The Netherlands in Pictures

Here’s a really cheerful visual summary of the Netherlands. Enjoy !

At just over 9.5 minutes, this is quite a long YouTube clip but well worth the patience if you’re considering a trip to Holland and not sure what to expect. The travel-brochure style photos are great, especially set to the rather catchy tune with Dutch lyrics.

This presents Holland with pride, omitting to mention some its more modern yet less stylish associations. There are plenty of other YouTube clips about “coffee shops”, questionnable areas of Amsterdam, and so on! Watch this for the clogs, windmills, national costumes, coastline, canals, tulips, and many other features of Dutch life.


Het is nuttig de Nederlandse woorden voor de namen van landen te weten.

Er zijn veel landen in de wereld. Er zijn grote landen en kleine landen, rijke landen en arme landen. De namen van sommige landen zijn hetzelfde in het Nederlands als in het Engels. Voorbeelden van deze zijn: Botswana, Canada, Ghana en Japan.

De onderstaande woordenlijst omvat landen in Europa, Amerika, Afrika en Azië. Deze lijst omvat alle landen in de wereld niet. Wanneer de woorden hetzelfde in het Nederlands en in het Engels zijn deze in de lijst in bruine letters geschreven.


De kaarten toonden boven niet naar de zelfde schaal getekend.
(Canada is veel groter dan Ierland) !







Sri Lanka

Verenigd Koninkrijk
Verenigde Staten van Amerika (verenigde Staten)






The Netherlands
New Zealand
North Korea

Sri Lanka

The Czech Republic
United Kingdom
United States of America (United States)

South Africa
South Korea

In case you would like to print this posting we have made it available to download easily. Just click here: Print the page “Landen”.

Learning vocabulary by word association

The concept of learning new words by making mental associations with familiar words, sounds, or even pictures, is not new. This approach can be used in many creative ways.

One teaching aid that relies on the idea of learning by word association is Linkword Languages. This fun and easy approach involves making mental associations based on sometimes hilarious connections between words! The idea is that to help you remember a new word in the language you are learning (e.g. Dutch) you are shown an interesting “connection” between that new word and its meaning in the language you already know (e.g. English). This helps the learner to visualise the new word in a way that makes it easier to recall its meaning. The software presents a series of words displayed on the screen together with their translations and a suggested “connection” through which to remember the new word. These words are also clearly pronounced and repeated as often as required (in response to the user pressing the “play” button again). After presenting a set of words one at a time, the system tests the student via a screen into which one must type simple answers. The correct answers are then displayed. Then one can then proceed to the next section that introduces more words and/or complexity.

Linkword Languages’ website offers software and audio courses that claim to help students to learn a new language quickly. Free demonstrations are available online. Click on the banner link on the left of this text to try the online demos, including the demo for learning Dutch.

This looks promising but relies on one ordering online as we haven’t seen this material for sale anywhere on the high street, at least not yet!

It’s great to see so many Dutch language teaching aids available. We’ll feature some more vocabulary-building products soon.

De Tuin

Heeft u een tuin?
Wat is in uw tuin?
Wie woont er in uw tuin?

Wij hebben een kleine tuin voor het huis en een grotere tuin achter het huis.

De kleine voortuin heeft een haag aan de voorkant en een hek aan de zijkant. Er is een kleine poort in het hek. Er is geen gras in de voorttuin. In plaats daarvan zijn er veel planten in potten. Er zijn veel kleurrijke bloemen in de potten. Er zijn narcissen in de lente. Soms zie ik mieren, kevers, rupsen, vlinders of bijen in de voortuin. Er zijn veel ook spinnen in de tuin. Zij spinnen reusachtige webben.

De achtertuin heeft een hoge muur met een poort in de muur. Er zijn veel bloemen en planten in de tuin. Er is een boom en een klein lapje gras. Mijn favoriete deel van de tuin is de vijver. Er zijn planten in de vijver. Er zijn ook vissen in de vijver, en kikkers. Soms zie ik libellen dichtbij de vijver, maar enkel in de zomer. Er is een schuur in de tuin, maar er is geen garage. Ik heb geen slangen of hagedissen nabij de vijver gezien. Er zijn veel vogels. Soms bezoeken egels en eekhoorns de tuin.

