lied_ohne_worte (lied_ohne_worte) wrote in linguaphiles,

Recommendations for extremely basic Dutch?

I've spontaneously decided to go to Belgium for a few days next week. My French is rusty but should be sufficient for the French areas and will likely improve once I'm using it. Anything complex I hope I will be able to do in English and/or German. However, I'd like to at least have polite basics in Dutch so I can, say, say "good morning" when entering a room. My travel guide has Dutch words of that sort, but while I can read Dutch with a bit of imagination extrapolating from my other languages, the pronunciation is generally far from what a German like myself would go for from looking at it, and of course that guide came without pronunciation help.

Would anyone have a recommendation for online resources that give me such polite basics in Dutch as it occurs in Belgium as audio and/or video? I'd prefer a real speaker sounding them out for non-native learners to a dictionary in this case.
Tags: dutch
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I can't help with Dutch, but I can say that there is a big difference between Wallonie and the Flemish area. The Walloons mostly seem to just speak French, the Flemish ones seem to be able to speak English, French and German very well. That was my experience when I visited Belgium anyway.
Ah, thanks for that information. Then I must hope my French will do; I managed several times in France, but that was some time ago, so I'll hope things come back. The worst thing is that I am absolutely fixated on saying things correctly, so rather than just going for it in broken French, I might end up tongue-tied. Anyway, my quarters are in the Flemish part and I'll be starting with Oostende - depending on how things are, I might not even make it into Wallonie this time.
You definitely won't have a problem in Oostende, I was there and the only time I had any language difficulty was when the only people I could find to ask were some builders; they obviously weren't able to speak anything other than Dutch, but then this other chap came over and asked in English if he could help me. Certainly everyone working at tourist sites and restaurants there spoke English.
i grew up in Kent, just across the Channel, and Oostende/Zeebrugge were really common day trip destinations. They have huge amounts of tourists popping over from Kent and Essex for the day.
Thanks for your advice; I just realised I never replied.

People indeed knew English, and often German. The only difficult experience was in a restaurant away from obvious tourist destinations. The waitress knew some English, but when explaining the menu (made more confusing by the fact that I realised I can read Dutch better than expected) fell into French-like vocabulary, but again it was only very limited. We managed using three languages, and I don't think she had me identified as German at all.
I am curious now, what did you think of Oostende? I was there in 2002, and it was quite nice then - another friend of mine visited recently though and says it has gone downhill a lot in the last few years and is now something of a dump.


August 5 2014, 04:36:07 UTC 3 years ago Edited:  August 5 2014, 04:36:47 UTC

Hm, I must admit I didn't see that much of it. Mostly, I took a ship trip from there, walked along the fish market a bit, things like that. I spent more time in Brugge, and inland too. It was rather like other tourist-filled towns at the seaside to my view, but not really bad. A bit too many embarrassing Germans about, though. Groups of seniors loudly complaining that Kühlungsborn was cheaper, bah.
Ha ha - I live in Germany with my German husband but my German is not perfect so I don't tend to catch what people walking around are talking about, but my husband often bitches about people like those annoying tourists. ;)
I'm glad you didn't think it looked that bad, at least. I know there is a lot of poverty in Belgium these days. :(


July 17 2014, 04:19:44 UTC 3 years ago Edited:  July 17 2014, 04:25:12 UTC

Don't now if it is the same in the Flemish parts of Belgium, but in in the Netherlands it's still better for a German to use English instead of Niederländisch. That's my own experience in Noord-Holland: If you adress them in Dutch and they recognize you as a Mof, they'll answer in English.
Sorry, I realised I hadn't said thanks for your advice! Things went quite well in the end. I try not to be recognised as a German in any case, usually. I mostly used English, although people in tourist destinations tended to switch to German when I took the German-language audio guides etc. I totally confused a poor lady in a museum shop though, because I asked in English if she had a catalogue printed in German, and when she didn't, bought the French rather than the English one (birthday gift for my father, whose French is quite good while his English is rather terrible). She switched into French then, which I didn't really prefer, heh.
I'm from Flanders and this website has some pretty good sentences that are quite correct in Flemish.

However, I have no idea where to find some audio samples for you. :(
Ah, I just realised I never said thanks for the link! I mostly managed with English or somewhat slurred German in the end, although I was amazed at my Dutch reading skills.