Dialogue - Dutch

Hide

Vocabulary

Hide
het zat zijn to be fed up (with something)
studeren to study
hartstikke very, totally
kijken to watch
televisie television
schaatsen speed-skating
moe tired
man husband
slapen to sleep
al already

Lesson Notes

Hide

Grammar

The Focus of This Lesson Is Describing What You Are Doing.
Hij ligt al te slapen.

"
He is sleeping already."


In the conversation, Karin said ik ben aan het studeren ("I am studying"),

and Selma answered Ik zit televisie te kijken ("I am watching television").

Both Karin and Selma express that they are in the middle of an activity: Karin is studying, and Selma is watching television.

The two most common ways in Dutch to express that your activity is still ongoing are as follows:

 

1. zijn + aan het + [infinitive]

For Example:

  1. Ik ben aan het lezen.
    "I am reading."
  2. Hij is aan het slapen.
    "He is sleeping."
  3. Wij zijn aan het praten.
    "We are talking."

 

2. zitten/staan/liggen + te + [infinitive]

For Example:

  1. Ik zit te lezen.
    "I am reading (while sitting)."
  2. Hij ligt te slapen.
    "He is sleeping (while lying down)."
  3. Wij staan te praten.
    "We are talking (while standing)."

 

Conjugation 


1. Still remember the conjugation of the irregular verb zijn ("to be")? Use the correct conjugation: ik ben/jij bent/hij is...aan het lezen! ("I am"/"you are"/"he is...reading"). The words aan het + [infinitive] indicate that the action is going on.

2. In the Absolute Beginner series, you've learned that in Dutch you often indicate whether something or someone is "sitting," "standing," or "lying" while doing something, whereas in English you just say that it or he "is."

For Example:

  1. Het boek ligt op tafel.
    "The book is on the table." (literally, "the book is lying on the table")

It's the same for the examples below.

For Example:

  1. Ik ben aan het lezen.
    "I am reading."
  2. Ik zit te lezen.
    "I am sitting and reading."

The meaning is the same, but in the second sentence, we added information on how you are reading the book. For now, only try to recognize these two forms of expressing that you are in the middle of an activity. We'll practice later on.

 

Examples From the Dialogue 


  1. Selma: wat ben je aan het doen?
    "What are you doing?"
  2. Selma: Of is hij nog aan het werken?
    "Or is he still working?"
  3. Karin: Hij ligt al te slapen.
    "He is sleeping already."

Cultural Insights

The Netherlands: A Sport-Minded Country


Selma is watching speed skating on TV, as a lot of Dutch people do in the wintertime. Dutch people are not only fond of watching sports, but they also love to do it themselves!

Nearly 5 million people are registered sports club members; that is, nearly one-third of the Dutch population! There are thousands of organizations, ranging from national sports authorities to a variety of small local clubs.

The number one sport in the Netherlands is football. Dutch football players Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, and Ruud Gullit are famous and well known around the world. Ice skating is also an important part of the Dutch sports heritage. Most winters it's not freezing long enough to skate on natural ice, so most people go to indoor ice rinks. If it freezes long enough, one of the longest skating marathons on natural ice in the world is held in the province of Friesland: de Elfstedentocht (literally, "the Eleven Cities tour").

Hockey is also played widely, cycling is very popular, and tennis clubs can be found in almost every town. Swimming, gymnastics, athletics, korfball, rowing, and equestrian sports are also widely practiced, among a variety of other sports.

