bunnyfish adventures

come closAR

It’s been 2 weeks since I finished IDP and started my internship at V2_Lab to develop new concepts for how to access the massive AV archive of Beeld & Geluid, with a dash of augmented reality (AR). I’m working with four other students (fellow MITIDE, virtual theater & games [utrecht], new media studies [utrecht], arts & sciences [hague/leiden]).  Check out our progress here: Project CLOSER

I have 1.5 more weeks of Elementary II Dutch class (yes this is take 2, one year later). Nu kan ik Nederlands schrijven!  … No, actually this Delftse Methode is not doing it for me anymore. The rest is just practice…  (Meer oefenen… Pero también necesito practicar mi español. Muchas gracias a Alazne para seguir hablar conmigo. Necesito esto!)

who hate yeh?
February 21, 2009, 6:34 pm
Filed under: Dutch culture | Tags: , , ,

Dutch class is going better (I actually like it!  Except for the tests…), but I feel more confident in writing and reading than speaking.  My favorite lessons are the ones that involve food, since that was my main exposure to Dutch before I started taking class.

But sometimes I’m still immature and think little things are funny.  Audio clips are borrowed from the text.

Hoe heet jij? = What’s your name? (But is closer to “Cómo te llamas?” in that another way to ask in Dutch is “Wat is jouw naam?”)

donker = dark.  You can hear it in this example sentence that means “The days become shorter: it gets dark earlier.”
De dagen worden korter: het wordt vroeg donker

vaak = often.  The sentence below means “We ask these sorts of questions often.”
Dit soort vragen stellen we vaak.

verblijfsvergunning = residence permit.  It’s the longest word I’ve seen in the text.

Wat jammer = “What a pity”

And there’s no word for cereal.  It doesn’t really exist.

And my friend Daniël told me there’s no word for “race.”  They made up a verb “racen,” but before borrowing that from English, there was no way (or reason?) to have a word for competitively riding anything.  Just “snel rijden,” which is to “ride fast.”

That could explain why it’s so easy to pass people on the way to school.  But sometimes they’re more concerned with doing other things.

I know it shouldn't be surprising, but seeing people hold hands while biking is still kind of cute.

I know it shouldn't be surprising, but seeing people hold hands while biking is still kind of cute.

Hoe heet jij?
January 29, 2009, 11:00 pm
Filed under: Dutch culture, school | Tags:

I started taking Dutch classes this week.  Nederlands voor buitenlanders (foreigners), using the Delftse Methode (“Delft Method,” woo-hoo).  This is the third thing I’ve found Delft to be known for, following (1) pottery, and (2) the technical university.

The strange thing is that the “method” is just self-study based on memorization.  They want you to read the text with the audio recording so often that you know it without the book.  We have class two times a week, with a computer test before each class that is based off of software from 2001, and the test feels just as old and inflexible.  I got 0 out of 4 words correct on one question, because I entered in a telephone number with the wrong formatting.

The class, at least, is for conversation.  At tonight’s class, the teacher was already speaking all Dutch.  I wouldn’t feel so bad if this Polish guy didn’t already start improvising and carrying on conversations with the teacher during class.  The balance is tipped out of place: I thought the class would be a safe haven to practice with people who are equally shitty at the language.  I think I would be happier if we did something normal like split up in pairs to practice.

The “method” also seems to emphasize how small children don’t need lessons or tapes to learn a language, that they just listen and figure it out.  This means we haven’t learned any grammar, nor did they go over pronunciations.  I bought a different book before coming here that was immensely helpful by just deconstructing the pronunciations.  Look, you can stop rubbing it in that “kleine kinderen luisteren wel goed,” and “ze leren zonder lessen en zonder cassettes,” but maybe my brain works a little differently now that I’m 20 years older.  I already looked up a language tree before starting, all the other languages I have tried to learn (Spanish, Mandarin) are farther away from Dutch than English.  Unfortunate.

And I’m wondering if what they decide to teach you reflects anything.  We’ve learned about introducing our names, where we’re from, how old we are, where we live, the days of the week, when we have class, explaining why we want to learn Dutch and how, and that children kick our asses in learning new languages…  But not a simple “How are you?”

academic update
January 27, 2009, 1:07 am
Filed under: Delft, school | Tags: ,

For those who know that I’m in the Netherlands, but don’t really know what I’m doing.

Wait, I don’t know what I’m doing either.  Classes haven’t been nailed down yet for next quarter, that starts next week, and I’m on the reserve list for drawing classes I wanted to take.

Required classes for the semester: Applied Research Methods & Techniques in Design, Life Cycle Engineering and Design, Advanced Design Support, and Project Advanced Products.

Unfortunately, I am more interested in my electives (I’m on the reserve list for some of these): Modeling and prototyping free product shapes, SolidWorks, Multisensory Design, Anatomy and Surgical Techniques for Engineers, Basic Colour Skills, Drawing the Human Figure, Visual Communication Design, Diverse Drawing Techniques, and Environment and Design in Business.

And I will officially start trying to learn Dutch as of tomorrow for my Dutch conversation class.

And on a bright side, Philips ranked my concept 2nd in my category (so… out of 15 or so) for Domestic Appliances, so maybe it means they’ll pick up my idea and make it.  We’ll see how things go in the next few months.