Dialogue - Dutch

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Vocabulary

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hiervoor before this
directeur director
als as, if
nieuw new
iedereen everyone, everybody
collega colleague
kind child
verschillend different, various
studeren to study
ook also

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The Focus of this Lesson is Using the Present Perfect tense for Self-Introductions
Ik heb in Leiden gestudeerd. Nederlands en Spaans

"I have studied in Leiden; Dutch and Spanish."

 


 

The present perfect tense is used to explain that something has happened in the past, but it does not specify at what time exactly.

In Dutch the present perfect is called the voltooid tegenwoordige tijd and is used in exactly the same way as in English.

 

Formation

 


 

The "present perfect" (voltooid tegenwoordige tijd) is made with a subject [noun, pronoun, or proper name] + the modal verb hebben (heb) + the main verb (past participle).

For example, when used with a proper name:

  1. Mevrouw van Dale heeft gestudeerd.
    "Mrs van Dale has studied."

And with a pronoun:

  1. Ik heb in Leiden gestudeerd.
    "I have studied in Leiden."

 

In Leiden is extra information about the place, and this will not change in other tenses.

In this case we don't know which years she spent studying as the present perfect doesn't specify an exact time.

The present perfect tense can also be used to say that something started in the past, but is still going on.

 

For example:

  1. Ik woon sinds 2011 in Singapore.
    "I have lived in Singapore since 2011," with the implication that and I am still living there.

In the simple past (in Dutch: onvoltooid verleden tijd), you can be more precise. For example, you would use it to say In 1999 leefde ik in Singapore ("In 1999 I lived in Singapore").

So in the dialogue, when the new teacher is introducing herself and telling a bit about her past, she uses the present perfect.

 

Dialogue lines in which you will find the present perfect tense:

 

Directeur: Mevrouw van Dale, waar heeft u gestudeerd?

Director: Mrs van Dale, where have you studied?

Mevrouw van Dale: Ik heb in Leiden gestudeerd. Nederlands en Spaans.

Mrs van Dale: I've studied in Leiden; Dutch and Spanish.

Directeur: Oh! Dus u heeft ook Spaans geleerd?

Director: Ah! So you've learned Spanish as well?

Mevrouw van Dale: Ja, die taal heb ik ook geleerd. Ik heb als kind ook in Spanje gewoond.

Mrs van Dale: Yes, I've studied that language as well. As a child I also lived in Spain.

Directeur: En waar heeft u hiervoor gewerkt?

Director: And where have you worked before?

Mevrouw van Dale: Ik heb op verschillende scholen in Rotterdam les gegeven.

Mrs van Dale: I've taught at several schools in Rotterdam.

 

Compare the following sentences:

Present perfect: Ik heb in China gereisd.  ("I have travelled in China.")

Simple past: In 1987 reisde ik in China.("In 1987 I travelled in China.")

 

Present perfect: Ik heb altijd veel aan sport gedaan.'("I have always done a lot of sports.")

Simple past: Op school deed ik veel aan sport.("When I was at school I used to do a lot of sports.")

So you could say that the new teacher uses the present perfect to give some information about her former career, but without being too specific.

 

Examples from the dialogue:

  1. En waar hebt u hiervoor gewerkt?
    "And where have you worked before?"
  2. Ik heb op verschillende scholen in Rotterdam les gegeven.
    "I've taught at several schools in Rotterdam."

 

Sample Sentences


 

  1. Ik heb altijd in Leiden gestudeerd, maar nooit in andere steden.
    "I've always studied in Leiden, but never in other cities."
  2. En waar hebt u hiervoor gewerkt? Ook in het onderwijs?
    "And where did you work before? Also in education?"
  3. Ik heb als kind ook in Spanje gewoond, maar daarna alleen maar in Nederland.
    "As a child I'd lived in Spain, but after that only in the Netherlands."