The Italian Garden at Blenheim Palace, near Oxford (England).


de voortuin
de achtertuin
de tuinman
het tuinfeest

In de Tuin:

het gras
de plant
de planten
de bloem
de bloemen
de boom
de bomen
het pad
de paden
de bestrating
de patio
het hek
de hekken
de haag
de hagen
de poort
de poorten
de tuinpoort
de stappen stenigt
de stappen stenigts
de tuin muur
de schuur
de schuren
de garage
de plantpot
de plantpotten
de vijver

Woonen in de Tuin:

de vogel
de vogels
de mier
de mieren
de bij
de bijen
de worm
de wormen
de kever
de kevers
de rups
de rupsen
de vlinder
de vlinders
de spin
de spinnen
de kikker
de kikkers
de libel
de libellen
de vis
de vissen
de slang
de slangen
de hagedis
de hagedissen
de egel
de egels
de eekhoorn
de eekhoorns

the front garden
the back garden
to garden (verb)
the gardener
the garden party
colourful (adj)

In the Garden:

the grass
the plant
the plants
the flower
the flowers
the tree
the trees
the path
the paths
the paving
the patio
the fence
the fences
the hedge
the hedges
the gate
the gates
the garden gate
the stepping stone
the stepping stones
the garden wall
the shed
the sheds
the garage
the plant pot
the plant pots
the pond

Living in the Garden:

the bird
the birds
the ant
the ants
the bee
the bees
the worm
the worms
the beetle
the beetles
the caterpillar
the caterpillars
the butterfly
the butterflies
the spider
the spiders
the frog
the frogs
the dragonfly
the dragonflies
the fish (singular)
the fish (plural)
the snake
the snakes
the lizard
the lizards
the hedgehog
the hedgehogs
the squirrel
the squirrels

In case you would like to print this posting we have made it available to download easily. Just click here: Print the page “De Tuin”

Learn Dutch with Berlitz

Dutch Berlitz Travel Pack (Phrase Book with audio cassette or CD)

Although there is no substitute for a really good language teacher (preferably a native speaker), sometimes that isn’t possible or one would like additional practice between lessons.

Many years ago the Berlitz Travel Pack (which consisted of a phrase book and audio cassette in the 1980s) was my introduction to another European language not taught at school, or even at many universities. After learning the cassette almost “parrot fashion” I was immediately understood at my first attempts to use the material in remote travel situations including train stations, bus stations, and small towns. Bravo Berlitz ! I was delighted and greatly encouraged.

Not surprisingly therefore, I searched out the Dutch Berlitz Travel Pack to use together with the Dutch course I joined recently. It didn’t disappoint. The cover illustrated above is from the 1991 version. This is rather dated now, with mention of Dutch Guilders and Belgian Francs – both of which have since been replaced with the Euro. I don’t just love this teaching material for its considerable nostalgic value, but also because it is stuffed full of really practical expressions. Learn these and you won’t have to work out what to say in travel situations – the phrases will just spring to mind. Fantastic !

The downside is that this format is rather limited. Once you’ve learned all the phrases and want to move on to something more advanced, or to understand the grammar, it’s back to the bookshop to search all over again! (I’ve had fun with that step too and will include more suggestions next time.)

The up-to-date version of this Berlitz Phrase Book and CD set is available from (priced £9.02 at the time of adding this post). You can go straight to the Dutch Berlitz Travel Pack on Amazon by clicking here: Dutch Berlitz Travel Pack.

Banen en Beroepen

Wat is uw baan ?
Wat is uw beroep ?
Wat voor werk doet u ?
Wat zijn uw werkzaamheden ?

Er zijn vele verschillende banen en beroepen. Sommige mensen hebben meerdere banen. Het is nuttig om te begrijpen wat mensen op het werk doen. Hier zijn sommige lijsten van banen en beroepen.

Dit is de langste woordenlijst op tot nog toe.
Er zijn veel meer beroepen. Dit zijn slechts enkele voorbeelden.

Banen en Beroepen


Banen buiten

de visser
de boer
de politieagent
de bouwer
de aannemer
de parkeercontroleur
de dierenarts
de badmeester
de strandmeester
de jachtopziener
de reis leider
de skiinstructeur
de paard-rijd instructeur
de vuilnisman
de dierenverzorger
de scheepsbouwer
de lasser

Banen in de winkel:
de winkelassistent
de bakker
de groenteboer
de slager
de kapper
de herenkapper

Banen op kantoor:
de baas
de directeur
de afdelingsmanager
de projectmanager
de advocaat
de grafisch ontwerper
de architect
de secretaris
de technicus

