Friday, 24 October 2014

Damon's Dutch Diary 3

Dutch this week stepped up a pace again. The cultural aspects were a focus on the geography on the Netherlands, with particular focus on the fact that a lot of the country is below sea level. I got the feeling that the proximity of the sea and the constant threat of flooding adds a lot the the psychology of the character of the people. I'm reading a German novel at the moment, Theodor Storm's “The Rider on the White Horse”. He lived in North Friesland, now a part of Germany (but back then it was a part of Denmark), but it is a coastal area also protected by dikes from the same cold, biting North Sea, and I am captivated by the way the nature of the threat of the water and the profile of a dark and forboding, savage sea seems to seep into the characters. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a hint of something similar coursing through Dutch literature, as well as Frisian literature.

This week was focussed on more verbs. It began with a much needed revision session of regular, or weak, Dutch verbs. Then it was on to strong verbs. The difficulty with strong verbs is that they are irregular, and change unexpectedly in form and sound. We were advised to learn them, and I noticed a lot of similarities with German irregular verb forms, so hopefully my knowledge of will serve as a useful prop.

To finish off, we started to form sentences. I have already noticed similarities with German sentence structure, so again this may assist my learning. We have homework for this.

Next week is the half term break, so there will be no class. I have a lot on next week, particularly as I'll be attending 42 Worcester, to launch my new poetry book (or possibly more!). However, this does not rule out any work on my part with Nederlands, as I have obtained a Dutch movie on DVD to watch, so that I'm still doing . Naturally, due to my deliciously dark nature, it is a horror film, and is called “Sint” (Saint). It is set on 6 December, and will hopefully give an insight into the Dutch customs of celebrating the coming of St Nicholas, albeit with a horror twist.

Update, January 2015: I need to write another diary entry for learning Dutch. Sorry, I'll be on it soon.