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10. How do you become the manager of your Dutch conversations?

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When you try speaking Dutch you will probably get stuck because of different reasons:

  1. Your conversation partner is speaking too fast.
  2. You do not understand what your conversation partner is saying.
  3. You do not know the right Dutch words etc.

When you try to speak Dutch with someone it is important to be in charge of your conversation.

You should ask and say what another person should do. Example:

  1. Your conversation partner is speaking too fast. What can you do about it? Do not panic and do not switch to English. Ask your partner: Kunt u langzamer praten? (Can you speak slower?) 
  1. You do not understand what your conversation partner is saying. You can ask something like: Kunt u dat herhalen? (Can you repeat that?) Wat betekent dat woord? (What does that word mean?)
  1. You do not know the right Dutch words. You can ask: Wat is a car in het Nederlands? (What is a car in Dutch?) Hoe zeg je dit in het Nederlands? (How do you say this in Dutch?)

How do you become the manager of your conversations? 

My answer: Develop your Dutch FAQ!

learn dutch conversation

All these questions and requests are necessary to manage your conversations and keep them going in Dutch. You ARE the manager of your conversation, NOT your conversation partner. We call these questions Dutch Frequently Asked Questions (Dutch FAQ). You will learn Dutch FAQ in our Dutch classes. Also learn the Dutch phone alphabet. It will help you to spell Dutch names and words.

Here I will give you some important questions which will help you to manage your conversations in Dutch. Buy a small notebook and write them down. Write all new words in your notebook as it may become your personal Dutch dictionary and conversation assistant.

  1. Sorry, nog een keer (Sorry, again)
  2. Kunt u dat spellen? (Can you spell that?)
  3. Kunt u dat opschrijven? (Can you write that down?)
  4. Kunt u langzamer praten? (Can you speak slower?)
  5. Wat is a car in het Nederlands? (What is a car in Dutch?)
  6. Ik wil dit in het Nederlands zeggen: I like you! (I want to say this in Dutch: I like you!)
  7. Hoe zeg je dit in het Nederlands? (How do you say this in Dutch?)
  8. Sorry, ik begrijp u niet. (Sorry, I don’t understand you)
  9. Wilt u dat herhalen? (Can you repeat that?)
  10. Kunt u dat anders verwoorden? (Can you put it differently?)
  11. Kunt u dat nog een keer zeggen? (Can you say that again?)
  12. Wat betekent dit woord? (What does this word mean?)
  13. Sorry, ik kan u niet volgen. (Can you write this word down?)
  14. Kunt u dit woord opschrijven? (Can you write this word down?)
  15. Mag ik iets vragen? (Can I ask something?)
  16. Een tafel?? Kunt u dat woord vertalen? (A table?? Can you translate that word?)

Dutch teacher Philippe
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Teacher Philippe