Banen in gezondheidszorg:
de chirurg
de dokter
de tandarts
de (mond) hygiënist
de verpleegster
de vroedvrouw
de zorg-werker
de diëtist
de farmaceut
de opticien
de fysiotherapeut
de dierenarts

Banen in natuurlijke / alternatieve geneeskunde:
de homeopaat
de osteopaat
de acupuncteur
de reflexologist
de aromatherapeut
de massagetherapeut
de voedingsdeskundige

Banen in wetenschap:
de scheikundige
de fysicus
de laserfysicus
de lensontwerper
de raketwetenschapper
de wiskundige
de elektrisch ingenieur
de mechanische ingenieur
de consulent

Banen in scholen en universiteiten:
de leraar
de onderwijs assistent
de docent (aan de universiteit)
de professor
de kok
de chef-kok
de huisbewaarder
de schoonmaker

Jobs working outdoors:

the fisherman
the farmer
the policeman
the builder
the builder/building contractor
the traffic warden
the country vet
the life-guard (swimming pool)
the life-guard (at a beach)
the game-keeper
the tour guide
the ski instructor
the horse riding instructor
the refuse collector / binman
the zoo keeper
the shipbuilder
the welder

Jobs on the High Street:
the shop assistant
the baker
the greengrocer
the butcher
the hairdresser
the barber

Jobs in an office:
the boss
the Managing Director
the department manager
the project manager
the lawyer (incl. barrister)
the graphic designer
the architect
the secretary
the technician

Jobs in healthcare:
the surgeon
the doctor
the dentist
the (dental) hygienist
the nurse
the midwife
the care-worker
the dietician
the pharmacist
the optician
the physiotherapist
the vet

Jobs in natural / alternative medicine:
the homeopath
the osteopath
the acupuncturist
the reflexologist
the aromatherapist
the massage therapist
the nutritionist

Jobs in science:
the chemist
the physicist
the laser physicist
the lens designer
the rocket scientist
the mathematician
the electrical engineer
the mechanical engineer
the consultant

Jobs in schools and universities:
the teacher
the teaching assistant (school)
the lecturer (at the university)
the professor
the cook
the chef
the janitor
the cleaner

In case you would like to print this posting we have made it available to download easily. Just click here: Print the page “Banen en Beroepen”

Cheerful listening practice

Inspired by the earlier entry on featuring “YouTube as a Dutch Learning Aid ?”, I’ve been back to YouTube in search of more (slightly more advanced!) entries to follow that introduction.

After trying the obvious search terms, such as “learn Dutch”, “Dutch language”, “teach Dutch” etc. without finding anything outstanding, it was time to get a bit frivolous! I was surprised to find that “Dutch cartoons” generated a list of Danish cartoons. Eventually persistence paid off. If you’re willing to dig them out YouTube will reward you with a fair few fun kids’ cartoons in Dutch.

This one seems especially cheerful:

As a beginner learning Dutch I’ll have to watch it a few more times to catch all the words. They are pronounced clearly so that shouldn’t be too difficult.

There are many more similar cartoons linked to this one. (If you play this cartoon and watch it to the end, a menu including more cartoons in Dutch follows.)

Eekhoorns in Oxford

Wij lopen vaak in Oxford. Wij genieten van het lopen in de tuin van Christchurch en ook in de Universiteitsparken. Het is nu herfst. Wij houden er van om de verschillende seizoenen te fotograferen.

Ik houd heel veel van eekhoorns. Ik kijk graag naar eekhoorns. Het zijn mijn favoriete dieren in het park. Zij lopen langs het gras en door de bomen. Eekhoorns eten noten en eikels. Zij verzamelen noten. Eekhoorns verbergen noten, eikels en andere dingen om te eten.

Mijn vriend neemt foto’s van eekhoorns. Hij heeft een heel goed fototoestel.

Hier is een foto van een eekhoorn in Oxford. Hij woon in Christchurch Tuinen. Hij verzamelt noten in de tuin.

Eekhoorns in Oxford


de eekhoorn
de eekhoorns
de eikel
de eikels
de noot
de noten
het park
de parken
het seizoen
de seizoenen
het fototoestel
de fototoestellen
de foto
de foto’s

te genieten van
te lopen
te fotograferen
te kijken
te lopen
te eten
te verzamelen
te verbergen

om plezier

the squirrel
the squirrels
the acorn
the acorns
the nut
the nuts
the park
the parks
the season
the seasons
the camera
the cameras
the photograph
the photographs

to enjoy
to walk
to photograph
to watch
to run
to eat
to collect
to hide


In case you would like to print this posting we have made it available to download easily. Just click here: Print the page “Eekhoorns in Oxford”

Jamie’s Italian Restaurant on George Street

Jamie’s Italian restaurant on George street is a relative newcomer on the Oxford scene having opened only a few weeks ago in the location where the Cock & Camel pub used to be. We’ve been keen to have a look for a while but today was the first time that there wasn’t actually a discouragingly long queue outside when we walked by. Clearly there are more people who would like to try it.

