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Learning Polish in Amsterdam



Knoblauch    
1 May 2017  #1

Hi everyone,

I have been doing Polish classes for the past months, and since I am moving to Amsterdam in September I am curious if it would be possible to continue learning Polish while I'm there. I do not speak Dutch, so the Polish courses offered (at least those I found on google) are not possible for me.

Does anyone know about tutoring, classes or something else that could help me keep learning Polish while I'm in Amsterdam?
I'll be staying in Amsterdam for 12 months, and I speak Danish and English.

Looking forward to your responses


Lyzko 17 | 3,637    
1 May 2017  #2

My suspicions have just been confirmed, garlic! Polish in Amsterdam, Dutch in Warsaw, French in Ljubiana, and German in Rome.......LOL
Lotsa luck to you. I presume that the Polish courses are being taught in Polish, as you say you don't speak Dutch. If they're being taught in English, I'd be curious as to who would be teaching them:-) Should you need any pointers in Dutch, I can help you.

I really oughtn't be surprised whatsoever, as Europe IS the most global continent on earth!!

Hvis du har lyst til at blive i kontakt og at faa nogle tips over hollandsk: tarsape@gmail.com
gumishu 11 | 4,547    
2 May 2017  #3

Does anyone know about tutoring, classes or something else that could help me keep learning Polish while I'm in Amsterdam?

I found this website - naukaholenderskiego.pl/kursy-szkoly/1092/ttc-talen-traning-centrum/ - the school (TTC) says there they run Polish courses (beside main activity which is teaching Dutch to Poles) maybe there is one available in Amsterdam by them. you can also look for Polish tutors online - e-korepetycje.net/jezyk-polski-dla-cudzoziemcow
Polonius3 1,019 | 12,554    
16 May 2017  #4

pointers in Dutch

Just a quick question -- for an English speaker which is easier to learn: German of Dutch? I know Dutch is closer to English but does that make it easier?

BTW to many English spekaers Dutch sounds hilarious in much the same way as Czech sounds to Poles. Do you agree?
Lyzko 17 | 3,637    
16 May 2017  #5

An excellent question, Polonius3.

For an American-English speaker, probably there'll be more superficial familiarity with German through anglicized German words in the US like "wunderbar", "frankfurter wurst", weltanschauung, leitmotiv...and so forth. The grammar of Dutch though is still closer to German than to English, the word stock perhaps more recognizable to an moderately educated and observant Anglophone, e.g. 'bed' (bed), 'komen' (coming), 'waar' (where), etc.

Quite frankly, Dutch sounds a bit to German native speakers somewhat like Yiddish, namely, like German damaged on delivery:-)
Ziemowit 8 | 2,575    
16 May 2017  #6

For a non-native speaker of English like me who knows a bit of Dutch, Dutch shouldn't sound hilarious to the speakers of English. The main reason for that is that they simply wouldn't comprehend it. They may understand several words, but that's all. Is a sentence like 'Bij elk ontbijt eet ik zachtgekoocht ei' comprehensible to you? Or another one 'Zaterdags gaa ik altijd naar festjes'? Perhaps you can do this to some extent when reading them, but comprehending them through listening would be much more difficult, I believe.

My German, even though I learned it many many years ago and have nearly forgotten now always pops up when I learn Dutch. My English pops up only occasionally and more as a deliberate association to an English word, and often this happens after several weeks only. That was the case with the word "maag" whom I didn't associate with the English 'stomach' at all and it was only after I did it that I have managed to remember this Dutch word for good. Another such word was 'bezig' and it was indeed my wife who associated it first with the English word 'busy' when I was listening to my lesson once despite the fact that she neither speaks Dutch nor English
Lyzko 17 | 3,637    
16 May 2017  #7

"For breakfast [each day] I have a soft-boiled egg." The second, "I always party on Saturdays."

Ziemowit's point is well taken, indeed, German is infinitely more precisely and crisply pronounced (especially among North Germans) than Dutch, which, like Danish in comparison with Swedish and Norwegian, sounds almost as though the speakers are drunk, so much slurring and cramming of sounds together:-)
Ziemowit 8 | 2,575    
16 May 2017  #8

more recognizable to an moderately educated and observant Anglophone, e.g. 'bed' (bed), 'komen' (coming), 'waar' (where), etc.

Or 'school' for that matter, though it is pronounced differently in Dutch.

Sometimes Dutch may indeed look like the language which stands between German and English, but closer to German. The Dutch plural illustrates this point nicely. Some nouns have the -s ending in plural as in English, while others have the typical -en ending as in German.
Polonius3 1,019 | 12,554    
16 May 2017  #9

shouldn't sound hilarious

I don't mean written Dutch, it is the spoken version that sounds silly. I once heard a Dutch Cahtolic priest say Mass and it all sounded like "hoppen de kloppen". 'Twas hard to keep a straight face. Also elderly Dutch sound much different than younger speakers. The younger Dutch to me a least sound more American.
Lyzko 17 | 3,637    
16 May 2017  #10

When younger Dutch are speaking English, they definitely do. Take Rutger Hauer, for example:-) Older Dutch tend to gargle their back "r's" and devoice a lot, sounding almost as though they were trying to say all what they wanted to say all at the same time:
"VEL, AI TINK DETT ITT VOSS INTERRRESTING, BEWTT SOOHM TAIMSS..."

