First buttembly language encountershow to get started 573
Then there's Mark Twain's famous "...studying German, where you mull along, in a groping, uncertain way, for thirty years; and at last, just as you think you've got it, they spring the subjunctive on you..."
This is one of the nice things about Dutch for an English-speaking learner. The everyday modern language has done away with the subjunctive altogether. (Though you can't escape it if you dabble in 17th-century texts or, I gather, if your travels leave you immersed in the patois hm, perhaps not quite le mot juste, that! of Deepest Flanders.) The grammar is (for this and other reasons) similar to German with the hardest bits left out1, so if you already have struggled with German, you are practically home free.
1 strong and weak adjective endings are another feature that Dutch simplifies almost to the point of non-existence. You learn the ONE circumstance under which you drop the final -e of an attributive adjective, and you're done. By contrast almost no non-native speakers ever completely master the adjective endings of German to the point where they don't make mistakes in conversation.
First buttembly language encountershow to get started 574
Roland Hutchinson Did I point out the obvious factor that 16th-century Italian isn't quite the modern language, either. But it could be worse! It happens that the only really detailed...
-- Roland Hutchinson╩╩╩╩╩╩╩╩╩╩╩╩╩╩Will╩play╩viola╩da╩gamba╩for╩food.
NB mail to my.spamtrap at verizon.net is heavily filtered to remove spam.╩╩If╩your╩message╩looks╩like╩spam╩I╩may╩not╩see╩it.
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