Jamie\'s Italian on George Street

We are quite partial to Italian restaurants and Italian food in general and I in particular am a fan of Jamie Oliver’s because in some ways he always seems to capture the spirit of Italian cuisine even better than some Italian practitioners themselves. Fresh food, simple tastes, etc. You’ve seen it all on TV and it works. So we were quite excited at finally getting to try Jamie’s Italian on George street.

Despite the fact there wasn’t a queue we still had to wait for 20 minutes at a very crowded bar and when we eventually got a table we also found ourselves at rather intimate range from the people at the tables beside us. They have crammed too many tables into too little space. The waiting staff would probably agree because it those who served us had to perform acts of medium to advanced contortionism to do it. As a consequence of the high density of customers and staff per square foot the restaurant is also very loud to the point where it starts to intrude on conversation. 

The menu looks very ‘Jamie’ like. It contains many Oliverisms, usually delivered in the first person. Most of the dishes are Italianate. Where he has stuck to traditional Italian dishes the name has  been jazzed up here and there, e.g. The Penne al Arrabiata are called ‘Turbo Penne’. Many other dishes are not strictly traditional Italian restaurant fare but on paper they look true to the Jamie ethos as covered in his books and TV programmes.

In actual fact the food was vaguely disappointing. We I started with a Genovese pesto dish that looked very promising on paper and that looked just as promising when delivered to the table, containing some extra vegetables and potatoes to make it more interesting than the usual plate of tagliatelle covered with pesto and some parmesan. Shame then that the pesto itself was not very convincing. With the best will in the world I could hardly taste the basil in it and finding any trace of pecorino cheese was just as difficult. Ultimately this pesto has little or no energy. Somehow not what I would have expected as a Jamie Oliver fan or of a restaurant that advertises ‘lush’ pesto.

Similarly the main course of Salmon on a bed of roasted vegetables couldn’t quite impress. The Salmon was nicely cooked but the roast vegetables were just nowhere near as good as roast vegetables can be. Desert of a banana chocolate brownie again nice enough but not very memorable and not a match for similar deserts at Chez Gerard’s or Carluccio’s.

Just below the deserts the menu also lists Jamie Oliver T-shirts and signed books.

The bill (including a 10% tip but not counting money spent at the bar while waiting for a table) came to about £35 a head which is a bit high for Oxford casual dining standards and a better dinner and general experience can certainly be had elsewhere and not infinitely far away in Oxford. There is something of the emperor’s new Parka about Jamie’s.

I looked up the Independent’s Restaurant review of Jamies Italian in Oxford and it appears somewhat more positive than mine. Have a look. The Independent’s reviewer took along Oxford locals who apparently ‘were down on their knees in gratitude’ for Jamie bringing this miracle of good food to Oxford. Given the quality of the food traditionally served on George Street I can kind of see the point however I really must suggest that they give Chez Gerard’s on the opposite side of the street a go. It is a more pleasant and comfortable place to sit and they serve better food for less money. Or take a short walk down to the Castle complex and try Carluccio’s. Both of those are Pukkah.

Dutch Crocs

One of the things I try to impress on my English friends is that the Dutch don’t necessarily always conform 100% to the cartoon stereotype. They don’t eat cheese ALL the time, most of them don’t wear clogs and the vast majority of them have never been near a coffee shop that sells dope and they don’t visit the red light district in Amsterdam all the time.

They do however from time to time indulge in  orange mania – particularly on or around major football tournaments. The aftermath of Euro 2008 is no different with a plethora of orange products in the sales. Orange radios, shovels, USB hubs, chocolate bars, etc, etc. The one that most caught my eye was orange Crocs sandals though. The model below was for sale in a shop window in Leiden this week.

Orange Crocs

These sandals have always intrigued me. They are expensive (at least at Millets Farm garden centre), they look like…rubber sandals and as far as I can judge from a quick try they are not particularly comfortable.

At least these orange ones look a little zippier than the mint green and pink models common in Oxfordshire. Perhaps if I got some my friends would think me more trendy. Hmmm…