Learning Another SSi Language

Hi All

I thought I’d like to share my experience with learning another SSi language, namely Dutch. It really has demonstrated to me the superiority of the SSi system over traditional methods (not that I needed any convincing!)

I “paused” my Welsh learning a few months ago with the completion of Welsh Course One (Southern). Before resuming, I decided to tackle what SSiD (Say Something In Dutch) has to offer – unfortunately there are only seven lessons at the moment, but hopefully there’ll be more in the future.

A brief background: I was born in South Africa and as such, have a basic knowledge of the Afrikaans language, which gradually evolved from Dutch from the 17th century onwards. (Afrikaans is currently one of the “big four” languages – along with Zulu, Xhosa and English - spoken in the South African Tower of Babel). So I have a deep interest in the Dutch language from a historical, cultural and ancestoral viewpoint, but my attempts to learn it in the past have unfortunately met with failure.

The problem is that although modern Dutch and modern Afrikaans sound very different, the two languages in their basic written form look very similar. So when I tried learning Dutch via the traditional method (based on reading from a book) my brain absolutely refused to accept that the Dutch I was reading was not Afrikaans. The result – I got the two languages hopelessly mixed up, and discouragement set in very early.

But I really enjoyed the lessons of the SsiD course (Dank je wel, @Louis), because by concentrating on the sounds of the Dutch language, my brain was able to really absorb it and in the process, to put Afrikaans well and truly on the backburner. In fact, on occasions when I had to trot out the Dutch for something in double-quick time and my memory froze (as it does), it was, interestingly, WELSH that first popped into my consciousness, not Afrikaans. So I think there must now be a compartment in my brain labelled “SSi”!

So, diolch yn fawr SSi, for another really rewarding language learning experience!

Best wishes

PS Tagged to @Chris for interest.


Dankjewel for your very kind feedback Gavin - btw, I will get to answering your earlier questions very soon :blush: - work is in progress, albeit slowly, on more lessons, truly! Do you have opportunities to use your Nederlands?

You made me wonder, if you were to work on a SSiA course, I could do what you did in reverse! :wink:

Did you realise that aardvark literally translated into Welsh is mochyn daear - das, a propos of nothing in particular?


That’s hugely interesting, Gavin, thank you very much indeed for the feedback - and glad that the Welsh is beating the Afrikaans for the time being…:wink:

1 Like

Dis mos lekker Gavin, Veels geluk!
Ek wens hierdie mense wil maak 'n kursus in Zulu. Ek wil probeer help hulle ook.
Geniet dit en praat later Maneer.
Totsiens :smile: :beers:


If we have a volunteer, it might even be before the end of this year… :sunny:

You guys have a friend (and a fan) in that neck of the woods. :grin:
I’ll pop you an email in the morning.

1 Like

Good man… :sunny:

I cannot recommend SSi-Spanish highly enough Gavin, if you are still interested in other languages! :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:






Thank you Stu and @nikkifoster, but Spanish doesn’t really float my boat.

Now, if there was a SaySomethingIn FRENCH course, it’d be a different matter…


Nice thought Louis, but a non-starter! I’ve never been anywhere near fluent in Afrikaans (English is my mother tongue). Even when I lived in South Africa (more than three decades ago) I was only at the level of “can holda very simple conversation”.

I thought that after all that time I would have forgotten whatever Afrikaans I knew. But it all rushed back to the surface and started interfering when I originally tried to learn Dutch (by “traditional methods”). Obviously, language is something we never ever completely forget, no matter how long the time lapse!

1 Like

Sorry Louis, this is what I was referring to in my last post. Left it out by mistake!


1 Like

So true! I learnt a (very) little classroom French about 40 years ago but couldn’t do it so never took any languages at all. Yet somehow it got stored away in a dark recess somewhere and now when trying to learn Spanish I found myself saying “hablar AVEC usted” and thinking where on earth did I drag up AVEC from???!!! If someone had asked me for the French for the word with I would have said I don’t know it.