Lesson Transcript

Hide
INTRODUCTION
Gabriella: Hi everyone, Gabriella here! Welcome to DutchPod101.com. This is Lower Beginner Season 1, Lesson 1 - What Are You Doing in the Netherlands?
Jacob: Hallo! I'm Jacob.
Gabriella: With us, you'll learn to speak Dutch with fun and effective lessons.
Jacob: We also provide you with cultural insights...
Gabriella: ...and tips you won't find in a textbook.
Jacob: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to describe what you are doing in Dutch.
Gabriella: This conversation takes place on the phone. Karin and Selma are friends, so they will be using casual Dutch.
Jacob: Okay. Let's listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Selma: Hee Karin, wat ben je aan het doen?
Karin: Hee Selma, ik ben aan het studeren.
Selma: Ik zit televisie te kijken. Er is schaatsen op TV. Heb je zin om langs te komen?
Karin: Ja, gezellig. Ik ben hartstikke moe en ik ben het studeren zat.
Selma: Komt je man ook? Of is hij nog aan het werken?
Karin: Nee, Jan is niet aan het werken. Hij ligt al te slapen.
Gabriella: Let's hear the conversation one time slowly.
Selma: Hee Karin, wat ben je aan het doen?
Karin: Hee Selma, ik ben aan het studeren.
Selma: Ik zit televisie te kijken. Er is schaatsen op TV. Heb je zin om langs te komen?
Karin: Ja, gezellig. Ik ben hartstikke moe en ik ben het studeren zat.
Selma: Komt je man ook? Of is hij nog aan het werken?
Karin: Nee, Jan is niet aan het werken. Hij ligt al te slapen.
Gabriella: Now let's hear it with the English translation.
Selma: Hee Karin, wat ben je aan het doen?
Gabriella: Hi, Karin, what are you doing?
Karin: Hee Selma, ik ben aan het studeren.
Gabriella: Hi, Selma, I'm studying.
Selma: Ik zit televisie te kijken. Er is schaatsen op TV. Heb je zin om langs te komen?
Gabriella: I'm watching television. There's speed skating on TV. Would you like to come over?
Karin: Ja, gezellig. Ik ben hartstikke moe en ik ben het studeren zat.
Gabriella: Yes, I would love to. I'm very tired, and I'm fed up with studying.
Selma: Komt je man ook? Of is hij nog aan het werken?
Gabriella: Is your husband coming as well? Or is he still working?
Karin: Nee, Jan is niet aan het werken. Hij ligt al te slapen.
Gabriella: No, Jan is not working. He's sleeping already.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Jacob: So let’s talk about a favorite pastime of the Dutch...
Gabriella: ...sports! Are Dutch people sport-minded?
Jacob: Yes, they absolutely love sports! They are fond of watching sports, but they also like to do sports themselves!
Gabriella: What’s your favorite sport?
Jacob: I love speed-skating, especially on natural ice - but most years it’s not freezing long enough to skate on lakes and canals. I usually go to an indoor ice rink.
Gabriella: And how about other popular Dutch sports?
Jacob: The number one sport is football, but hockey, cycling, swimming and tennis are also popular in The Netherlands.
Gabriella: Of course, football! Who doesn’t know the Dutch football players Van Basten and Johan Cruyff!
Jacob: Yes, they are quite famous.
Gabriella: Okay, on to the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
Jacob: moe [natural native speed]
Gabriella: tired
Jacob: moe [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: moe [natural native speed]
Jacob: het zat zijn [natural native speed]
Gabriella: to be fed up (with something)
Jacob: het zat zijn [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: het zat zijn [natural native speed]
Jacob: kijken [natural native speed]
Gabriella: to watch
Jacob: kijken [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: kijken [natural native speed]
Jacob: man [natural native speed]
Gabriella: husband
Jacob: man [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: man [natural native speed]
Jacob: schaatsen [natural native speed]
Gabriella: speed-skating
Jacob: schaatsen [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: schaatsen [natural native speed]
Jacob: televisie [natural native speed]
Gabriella: television
Jacob: televisie [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: televisie [natural native speed]
Jacob: al [natural native speed]
Gabriella: already
Jacob: al [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: al [natural native speed]
Jacob: hartstikke [natural native speed]
Gabriella: very, totally
Jacob: hartstikke [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: hartstikke [natural native speed]
Jacob: slapen [natural native speed]
Gabriella: to sleep
Jacob: slapen [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: slapen [natural native speed]
Jacob: studeren [natural native speed]
Gabriella: to study
Jacob: studeren [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: studeren [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Gabriella: Let's have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Jacob: Karin says ‘hartstikke’, did you hear this?
Gabriella: Yes, it’s “very” in Dutch, right?
Jacob: Yes, you’re right. ‘Hartstikke’ is used quite a lot, so please remember it! But it’s used mainly in spoken and casual language. Try to use it, you’ll sound like a local!
Gabriella: ...and what do I use in a more formal situation?
Jacob: You can use ‘heel’ or ‘erg’ instead.
Gabriella: So, Karin is ‘erg moe’ - “very tired”?
Jacob: Perfect!
Gabriella: And how about ‘schaatsen’ - “speed-skating”? It looks like a verb...?!
Jacob: Yes, ‘schaatsen’ is a verb - “to skate” in English. But in this dialogue it’s used as a noun - Selma is talking about the sport speed-skating. She’s watching the sport on TV, she’s not talking about the activity skating.
Gabriella: But do you refer to the sport as ‘de schaatsen’, or ‘het schaatsen’?
Jacob: If a verb is used as a noun, it’s always a neuter gender....
Gabriella: … so ‘het schaatsen’?
Jacob: Correct! Did you also notice that they were talking about Karin’s husband?
Gabriella: Yes, Karin’s ‘man’, in Dutch.
Jacob: Yep! Do you know another word for ‘man’, which is slightly more formal?
Gabriella: Let’s see... ‘echtgenoot’?
Jacob: You’re a linguistic talent!
Gabriella: Thanks! Okay, now on to the grammar.

