learning Dutch at the office

Learning Dutch at the office: nuttig and gezellig

Past tense, future tense, and of course the kofschip and the pronunciation of our famous g-sound. Learning Dutch is quite a challenge. One we take on as a team.

It can be quite intimidating to a non-Dutch person to start a career at a Dutch company. Will people speak English at the lunch table? Will I truly be part of the team? Luckily, English is the go-to language in all our communications. So the answer is definitely yes. You will have no problem being part of it all here. We really are an international company: we have over 20 nationalities in our office. At Emakina, we have quite a few people who relocated to The Netherlands to come work with us.

Confusing Dutch words

But of course, there will be Dutch language all around you. Some of the words may cause expats to raise an eyebrow… Our Business Analyst Andjela is still on the lookout for an equivalent for the word gezellig in Macedonian. Lucas from Brazil feels we’re missing out on a whole world with the word neef. He’s yet to meet a Dutch person who can get the use of the words cousin and nephew right. Ralitsa from Bulgaria is waiting for the day she’s able to pronounce arbeidsongeschiktheidsverzekering (triple word score in a game of Scrabble!).

And apparently, we have a thousand ways to say goodbye. It drives Tech Lead Emin from Turkey mad. Well let’s not exaggerate, but it is confusing. When do you use Tot ziens rather than Dag, or Doei, or even Hoi? Our Sourcer Seyma even discovered words that aren’t real words, maybe they’re more sounds? Dutchies use he he all the time it seems to her.

studying Dutch at Emakina

Dutch class at the office

We think it’s important to at least get a hold of the language a little bit. So anyone who’s up for it, can take part in our Dutch lessons at the office. Our in-company Dutch course takes 12 weeks. Every Monday a group of colleagues gather to study Dutch for two hours. First, there’s an intake test and a phone interview with the teacher to determine the level of Dutch. Most colleagues start at level A1 and if they get really into it, they can sign up for a follow up course to get to the next level. Listening, speaking, reading and writing are all part of the course.

It was very nice to start my life in The Netherlands and at Emakina with the Dutch lessons. The atmosphere is very cool and it’s always interesting to compare the language and cultural differences with the colleagues and the teacher. We have already learnt a lot of things because the small group allows us to have a more customised program and learn efficiently.

Laurent from France

Learning Dutch with colleagues

There’s also a lot of attention for upgrading the vocabulary with useful words. Everything from the course can immediately put to use. In work life and in private life: “I can finally understand Bonnetje mee? at the supermarket, I knew it was about the receipt but had no idea what the words were”, Thibault from France says. The Dutch lessons definitely turn out to be nuttig, and better yet: it’s also quite gezellig. Thibault continues: “It is really awesome to have a teacher coming to our office each week to teach us Dutch. Working in a small group and with colleagues from different countries creates a nice atmosphere.”

Learning Dutch together

If you’re joining Emakina and would like to upgrade your Dutch language skills, we definitely got you covered. Find out now if there’s a job waiting for you.

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