“Happier and more confident thanks to TaalTaal Dutch Immersion”
Erna from South Africa can now even ‘talk business’ in Dutch!
The Dutchies are well-known for being able to speak English well, but for expats, being able to speak Dutch can have many advantages. Our South African participant Erna, for example, works as an educational consultant at an international Dutch university. She really likes her job, but she admits that it would be great if she could help lecturers in Dutch instead of only English. Erna: “Speaking the local language helps you to connect with people, and speaking it fluently can help you come across as more professional.”
For people with demanding jobs and a desire to learn Dutch quickly, an intensive Dutch immersion course ('Onderdompeling') is the ideal solution. The Language Institute TaalTaal in Scheveningen offers high-quality group courses for ambitious people who are serious about their future, their careers and their life goals. They are intensive and efficient. An Immersion course only lasts two weeks, by the end of which you can reach an entirely new language level! The immersion courses go from A1, up to B1. More information can be found on the TaalTaal website: www.taaltaal.nl/immersion/dutch
For the ambitious Erna, it was sometimes quite difficult to practice Dutch, because most of her team members and friends are also expats. There are also many ‘false friends’ in her mother tongue Afrikaans and Dutch. She says: “The Dutch word ‘bijna’ means ‘almost’ in English, but in Afrikaans ‘bijna’ means ‘amper’, which is ‘barely’ in English. We also say ‘kombuis’ instead of ‘keuken’, which means kitchen. In Dutch, ‘kombuis’ is a kitchen on a ship.” These are some of the things that Erna has learned in the Dutch Immersion Level 3 course. She is very enthusiastic about the course: “The best way to learn a language is through Immersion, instead of after a long day at the office. If only I had known about these courses sooner!”
Does Erna perhaps have more tips for people who want to improve their Dutch? Erna: “Yes, I have! It also helps to take other courses in Dutch that match your interests. This way you get to practise Dutch and meet more locals. I once took a Thai cooking course, for example. Having done this in Dutch was a bit of a struggle, but it's good to get out of your comfort zone!”
Erna describes herself as happier and more confident, now that her Dutch skills have improved: "If you only have expat friends, you don't really get to participate in society at large. Speaking the local language makes you feel a lot less isolated." She also has some nice (and tasty) news: “I started my own bakery called 'Suiker en Kaneel' (Sugar and Cinnamon), selling chocolate chip cookies online and delivering them to your doorstep. The website is www.suikerkaneel.nl and you can check out her Instagram @suikerkaneel. You can use the coupon code TaalTaal for a small discount at checkout."
TaalTaal courses for all languages will start again at the end of April for all 20 languages, including Dutch, English, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese and many more.
There are also open days on March 26th and April 9th between 13:00 and 16:00 hrs where you can get to meet the teachers.