Language Lab

One of Zoé’s primary exchange goals is learning the Dutch language as well as possible within four months. Even though she’ll immerse herself in the language and culture through school, we also try to help her as much as possible at home. We even intend to have at least two language sessions every week. One specifically for pronunciation and the other for grammar. Our very own “language lab” if you will. And the best part of such sessions is recording yourself and listening to it. It’s the worst thing obviously 😉 but lots of fun too and very educational.

The idea for the blog is that we’ll try and share Zoé’s progress on a regular basis. We’re very ambitious and will do our best to post videos or sound recordings every Monday. You read it: “try” and “do our best”. 😉 We do realise that all of this being in Dutch might not be very interesting to our international readers. Still we hope you’ll be able to hear differences and see changes in Zoé’s attitude maybe when listening to or watching our lab sessions the next couple of months.

So here we go. The following recording is Zoé’s final reading session during our first lab. We’re using a children’s book with very pretty drawings, which makes it more fun to read even. During such a session we record small parts of the story, listen to it again, talk about it and try to improve the pronunciation. What you hear is a recording of Zoé reading all of the sentences we practiced in this particular session in one go.

Although we’re using youtube, there’s no video there in this specific case. Maybe we’ll figure something out later for just recording sound, but for now it serves its purpose.

The second and last video for today is one of Zoé talking about her day in Dutch. We’re looking forward to sharing her progress with you and hope you’ll enjoy it with us. We’re very proud of her already 🙂 .

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9 Comments on “Language Lab”

  1. Mies Mulder says:

    Leuk!!! Het gaat goed hoor, het Nederlands. Maar dat hebben we ook al in het echt gehoord, vorige week donderdag.

  2. Koen says:

    Wauw, goed zeg!

  3. NK says:

    Sounds great! Her pronunciation is pretty darn good, especially those g’s and sch’s.

    • Hehehe, yeah, we’re giving her a hard time about those 😛 If only she were staying in the south of The Netherlands, that’d be easier for her, as the g’s and sch’s are pronounced much softer there. But she’s staying with us [insert evil laughter here].

      It’s funny with the sch-sound how she keeps hearing schR. And when we pronounce the word as if it did indeed have schR she does hear it’s totally different. Maybe T can give you some good old Dutch sch and schr sounds (schoot/schroot, schap/schrap etc.)? I’m curious if you recognise why Zoé’s confused sometimes 🙂 .

      • NK says:

        I also hear the r when listening to the pronunciation of “sch” – I think it has to do, at least for a native English speaker, with the fact that we don’t have anything like the “sch” sound (kind of guttural) but it almost sounds like a rolled “r” which we hear more commonly. When I speak and add the r I always flinch because it’s so obviously wrong but it’s definitely there and a significant challenge.

        I also meant to compliment her ability to use the past tense without even thinking about it. Zoé is off to a good start.

  4. Totoro says:

    Wat een leuk idee om dat zo te doen elke week, zal voor Zoe zelf vooral ook leuk zijn om na een tijd haar eerste filmpje weer terug te kijken zodat ze kan horen hoeveel ze vooruit is gegaan.
    Ben benieuwd hoe de eerste week op school was!

    • Hejjj, thanks, props gaan naar Koen voor het initiële idee 🙂 We zijn erg benieuwd naar de vooruitgang over een tijdje. Zoé is vandaag voor ‘t eerst serieus naar school. Gister alleen rooster ophalen. We wachten haar verhalen met plezier af 🙂 Tot snel!


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