Last month during one of the Dutch language classes at the INYS Language School, we interviewed one of the participants, Fitry Nabiilah. We were curious about her daily life, her reasons for learning Dutch and her experiences with the Dutch language course.
Tell us about yourself, where are you from and what do you do in daily life?
“My name is Fitry and I’m from Indonesia. I’m from Bekasi, that’s near Jakarta, but I study in another city called Jogja, and the university is called UGM (Universitas Gadjah Mada). For the last three years I mainly reside in Jogja instead of Bekasi. I came here as an exchange student in Leiden University, so I live in Leiden and I study law. And for the next two weeks I basically live in the library because it’s going to be exam week. In my daily life, it’s just a normal student life: mainly at the campus. Also I’m a part time translator, translating from English to Indonesian.”
How long have you been living in the Netherlands?
“Not really that long, I came here in the end of January, so it’s been five months, but I will leave the Netherlands in the beginning of August, so it’s not very long. It’s quite long though when you’re away from home.”
How did you learn about the INYS Language School and why did you sign up for it?
“Well, I actually wanted to join the language school from the Leiden University but I missed it already for some weeks and I thought it would be hard to catch up. And then I noticed the INYS Language School via PPI Leiden, an Indonesian student association, so I thought that was the perfect opportunity for me to learn Dutch, because I also think about the price. Compared to other places it is considerably cheap for ten weeks, so that’s really nice. The reason for me to learn Dutch is because I like to learn new languages and also because I’m in a volunteering group here with all Dutch people, and they all talk in Dutch. I need to at least understand what they’re saying because it’s not practical when they always have to translate for me. So I try to understand what they say and I think that over the weeks I already see some improvement. I see myself understanding more about what they’re saying, even when they’re not translating, although not everything. When you know some keywords you’ll have a general idea of what they’re talking about.”
What have you learned during the course?
“Well, during the classes we have definitely learned the basics. I know how to introduce myself at least. And also the grammar, structures and verbs, which is very useful because you use it in daily life. Although I haven’t been speaking Dutch that much, it’s very helpful to understand what people are saying, or at least when you go to the supermarket you know how to say ‘how much is this’ and everything.”
Regarding introducing yourself in Dutch, would you like to try a bit?
“Ok, a little bit: Ik ben Fitry, ik kom uit Indonesië. Ik ben student. Ik studeer in Universiteit Leiden en ik woon in Leiden.”
Have you been able to put into practice some of the things you have learned?
“Sometimes I have. I live in a house that belongs to a Moroccan Dutch couple and they don’t speak English, so sometimes I have to speak Dutch to the landlords. My roommates are Dutch too, so sometimes I like to try something. Sometimes I just tell them where I went. My problem with Dutch is that I don’t feel confident about how it is pronounced, so at home I mainly consult about how it is pronounced. But mostly I speak to my landlords because they don’t speak English.”
How do you like the way in which the classes are being taught?
“Although it is quite fast and we have to catch up, I like how Lucas, our teacher, is being attentive and patient with us. If we have some questions he would definitely answer it for us, and I think every lesson for me is depending on the teacher. I think Lucas is quite a good teacher and he makes it easier for us to understand when we’re talking about the complicated structure and everything, that’s really nice.”
What do you find positive about the INYS Language School?
“Well, it is held on Saturdays, so that’s not conflicting with any of my academic schedules. Also it’s during the morning and afternoon, so that’s also nice. Some other language schools are held in the evening and during the weekdays. That’s harder for me to come because sometimes I have work groups to join, there’s always something conflicting then. So I really like the schedule.”
Do you also have any points of improvement for us?
“Well, I think it’s already nice, but it would help a little bit if the readers also have English translation.”
Are you nervous about the exam?
“Yeah, actually I’m nervous because I’m a forgetful person, so I always forget everything and I have to look at things from the beginning again. But I also really like learning new languages so I hope I will do fine. I will at least do my best for the exam.”
Meanwhile the exam has already taken place and together with other course participants, Fitry passed the exam. Congrats everyone! If you want to know more about the INYS Language School, check the course details here. The next Dutch language course starts again in September.