 

Cultural Insights

Formal versus Informal Relationships and Language


 

 

It is always difficult to make the right choice between formal and informal language. In Holland this will depend on a lot of factors. The type of relationship between two people matters of course, but age, background and education also have an influence on how you speak.

Holland used to be much more formal than it is now, but since the sixties things have become more relaxed. It is now perfectly acceptable to start a conversation using the informal je instead of the formal u (both meaning "you"), when talking to somebody of the same age and status. Of course when addressing a prime minister, CEO or somebody else with a high position, you use u.

When unsure, always start with formal language or ask mag ik 'je' zeggen?, meaning "May I use je?" or, in practice, "Can we be on a first-name basis?"

 

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
Eric: Hi everyone, and welcome to DutchPod101.com. This is Lower Intermediate Season 1 Lesson 1 - Meeting a New Dutch Coworker. Eric here.
Jacob: Hallo. I'm Jacob.
Eric: In this lesson you’ll learn how to use the present perfect tense. The conversation takes place in the teachers’ room of a school.
Jacob: It's between the school director and the new teacher. Other staff are listening.
Eric: The speakers have just met and have a professional relationship, so they’ll be using formal Dutch. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Directeur: Goedemorgen iedereen. We hebben een nieuwe collega. Dit is mevrouw van Dale.
Mevrouw van Dale: Goedemorgen, leuk u te ontmoeten.
Directeur: Mevrouw van Dale, waar hebt u gestudeerd?
Mevrouw van Dale: Ik heb in Leiden gestudeerd. Nederlands en Spaans.
Directeur: Oh! Dus u hebt ook Spaans geleerd?
Mevrouw van Dale: Ja, die taal heb ik ook geleerd. Ik heb als kind ook in Spanje gewoond.
Directeur: En waar hebt u hiervoor gewerkt?
Mevrouw van Dale: Ik heb op verschillende scholen in Rotterdam les gegeven.
Eric: Listen to the conversation with the English translation.
Director: Good morning, everybody. We have a new colleague. This is Mrs. van Dale.
Mrs van Dale: Good morning, nice to meet you.
Director: Mrs van Dale, where have you studied?
Mrs van Dale: I’ve studied in Leiden; Dutch and Spanish.
Director: Ah! So you’ve learned Spanish as well?
Mrs van Dale: Yes, I’ve studied that language as well. As a child I also lived in Spain.
Director: And where have you worked before?
Mrs van Dale: I’ve taught at several schools in Rotterdam.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Eric: Jacob, how do you decide whether to use formal or informal language in Dutch?
Jacob: In Holland, it depends on a lot of factors. The type of relationship you have with the person you’re speaking to matters of course, but age, background and education also have an influence on how you speak.
Eric: I’ve heard that Holland used to be much more formal than it is now. Is that true?
Jacob: It is. Since the 1960s, things have been changing. It’s now perfectly acceptable to start a conversation using the informal je instead of the formal u to mean “you” when you’re talking to somebody of the same age and status.
Eric: But of course if you’re addressing a prime minister, CEO, or someone else in a high position you should use formal language.
Jacob: That’s right. So listeners, my tip is to use formal language when you aren’t sure which to choose.
Eric: Okay, now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
Eric: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is..
Jacob: directeur [natural native speed]
Eric: director
Jacob: directeur[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: directeur [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Jacob: iedereen [natural native speed]
Eric: everyone, everybody
Jacob: iedereen[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: iedereen [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Jacob: nieuw [natural native speed]
Eric: new
Jacob: nieuw[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: nieuw [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Jacob: collega [natural native speed]
Eric: colleague
Jacob: collega[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: collega [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Jacob: studeren [natural native speed]
Eric: to study
Jacob: studeren[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: studeren [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Jacob: als [natural native speed]
Eric: as, if
Jacob: als[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: als [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Jacob: kind [natural native speed]
Eric: child
Jacob: kind[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: kind [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Jacob: hiervoor [natural native speed]
Eric: before this
Jacob: hiervoor[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: hiervoor [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Jacob: verschillend [natural native speed]
Eric: different, various
Jacob: verschillend[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: verschillend [natural native speed]
Eric: And last..
Jacob: ook [natural native speed]
Eric: also
Jacob: ook[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jacob: ook [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Eric: Let's have a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first phrase is..
Jacob: als kind
Eric: which means “as a child.”
Jacob: The Dutch als usually means “if,” but in our phrase it means “when.” So als kind literally means “when I was a child.”
Eric: In English the difference between “if” and “when” is fairly obvious, but in Dutch there can be some confusion.
Jacob: Right. For example, als het regent can mean both “if it rains” and “when it rains.” Basically, “if” in Dutch is als and “when” is wanneer. So “when it rains” should be wanneer het regent but actually most people will say als het regent.
Eric: Can you give us an example using this word?
Jacob: Sure. For example, you can say.. Als kind was ik altijd moeiljk.
Eric: ..which means “As a child I was always difficult.” Okay, what's the next phrase?
Jacob: We hebben een nieuwe collega.
Eric: “We have a new colleague.” Jacob, let’s break down this phrase to see the meaning of each word.
Jacob: Sure. We hebben means “We have” and een nieuwe collega is “a new colleague.”
Eric: You can use this sentence to start the introduction of a new colleague.
Jacob: A more formal way to say it would be “Please allow me to introduce...,” or in Dutch, Staat u mij toe .. voor te stellen. This is a very formal sentence though.
Eric: So you wouldn’t use it for a casual introduction. Can you give us another example of a casual introduction?
Jacob: Sure. For example, you can say.. We hebben een nieuwe collega. Laten we een borrel drinken.
Eric: “We have a new colleague. Let's have a drink.” Okay, now onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

