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Learn some culture-specific Dutch with our B2.1 course

If you’ve read any of our previous blog posts, you probably know that our main goal is to make you familiar with our courses. The same goes for this post, in which we’ll give you a glimpse of our B2.1 course material.

So what is this course all about? To start, it offers a recap of all previous courses’ grammar and speech acts. Which isn’t only handy but will give you confidence about how much your Dutch language skills have grown.

You’ll also continue to work on your vocabulary and will practice with a thematic dictionary. To effectively relate sentences to each other you’ll learn how to use structuurwoorden (= ‘structure words’). And as with all our classes, reading, listening and having discussions about the reviewed content is an essential part of the B2.1 course.

Some typically Dutch themes you’ll come across are positivity, sociable behavior, and progressive thinking. Continue reading to learn some daring Dutch sentences like the translation to ‘What an idiot’.

Wat zie je er leuk uit!

Optimism is an important and fun aspect of Dutch society. That’s why one of the themes during this course focuses on it. You’ll learn to express what you are optimistic about when it comes to your personal life and society in general. You’ll also write an essay about a situation in which you were positively surprised. Or reversed: where you surprised someone else in a positive way.

An example of how the Dutch express their optimism is through giving each other compliments. March 1 even marks Nationale Complimentendag (= ‘National Compliment Day’) In the Netherlands. You’ll find out how to give people compliments in Dutch and will compare that to how you offer compliments in your mother tongue.   

Here are a few examples of compliments you could hand out right now:

  • Wat zie je er leuk uit! (= ‘You look great!’)
  • Leuk gedaan! (= ‘Nicely done!’)
  • Dat heb je goed voor elkaar! (= ‘Well done!’)
  • Wat zit je haar leuk! (= ‘Your hair looks great like that!’)
  • Jij bent echt goed bezig! (= ‘You’re doing a really great job’)
  • Wat heb je mooie schoenen aan! (= ‘You’re wearing beautiful shoes!’)
  • Je zou niet zeggen dat jij al 50 bent! (= ‘You definitely don’t look 50 years old!’)

Hoe verzin je het!

During the lessons focusing on sociaal zijn (= ‘being sociable’), we’ll dig into the Dutch fietsetiquette (= ‘biking manners’). You’ll find the answers to questions like: 

  • Mag je over de stoep fietsen? (= ‘Can you ride your bike on the sidewalk?’)
  • Mag je je fiets overal parkeren? (= ‘Are you allowed to park your bike everywhere?’)

You’ll create a set of hypothetical rules for a building where a lot of people gather, like a school or an office. That way, you’ll practice with passive sentences like these:

Er mag alleen buiten gerookt worden en het huiswerk moet op tijd worden ingeleverd. De fietsen kunnen in de fietsenstalling worden gezet.

Do you understand the rules above? (‘You’re only allowed to smoke outside and have to submit your homework in time. The bikes can be put in the bicycle parking.’)

We’ll also practice giving a heftige reactie (= ‘strong reaction’), which comes in handy when someone cuts in line at the grocery store for example. 

  • Dat is toch belachelijk! (= ‘That’s completely ridiculous!’)
  • Wat een idioot! (= ‘What an idiot!’)
  • Dat is toch te gek om los te lopen! (= ‘He/she’s too crazy to handle!’)
  • Hoe verzin je het! (= ‘You can’t make this up!’)
  • In wat voor wereld leven we? (= ‘What kind of world do we live in?’)

Voed jij je kinderen streng op?

How are household chores divided in your country? Are there things only women do? And what about men? Because the subject of progressief denken (= ‘progressive thinking’) offers interesting debating material, we’ll discuss it during these lessons.

You’ll be introduced to a betoog tegen kernenergie, or a kind of text that’s written as an argument against nuclear energy.

We’ll also discuss the sixteenth century theologist Johannes Calvijn and what it means to be a follower of the Calvinistic religion. Test yourself and see if you possess some Calvinistic convictions. Do you agree with the following sentences? Then you share some mindsets of the Calvinists.

  • Als ik wat beloof, kom ik dat altijd na. (= ‘When I promise something, I always live up to it.’)
  • Eigenlijk zou ik harder moeten werken. (= ‘I should probably work harder.’)
  • Kinderen streng opvoeden bereidt ze voor op het leven. (= ‘Raising your children in a strict way prepares them for life.’)

During debates, you will express your opinion by forming substantiated arguments. Besides that, you’ll make use of bijwoorden (= ‘adverbs’) to properly link your arguments.

  • Het is belangrijk om… (= ‘It’s important to…’)
  • Overigens… (= ‘Moreover…’)
  • Bovendien (= ‘Moreover’)
  • Trouwens (= ‘By the way’)
  • Daarbij komt… (= ‘In addition…’)
  • Daarnaast (= ‘Besides’)
  • Reden temeer om… (‘Even more reason to…’)

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