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Welkom (to me)! Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

Hello fellow readers and language learners!

My name is Karoly and I am happy to be contributing to this blog! In case you are wondering from my name, I am not Dutch by birth, but I am by love. I recently moved to the Netherlands to live with Riccardo, the man I love, and Mona, my cat, who joined me in this venture to a new country with a new language, weather and culture.

I was born in Mexico City and all the chaos that comes with such a big place. So you get an idea of the change, Mexico City has over 20 million people while the entire country of The Netherlands has almost 17 million inhabitants. Needless to say, I am thoroughly enjoying the lack of crowds, lack of traffic (at least in Limburg where I now live) and shorter distances.

For many years now, I have been teaching language and literature, and I hope to be doing that in the Netherlands soon. I am fluent in English, Spanish, Italian, almost in Dutch and I can survive in France with the little French I know. Learning Dutch has been a very big challenge because it is different, but I have been fortunate enough to have good teachers starting with Riccardo. He taught me my first words in Dutch, which were, of course, Ik hou van je (I love you), and from there we have moved up to having conversations during dinner and on a terrace while we have a drink. I once read that the best way to practice a language was by having conversations with those you are closest to, perhaps because with these people you feel most comfortable. I am starting to see first hand the benefits of that, and suggest the same for you, if it is possible.

If I could sum up my life in the Netherlands thus far, it would have to be with one of the best words in the Dutch language: gezellig! Gezellig is a very unique word that means cozy, intimate, and home like. Despite the worldwide image of Dutch people being cold and very blunt, I have come to learn that they are as cozy and gezellig as anyone else! They quickly lend a helping hand, offer a cup of coffee or tea, speak with ease in English to help us buitenlanders feel comfortable, and put me to the test with my Dutch as often as I want.

I hope my posts help you learn a bit more of the Dutch language, but I also hope you get a good idea of everything this country and culture has to offer! Happy reading and learning! Hoi! Hoi!

Useful vocabulary: 

Welkom– Welcome

Ik hou van je– I love you (if it is referring to a person)

Ik hou van de blog– I like the blog (or any other non-personal noun)

Gezellig– cozy, intimate, homey, friendly

Buitenlanders– foreigners

Hoi! Hoi!- Bye bye

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!


Comments:

  1. Karine Ledoux van Dijk:

    Welcome Karoly!
    I am also married to a Dutch man (for nearly 17 years now). We both live in Canada. Dutch learning is an evergoing process with me, sometimes I think I am quite food, and other time I feel like I am terrible. Like last night, we watched an old Dutch film and i nearly didnt understand anything and it really bummed me out. The movie “the vijf van de vierdaagse”
    Well welcome to you, and i am looking forward to reading your posts.
    Karine

    • Karoly G Molina:

      @Karine Ledoux van Dijk I wrote down the name of the movie and I will watch it! Thank you for welcoming me and for stopping by 🙂

  2. Maggie Glazer:

    Hello and Welcome! I spend summers and over Christmas in Den Haag and the rest of the time I live in Minnesota teaching college psychology courses. I’m starting advanced beginning/intermediate courses in Dutch this month and hope to make some more progress. My partner is Dutch and he helps me with pronunciation and grammar. I look forward to following your blog posts about your adventures with language! Smiles, Maggie

    • Karoly G Molina:

      @Maggie Glazer Thank you so much! Having someone to help at home makes the learning a lot easier!

  3. Rose Furlow:

    Hello,I was born in Heerlen and came to the US in 1956 at the age of 8. Next year I will come to visit for the second time. I still understand and speak a little Dutch. My daughter is American and I hope to visit a second cousin near Antwerp Belgium I want to hear about my relatives.

    Enjoy Holland. It is full of nice people and great food

    • Karoly G Molina:

      @Rose Furlow Thank you! I am definitely enjoying it 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Ilja DeYoung:

    Hello Karoly,
    being born and bred Dutch, but living overseas a lot I love this blog and look forward to your contributions.

    Ik vind het heel knap van je dat je Nederlands geleerd hebt. Het is geen makkelijke taal.(and sometimes plain difficult).
    I’d love to hear all about your exploits in Dutchland 😉

    • Karoly G Molina:

      @Ilja DeYoung Dank je wel! Ik hoop mijn verhalen zijn onderhoudend en edukatief!

  5. Peter Simon:

    Welcome, Károly, from a fellow Hongaar in Nederlands. Surprised? No need. Károly is a Hungarian name, some of your ‘ouders’ must have come from Hongarije. Ik ben ook een Hongaar, Péter in de origineel.
    Actually, it often seems easy to convert English into Dutch, at other times, from German to Dutch. No wonder, all of these are Germanic languages with Dutch being the youngest. But then beware: there are a lot of other difficulties and ‘false friends’ everywhere … words looking familiar, but meaning something different.
    You may be right about love being ‘belangrijk’. However, it’s only a part of the bigger picture. Vitally important is the key, though that could be personally different. For me, when I was working in China and tried to learn some Chinese, nothing stayed in my brain more than a few seconds or minutes. Then, when I was travelling on the bus to Shanghai to meet my visiting son, I learned all of that in 3 hours – out of sheer necessity. I can’t fail my teenager son, can I?
    You may argue that was also love. But when, later, I was in love with a Chinese lady, I couldn’t come close to repeating this feat. The haze of love shrouded quite a lot of stuff.
    When I came to work in the Netherlands, I learned a lot at work. I had to understand the orders. Later, I was lying in hospital for a month – survival depended on understanding the key issues of my condition, of ‘dosering’, of conveying my most basic needs. I repeated the exercise a few more times for a couple of weeks in each case, and I always came home with greatly improved Dutch, while being seriously ill and ‘verdoven’ for hours on the operating table and being shot full of ‘painstillers’ afterwards is everything that is diagonally opposite to be considered conductive to learning.
    So, I wouldn’t overestimate the efficacy of love. But it is a needs-situation, so yes, as such, it’s good for learning. Just like some other situations where a basic need is at play.
    Good luck to your life in this country.

    • Karoly G Molina:

      @Peter Simon I am actually 100% Mexican. My mother just wanted my sisters and I to have different names (my sisters’ names are German). Each person has different motivations to learn a language. In my case, I would like to adapt as much to life in the Netherlands and be able to communicate with everyone. I want to feel Dutch! Its impressive how you have learned so much about other languages in these situations. I am afraid my experiences learning a language have always started out in a classroom, and when I have enough to communicate, I polish in places where they speak it. Thank you for sharing your story!