Eric: In this lesson you’ll learn how to use the present perfect tense. In Dutch, the present perfect tense is used to explain that something has happened in the past, but it does not specify at what time exactly.
Jacob: In Dutch, the present perfect tense is called the voltooid tegenwoordige tijd.
Eric: The formation of this tense is simple. You have the subject plus the modal verb…
Jacob: hebben.
Eric: It’s exactly the same as in English, just the pronoun plus the verb “have,” as in “Jacob has,” which becomes something like “Jacob has studied” when you add the past tense verb. So if I want to say “Jacob has studied,” what would that be in Dutch?
Jacob: Jacob heeft gestudeerd,
Eric: which means “Jacob has studied.”
Jacob: In the same order as in English, we have Jacob, the subject, heeft, the verb for “to have,” and gestudeerd meaning “studied.” All together again, Jacob heeft gestudeerd.
Eric: “Jacob has studied.” What about a sentence with the first person singular, as in “I have studied?”
Jacob: In that case you can start with Ik heb, which means “I have.”
Eric: Using it, how can we say.. “I have studied in Leiden” ?
Jacob: Ik heb in Leiden gestudeerd. Once again - Ik heb in Leiden gestudeerd.
Eric: As you know, the present perfect tense can also be used to say that something started in the past, and is still going on. For example…
Jacob: Ik woon sinds 2011 in Singapore.
Eric: which means “I have lived in Singapore since 2011.” It means that I am still living there. The simple past tense is more precise. To see the differences clearly, let’s compare two sentences. First we have..…
Jacob: Ik heb in China gereisd.
Eric: which means “I have travelled in China,” and next..
Jacob: In 1987 reisde ik in China.
Eric: which means “In 1987 I travelled in China.”
Jacob: Ik heb in China gereisd means I’ve been travelling in China from the past until now. In 1987 reisde ik in China simply means I travelled in China in 1987.
Eric: All right. In our dialogue the new teacher uses the present perfect when she is introducing herself and talking a bit about her past.
Jacob: Right. For example, she said Ja, die taal heb ik ook geleerd.
Eric: “I have studied that language as well.”
Jacob: In Dutch, you can use the present perfect tense when you don’t want to give too much specific information.

Outro

Eric: Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Jacob: Tot ziens!