Thursday, November 17, 2005

New Zealand Spreek And The Dutch Alphabet (November 10, 2005)

Today, my Dutch teacher gave the class an oral spelling quiz, after teaching us the sounds of the alphabet. Dear God, what suffering ...

I have to try and memorise one or two things ...
You see, it's like this: 'a' sounds like 'r' to me, and the Dutch 'r' involves vibrating my tongue and rrrrrrrrrolling the 'r' out of my mouth.

'I' is an 'e' for me, and a Dutch 'e' is an 'a'.
'G' is a 'hee', and 'h' is an exhalation of air that creates the 'haa' sound.
'K' sounds like 'car', and 'q' sounds like 'coo'.
"u' involves me pursing my lips, pretending to blow someone a kiss then saying 'uu' while my lips are still kiss-shaped.
'Z' has a t on the end of the sound ... like this: 'zet',
and v become 'vay' and 'w' become 'way',
y is ipsilon.

Back in class, things became slightly desperate when it came time for the oral spelling test, and had to write down a word that used 27 of these torturous letters ... schrijfvaardigheidstraining ... meaning 'writing ability training'.

I picked up more than 80% on my first test, but was almost completely destroyed by 'i', 'e' and 'a' ... it seems my vowel pronunciation may finally need a little fine tuning ... I never believed it until now.

Gert had to smile when he pointed out how many of the problematic letters my name contains ... he's offered to help me practise with oral quizzes.

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