One of the favorite things that Dutch people love to say is: Nederlands is moeilijk (Dutch is hard). They love to tell you again and again why Dutch is one of the hardest languagest to learn.
So… what could happen if you tell yourself again and again that learning and speaking Dutch is really difficult and hard? Probably you’ll feel tired, right? But… before you start to believe this let’s start with another question…
One revealing question could be: in comparison to what? It is easy to believe that learning another language would be a lot easier. But… the question is of course: is it really true?
First of all, let’s start with a funny thing in Dutch. If you look at the word moeilijk, then with a closer observation you could also see the word moe in it. So for Dutch people there is a logical relation between difficult and tired. If something is moeilijk, it is easy to feel tired 🙂
By the way, moe sounds like moo in English. Just imagine that you have to say moo for a couple of hours, like a cow. That would make you feel tired, don’t you think? Therefore moe is quite a logical word for tired! 🙂
Let’s start with a usuful expression: ik ben moe. This means: I am tired. Do you think that this is hard to remember? Hopefully not….
But… let’s imagine that you would like to learn Spanish and that you like to say ik ben moe in Spanish. Soon enough you’ll discover that Spanish is a lot more complicated than Dutch.
Tired in Spanish is cansado. Make sure that you don’t mix it up with casado, because casado means married in Spanish! Although for some people, there is a clear relation, cansado and casado are 2 different words.
Do you think that there is a relation between being married and feeling tired?
But then… you need to make a desision. Are you only tired for a short moment or would you be tired for the rest of your life? If you are only tired for a short while you need to use the verb estar. But… if you feel that probably you are tired for the rest of your life, then you need to use the verb ser. So now you have two options: estoy (I am) if it is for a short while and soy (I am) if it is for ever
Now it is time for a deeper question…. now you need to decide if you are a man or a woman. As you can see you only have two options here, so you need to make your choice wisefully….
If you think you are a man you have to say: cansado and if you think you are a woman you need to say cansada. If you like, you can use different forms during the week. If you are a man at the office during the week you can use cansado, but then if you go out like a drag queen in the weekend, you should switch over to cansada
By the way, years ago I used to teach Spanish to an older lady from Indonesia. She kept saying to me again and again: soy cansado. So what she said was that she was always tired and that she was a man. When I told her – with a smile of course – that now she sounded like a transvestite, she started to hit me and she really seemed to like it 🙂 While hitting me – in a friendly way of course – she kept repeating that I was the one that needed correction… Can you imagine?
Can you see how many deep questions you have to answer before you can say: ik ben moe in Spanish?
But… this is not it… if you like to say I was tired, then in Dutch it is pretty simple. Ik was moe. But in Spanish if you speak about the past, you’ll have to think again… Was it something that you did again and again, or was it really for a looooong time? If so, you can say estaba cansado / cansdada. But…. if you like to point out that you were only tired for a short moment, maybe just for a couple of minutes, you can also say: estuve cansado / cansada
So… if you like to say that you are tired, then which language is easier, Spanish or Dutch?
So here is the thing… I speak English, Dutch and Spanish and if you want to have my honest opinion…. I don’t really care. I learned all these languages anyway. When I see the diffrences, it just makes me smile. This is it… So don’t worry if other people tell you that the language that you are learning is difficult or not. It might be true or not, but at the end who cares? As long as you learn the language right?
And sure…. sometimes you have to learn how to think in a new way. But… this is something that I personally like. It helps to understand me other cultures much better!
One thing is certain: you can always choose to make a lot of drama and make thingsmore complex or you just follow some rules, even if they are new and different from things that you already know…. I would prefer to do the second thing and you?