Dutch ideas about learning

Dutch ideas about learning

Did you know that there are many words for learning in Dutch? It seems that somehow Dutch has some intersesting ideas and  concepts about it...

The Dutch word for learning is  not that difficult, actually it is quite close to English. Leren is to learn. However, there is a catch. Leren also means to teach. Have you noticed that Dutch people often like to learn you a couple of things?

It seems that in the Dutch mind, somehow learning and teaching are one. They automatically belong together. You may have noticed it for yourself. Often when you teach something, you also learn.  I have noticed that it perfectly works for me. While teaching Dutch, I discovered many more things about my own language.

When you teach, you often have to explain things and then comes the question: how does it really work? Or: how can I put it more simply? Also the fact that students ask many different questions, it helps you to look at things from many different perspectives.

That is why teaching could be a great learning strategy. Even if you are not a master yet, you can often share your knowledge with other people and  once again, teaching something is a great strategy to master something quickly.

However, in Dutch there are more great words. Afleren is a great one. Afleren literally means to offlearn, to unlearn. It means that you have to stop doing things that you do all the time. If you like to stop biting your nails, then afleren is a great idea. Afleren often means that you stop a certain habit.

Afleren is also important when you like to speak and write much better Dutch. There are things that you do in English all the time that are not correct in Dutch. For example in English you write will with double l, but not in Dutch. On top of that wil in Dutch means that you want something, it has nothing to do with the future!  For example, if you say: ik wil slapen,  it means I want to sleep, not I will sleep :)

So here is the thing... how difficult is it really to write wil with one l in Dutch, while realizing that it means that you want something? Although this information is not too complex, it might take some time before you can put it in practice correctly. Chances are high that you'll do it wrong a couple of times, even when you know that what you do is not correct...

That brings us to another great word aanleren...  Aanleren means that you learn something bit by bit, often by constant practice. Leren is something that you could learn within 2 seconds, while aanleren means that you actually do it correctly, and often it takes some time.

The good news is that aanleren is not something that you need to study. Just practice that thing that you like to learn and simply notice that there could be some thing that you need to do differently. It is important to be patient and to be friendly with yourself. The more relaxed you are, the faster it will go....

Does your language have specific ideas about learning? I like for example the Spanish word aprender. Prender means to take, so I could imagine that aprender is something that you take or pick up.  What I like about this word is a dynamic aspect. You pick up things when you learn. It means that you have to do it.. Sure, a person or a book can show you the way, however you have to take the steps and be active with it!

Please share if your language has some interesting ideas about learning!

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