My name is Tim and I live in Amsterdam. My polyglot CV is still in its infancy: even though I’ve always been interested in languages, I didn’t gave them my utmost priority until last year and therefore only spoke Dutch, English and German, albeit all with conversational fluency or better. Right now I’m working hard to extend my repertoire of languages, until now it has been expanded with Italian, Spanish, and French. At this moment I consider it most useful to extend this repertoire with functionality in mind, with the goal to make myself understandable at any continent I want to visit. For example, if I can reach fluency in all aforementioned languages plus Portuguese, I’d expect that I can make myself understandable with at least part of the population in every country, except those in Northern Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia - neither of which continents are on top of my bucketlist right now, however.
I have a background in music composition (mainly classical) and as an amateur pianist (mostly jazz and related styles). However, I had a great meltdown during my studies, for which reason I lost my absolute passion for music and which made me feel necessary to abort my studies. I still play piano with my band, but that’s basically the only music-related activity I do these days. Instead, the pandemic opened the world of online learning and language for me. My current goals are travelling to Italy and Spain to do language courses over there and to start a Linguistics course next year. Also, I’m thinking of applying for an Italki teacher profile in the coming months to develop myself as an instructor.
I’ve already been honoured to meet quite a few people here but for those who don’t know me yet, feel free to drop me a message if you like!
Hi Tim, welcome!
As a Dutch native speaker who speaks German, what do you really think about the similarity of Dutch and German? People always say when you speak German, you automatically kinda speak (understand) Dutch and vice vera, but I have some doubts.
I don’t speak Dutch yet even though it’s on my to-do list for the near future (2023 maybe?) but I have the feeling that Dutch and German aren’t too much related, actually. Maybe I’m wrong. When I watch videos in Dutch, I understand nothing or almost nothing.
For me personally, I hardly understand any (spoken) language as long as I haven’t really studied it. But in written form, I already understood some German as a child (for example when reading television announcements). So I can’t help but say that I do think they are related. In fact, when I speak any foreign language, I mainly think in English when I can’t come up with a word, but in German I mainly think in Dutch. To go one step further, as soon as I got to know the usual phoneme correlations between German and Dutch I found it even easier to dissect German words that I didn’t know, because the adjectives and adverbs are pretty similar in German and Dutch - especially the famous Substantivierungen (nomalisations).
Maybe the cultural influence also plays a part: in the Netherlands, it is mandatory to learn German in the first three years of secondary school and it’s widely chosen as an exam subject. Also, the most important German TV channels (ARD, ZDF, Arte, etc.) are available almost everywhere in the Netherlands. On the contrary, Dutch is usually only given as an elective subject at German secondary schools within +/- 100 km of the border, and I can’t remember having seen any Dutch TV channels at a regular German television.