The joy of learning Dutch with a filthy mind

The joy of learning Dutch with a filthy mind

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Albert Both of Talencoach explains why you can learn Dutch faster if you have a dirty mind.

Just imagine, you go to the bakker (baker) and you want to practice your Dutch. You stand in line and you hear that beautiful sentence that you just memorised: "Wie is aan de beurt? (Who's turn is it?)"

It is your turn, and you know what to say therefore you shout: "Het is mijn beurt! (It is my turn)" and you feel a great feeling of satisfaction.

But, the following could also happen…

You go to the bakker and the bakker asks: "Wie wil een beurt?" Full of enthusiasm you shout: "Ik ik ik (me, me, me)", and all the people start laughing.

One week later people ask you: "Was het stokbrood van de bakker lekker? (Did you like the baguette of the baker?)" You'll start to wonder if you said something wrong.

More than one meaning

Here is some good news: nothing you said was wrong, but just as in any other language, words and sentences can have more than one meaning. And quite often, it is about love and sex.

The "beurt" is turn, but it can also mean a shag. "Ik geef je een beurt" can have two meanings. Just choose the one that you like most!

Strangely enough, most language methods will never ever show the double meaning of words and sentences. Somehow, they never talk about the things that make life really interesting.

I remember that I was doing a Greek language course. I had just learned the word for cupboard, which is "doulapa". In Dutch, this word is "kast" and it also means closet.

"De man zit in de kast" means that the man is in the closet. Immediately, I wanted to try it in Greek as well: "o andras ine stin doulapa". I was wondering if it could work. But my teacher just didn't know what to say. She told me that "doulapa" is where you put socks or plates.

Many other students were laughing and only years later my teacher found out what I really meant with this question.

Learning faster with a filthy mind

Most language methods and courses will avoid all the so-called "filthy words" and all the double meanings. Perhaps they are afraid that it will cause you to say obscene things all the time and it seems that many people somehow believe that it will have a negative impact on their learning.

Of course, the opposite thing is true. There is the saying that "a filthy mind is a joy forever" and it can help you learn a language a lot faster!

One of the greatest advantages is that if you have a naughty mind, you'll find it a lot easier to pay attention. When I ask my students if they are a "vakman" or "vakvrouw", I will definitively have their attention. What is the first thought that comes up in your mind?

Things get even funnier when I tell my students that, in my opinion, Madonna is a "vakvrouw". Although "vak" might remind you of a certain English word, it means subject; something that you learn at school.

A "vakman" or "vakvrouw" is a person that is very professional and masters a specific skill very well. That's why Madonna is a "vakvrouw", because, whether you like her or not, she is very good at what she does. She knows how to sell her records.

Just one question... do you think that it is difficult to remember the word "vakman" or "vakvrouw"?

More advantages of a dirty mind

Learning Dutch with a filthy mind has all kinds of advantages. First of all, it will help you memorise new words with far more ease and it helps you to get rid of all kinds of inhibitions. If you master it really well, you'll find it easier to make mistakes and to talk more freely.

Here is another benefit: whenever Dutch people tell jokes, one subject always comes up. And yes, only a filthy mind can understand it.

Once you get the double meaning of many words, sentences and expressions, you'll notice that somehow things get more fun and entertaining.

Therefore, if you would like to speak great Dutch and learn fast, make sure that you open your mind and... make sure that it is filthy ;)

Albert Both is a specialist in learning Dutch fast while having fun. Sign up for his free workshop "Finding Dutch Flow: Opening The Floodgate to Dutch Fluency" on Sunday, September 17, 2017, in Amsterdam.

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Albert Both


Albert Both

I help with an approach of learning Dutch that is completely different from any other language course. It is called Dutch Brainwashing. The immediate result is that you learn at...

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