Love is in the air & it can boost your Dutch
Valentine’s Day is a special day; one about love. But there is another good thing about this day: it may help you to boost your Dutch! At least if you understand some important principles...
It’s all about relationships
Most people are fascinated by the idea of true love. They fantasize about it and talk about it, and once they do, the conversation comes down to relationships.
Somehow, love and relationships go hand in hand. It is inevitable and for most people desirable, because if it works it makes them feel really good, and even happy. Of course, if it doesn’t work, then life simply sucks...
No wonder why a great relationship is vitally important. But guess what? Life is not about having one relationship. It is about having hundreds and hundreds of them. In fact, one might argue that life is all about relationships, and their number is virtually limitless: lover, parents, children, neighbours, colleagues and the list goes on...
But there is a relationship that matters most: with yourself!
A simple truth about relationships
Yet, relationships are not necessarily about people. You have to maintain solid relationships with society, career, body, money and surprise, surprise: with a language!
Even though a relationship with a new language may look abstract and vague, it is more important than you think. Try to ignore it and the chances are that you will suffer some negative consequences.
So, if you like to speak Dutch, the first thing you have to do is to establish a good relationship!
In fact, it is very simple. It just boils down to this: how do you "see" Dutch? As a good friend that can help you to enjoy life in the Netherlands, as an unwelcome stranger, or as an enemy that needs to be dominated?
If you like and appreciate a new language, it will be easier to learn. If not, it will not “feel welcome” and run away, or even work against you. All of a sudden, you will not be able to order food, get directions, understand why all other party guests are laughing etc.
How to establish a good relationship
Fortunately, learning Dutch works like this: if you really like and appreciate the language, it will become your best friend and boost your life.
As a matter of fact, you will soon discover that the more you “like” it, the easier it will be for you to use it.
On the other hand, negative feelings just tend to slow down the learning process and thus, make it more difficult for you to speak. Just check for yourself: do your friends who speak Dutch love the language or not?
It takes two to tango!
Now here comes the catch: speaking great Dutch takes more than a good relationship with the language. As stated in the beginning, one of the most challenging relationships in life is with yourself.
You have to be kind and patient with yourself, and this is one of the greatest lessons a new language can offer. Most people beat themselves up once they are dissatisfied with the results, and, as expected, this leads nowhere. But, if you learn how to accept and appreciate, the learning process will be accelerated. You will be unstoppable and mark my words: you will feel really, really good!
So, this year, you may send chocolates and roses to your secret crush, receive a gift from your partner, or even fall in love with a new language. Whatever you do, just make sure you really go for it!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Albert Both is an Expat Service Provider. Download his e-book "Why You Hate Learning Dutch and 7 Secrets to Change It," join his workshop "Finding Dutch Flow, How to Open The Flood Gate to Dutch Fluency," visit his website or simply comment below for inquiries / remarks.
All free of charge!