The future is cloudy

We don’t need to speak Dutch to live in Amsterdam, but doesn’t it seem fun to try? In the last week I’ve used every free Dutch lesson on the internet.

One free Dutch lesson is Duolingo, an app that spends a long time teaching you how to say that different groups of people are eating tasty oil and reading newspapers.

One free Dutch lesson is a YouTube channel that claims to be the “fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn Dutch.” I don’t think it’s the fastest or the easiest, but I guess I can’t say for sure. What I can say for sure is it’s not the most fun. I can think of a thousand more fun ways to learn Dutch. Becoming Dutch royalty overnight, starring in a Dutch film, spending a year trapped at a Dutch amusement park, opening a Dutch souvenir store with George Clooney. In fact, in the amount of time it would take me to list all the more fun ways to learn Dutch, a more productive person could have become near-fluent in Dutch.

The most fun free lesson I’ve found so far is a podcast called Laura Speaks Dutch, created by a really nice Dutch man in 2006 for his American then-girlfriend, Laura.

Bvenner walks you through the basics, so right now I know how to fly into the Schillpol airport, greet someone, tell them I’m doing decent, and ask where the bar is and order two glasses of wine and four cups of coffee. I’m really hoping the next episode tells me how to ask for a bathroom, because we’re going to need one pretty desperately at that point.

Laura is from San Diego, so I’ve memorized how to tell people that I’m from San Diego, and how to tell people that “it’s a bit cloudy” there.

“It’s a bit cloudy” is my favorite thing I’ve learned so far, because it seems impressive, and has some cool throat clearing sounds, and because it can be said almost every day and in almost any situation. I’m not always meeting new people, I’m not always thirsty for four cups of coffee, but I learned how to say “it’s a bit cloudy” a week and a half ago and it’s been useful every single day so far.


Image:Berndnaut Smilde