Lesson focus

Jacob: In this lesson, we're going to learn how to say what you’re doing.
Gabriella: In the dialogue, Karin says she is studying - in Dutch ‘ik ben aan het studeren’.
Jacob: Exactly! Karin wants to say that she is studying right now, and she was not finished studying when Selma called.
Gabriella: So for example you can say ‘Ik studeer rechten’ in general, and ‘Ik ben aan het studeren’ when you’re actually busy reading your books...?
Jacob: Yes, this is the same difference as in English “I study law” in general, and “I am studying” when you’re actually reading your study books.
Gabriella: How do you make this progressive form in Dutch?
Jacob: Use the verb ‘zijn’- “to be” + the words ‘aan het’ + the infinitive.
Gabriella: We’ve learned the conjugation of the irregular verb ‘zijn’ before...
Jacob: Yes, do you remember? ‘Ik ben / jij bent / hij is / wij zijn / jullie zijn / zij zijn’...?
Gabriella: Yes! So ‘ik ben’ + ‘aan het’ + an infinitive, for example ‘lopen’?
Jacob: Correct! And when I’m talking about you ‘jij bent’+ ‘aan het’ + ‘lopen’!
Gabriella: “You are walking!”
Jacob: Did you notice that Selma said something slightly different, when she told Karin what she was doing?
Gabriella: Yes, Selma said ‘Ik zit televisie te kijken’ - “she is watching television”. But is it the same as ‘Ik ben televisie aan het kijken’, as we just learned?
Jacob: Yes, the meaning is the same. But in the Absolute Beginner series, we also learned that in Dutch you often indicate that something is lying, standing or sitting while in English you just say that ‘it is’.
Gabriella: Can you give an example?
Jacob: Of course, “the book is on the table”. You’d translate it as ‘het boek ligt op de tafel’. Literally, “The book is lying on the table...”?!
Gabriella: Aha!
Jacob: It’s the same for ‘Ik zit televisie te kijken’. Literally you say that you’re watching television, while you’re sitting.
Gabriella: So compared to ‘ik ben televisie aan het kijken’ you give extra information on how you’re watching television?
Jacob: Yes, namely, as a couch potato, sitting in your lazy chair!
Gabriella: And now you’re using the verbs “sitting”, “standing” or “lying” + ‘te’ + infinitive...?
Jacob: Correct! In Dutch, ‘zitten’, ‘staan’ en ‘liggen’ + ‘te’ + infinitive. ‘Ik zit te lezen’ - “I am reading...”
Gabriella: And ‘jij zit te lezen’ - “you are reading...”?
Jacob: Yes. For now, try to recognise these forms, we’ll practice later on!

Outro

Gabriella: Okay, that’s it for this lesson. And listeners, don’t forget to check the lesson notes for more phrases!
Jacob: Thanks for listening, and see you next time!
Gabriella: Tot ziens!