The youth typically enjoy walking around in their spare time, the guys often wearing chic-looking leather bomber jackets and dark glasses, the girls not too differently (just like in the cult classic 'Speters'!) and will usually pepper their English with vulgar slang:-)

As far as the differences between Dutch, German, and English, the above sentences should suffice:

"Bij het ontbijt, eet ik zachtgekokte eieren". = Zum Fruehstueck esse ich weich gekochte Eier.
" 'Zaterdags gaa ik altijd naar feestjes." = Sonnabends gehe ich immer auf eine Party.

The German is different enough from both the Dutch and the English, although both the word order and the vocabulary remains similar, if not exactly identical. In Dutch, for example, "S middags" means "Nachmittags", the "S" being a vestige of older Dutch "Des middags":-)
mafketis 16 | 4,721    
16 May 2017  #11

Sometimes Dutch may indeed look like the language which stands between German and English

Exactly where it is on the Indo-European family tree. Of the national languages, Dutch is the closest relation to the Germanic languages of the British Isles* (though Frisian is a little closer than Dutch).

*if you count Scots as a separate language
Lyzko 17 | 3,637    
16 May 2017  #12

Scots isn't a "separate" language, Norn however.......

There's an old saying: "Good butter and good cheese is good English and good Fries." Not sure which of its sundry dialects though:-)

A reminder that this thread is titled "Learning Polish in Amsterdam"

Dutch 'kofschip' spelling rules can be much more slippery than German orthography, even following the Second Spelling Reform. English of course is THE most chaotic spellers' nightmare known!!

LOL

As far as I'm aware, there are numerous Polish immigrants in and around Amsterdam who'd love to finally learn Dutch, as communicating from one group of people speaking broken English with another group speaking perhaps slightly less broken English remains a sheer exercise in futility to my mind.
jon357 70 | 12,786    
16 May 2017  #13

I am curious if it would be possible to continue learning Polish while I'm there. I do not speak Dutch, so the Polish courses offered (at least those I found on google) are not possible for me.

There are Polish language lessons available in Amsterdam.
The People's University (Volksuniversiteit) runs part time courses for adults and has a branch in Amsterdam. They only put the courses on if there's sufficient demand so it would make sense to contact them as soon as possible to indicate an interest.You would probably need to improve your Dutch first, a good idea if you're going to live there.

Your best bet is to find a private teacher who also speaks English. Ask at the People's University - they presumably hire teachers from time to time and may be able to refer you to one of those teachers. A better bet could be the Forum Szkół Polskich w Holandii. It's aimed at children but you may well find one of their teachers is willing to do private lessons and is also an English speaker.

volksuniversiteit.nl/
fpsn.nl/

there are numerous Polish immigrants in and around Amsterdam who'd love to finally learn Dutch

Doubtless many, however English is very widely spoken in Amsterdam. A Russian friend, fluent in Polish went there to work. He told prospective employers that he'd learnt Dutch. Most said that was unnecessary since all their staff and clients all speak English.

Scots isn't a "separate" language

Yes it is. Just as Walloon is not a dialect of French.
Lyzko 17 | 3,637    
16 May 2017  #14

I learned something then, jon! Thanks:-)

Oh, regarding your Russian Polish-speaking mate, a similar experience actually happened to me as well, when I was once prospecting for translation work in Copenhagen, 'ooops, sorry KOEBENHAVN (LOL) and when I introduced myself to my future colleagues in Danish, in true 'hyggelig' (gezellig, gemuetlich) Danish fashion, they actually began laughing, attempting to politely downplay the very notion of a need for any foreigner to learn their admittedly limited native tongue.

If truth be told, their English was generally atrocious, substandard and even not always comprehensible, but I pretended of course as though I didn't notice a thing..we got along fine.

Back to the thread, learning Polish in Amsterdam must again be akin to learning Hungarian or the like in Paris. Doubtless there is a Hungarian colony, yet why on earth not go to Hungary for chrissake instead of Paris:-)))
jon357 70 | 12,786    
16 May 2017  #15

learning Polish in Amsterdam must again be akin to learning Hungarian or the like in Paris.

Exactly - which is why a private teacher is probably his best bet. If he wants to learn Polish but has to be physically in Amsterdam, and he's hampered by a lack of Dutch, this is the only practical option.

their English was generally atrocious, substandard and even not always comprehensible, but I pretended of course as though I didn't notice a thing..we got along fine.

A bit like here in Poland very often - some people, usually of a type don't expect or sometimes want a foreigner to speak Polish. It can be a rather similar in the Netherlands too.

Dutch however would be my priority for language learning if I lived there - it's a drag when you're with a group of people and one can't join in the conversation, a bigger drag when you all speak the language but one plonker insists on speaking English to you because they can and everyone else gets p*ssed off. He can do self-study and get an occasional cheap flight to Warsaw if he wants to practise his Polish.
Lyzko 17 | 3,637    
16 May 2017  #16

Spot on there, jon:-) Good stuff, enjoy the bend!
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 388    
16 May 2017  #17

Scots isn't a "separate" language, Norn however.......

well... that's debatable.
Although the Frisian is the closest relative of English language (or rather: languages) outside the Britain, I find Afrikaans to be much more to it than the Dutch is. Plus, it has much better orthography and grammar rules than its mother tongue (i.e. the Dutch).
Lyzko 17 | 3,637    
16 May 2017  #18

Dutch sometimes call Afrikaans "kindertaal" aka "baby language" and to an extent, it seems at best an almost simplified version of the colonial mother tongue:-)



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