLISH on the home page for details in English, but the search part is in Dutch.

nuffic http://www.nuffic.nl/index-en.html Netherlands organization for international cooperation in higher education. They can help you with a certificate of recognition of your Aussie academic qualifications (to show its Dutch equivalent). You'll need your original degree/diploma, not a copy. Can take up to about a month.

Octentas with NUFFIC, they can assess your foreign certificate. 33-35 Sarphatistraat, Amsterdam (across the road from the Amstel hotel). Fee is €75, original certificate (OR an official copy issued by your intitution) etc. You have to get copies of your own originals at an official copying place (that they will tell you about) for them to keep. Can take upwards of 6 weeks to process. Thanks to Louisa for this tip!

Smart Translations http://www.smarttranslations.nl/index2.htm online quote.

DUTCH ABBREVIATIONS

The Dutch just love abbreviations and acronyms. When I first arrived, I found it distressing reading the paper (trying!) and then tripping over an abbreviation/acronym with no explanation in sight. Here are some useful ones:

ANWBDutch auto club (like our RACV or NRMA etc)
aubplease (alstublieft)
ehbofirst aid (eerste hulp bij ongelukken); also indicates the emergency section at hospitals
horecarefers to the catering and hospitality industries (i.e. hotels, restaurants, café's, etc)
KPNDutch Telekom
mvgyour sincerely (met vriendelijke groeten)
SRVthese are the mobile supermarkets like a long white bus that you can see all over NL
svpalso means please, using French instead of Dutch (see aub )
tokoAsian food shop (usually - sometimes just a normal shop) origins
TPGDutch Post (formerly known as PTT)

Of course the list is no where near complete send me more!

MISCELLANEOUS LANGUAGE SITES

Aboriginal Languages of Australia virtual library http://www.dnathan.com/VL/austLang.htm

acronym finder http://www.acronymfinder.com/ (English acronyms)

foreign languages dictionaries http://www.word2word.com/dictionary.html for pretty well every language you can think of yes! From Ainu to Yindjibarndi!

international sign language alphabet & translater http://www.innerspace.be/vingerspelling/index_off_line_en.htm

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