Say it in Dutch Newsletter



In this October newsletter:


October: harvest holiday >>
Groningen: Bourtange>>
Language Weekend Ready! >>
Testing your Dutch abroad >>
Dutch learning news >>
October offer >>
Expression of the month >>



October: harvest holidays


Autumn has come to our country. In Dutch: de herfst.

This word derives from 'harvest' (English). In modern Dutch we call harvest: 'de oogst' .

In the second half of October the children in the Netherlands have 'herfstvakantie': a week harvest holiday from school.

Herfstbladeren - Autumn Leaves
See also the Idiom Blog of October >>>

De Oogst - Harvesting
But most families prefer making a trip instead of harvesting: only 235,000 of our 16 million inhabitants are working at farms or greenhouses these days.






Bourtange Fortress

Close to the German border, in a beautiful Groningen landscape, lies a unique place of interest: the Fortress of Bourtange.

A fortified town in which time appears to have stood still. The fortifications, the museums, the historic events, the market square and the original cannons are just a few of the sites of this town.

Bourtange Commanderie

Bourtange fortification: a 5 point star
Bourtange's Five Point Star Fortress

The Eighty Years’ War marks the beginning of the fortress’ history. In 1580 prince William of Orange ordered the building of a redoubt with five bastions on a sandy ridge in the swamps near the Dutch-German border. The road that connected the city of Groningen with Germany used to run over this sandy ridge, or ‘tange’ in Dutch.

Bourtange street

The Spanish, the adversaries of the Dutch during the war, used the road to bring supplies to the city of Groningen, which was in Spanish hands. Prince William hoped to isolate the city by building the redoubt. It would take many years for the city to surrender.

Bourtange Canon firing

All the while the redoubt was reinforced and it was completed in 1593 under the command of count Willem Lodewijk van Nassau. After Groningen surrendered, on 23 July 1594, the Bourtange fortress became part of the northern Netherlands’ defence structure.

Throughout the centuries the structure was further reinforced until the onset of ‘modern warfare’. A little over a century after Bourtange lost its military status, the town council of Vlagtwedde, in an attempt to revive the community, decided to reconstruct the fortress to the way it was in the year 1742, when the fortress was at its largest.

You can visit the Fortress for free, but you need an entrance ticket to visit the museums inside the fortress. In winter you can visit them during weekends.

In the village there is also a fortress hotel, with several rooms and even a wedding suite, reconstructed to give you the delusion you have arrived three centuries back in time.

Visit >>

Boeren + tange
A 'tange' is a sandy ridge in the swamp. This 'tange' was maintained by farmers ('boeren') in the neighbourhood. That explains the name: 'Boerentange'. It is probably under the influence of close-by Gemany (Bauern) that the 'u' appeared in the name.




Embark at the Language Weekend

We are happy to give you a final update about our upcoming Language Weekend in Groningen. We have completed our wonderful program for the coming season and the first new Language Weekend will be on NOVEMBER 17-19.



We give you a pleasant mix of learning & fun, and a unique place to stay the night: on a fantastic boat in the Groningen City Harbour.

Dutch Boat & Breakfast

We have designed a program which will give you a unique Groningen experience with sightseeing, entertainment, lunches and dinners. But if you prefer to go your own way between the lessons, that's an option too.

Be sure to book your 'seat' before November 1 st. You can either:

Read all about the Weekend >>>

Dutch Language and Fun

Groningen Night Life Roezemoes

8 full hours of
Dutch Conversation Lessons
2 nights 'Boat & Breakfast'
Welcome Dinner and
Goodbye Drink
Excursions, entertainment & meals

Rondvaartboot Groninger Grachten

Autumn: nov 17
Spring: mar 9
Summer: jun 1



Testing your Dutch abroad

In one of our previous newsletters we told you about the civic integration exam abroad. One of the two parts of The Basic Civic Integration Examination is knowledge of the Dutch Language. This part tests whether you have attained a basic level of Dutch. The examination will only test speech and listening skills. You will not need to be able to read or write. Each part will start with an instruction in the Dutch language. For the first three parts the computer will also give an example:

  • repeating sentences
  • answering short questions
  • indicating opposites
  • repeating two different short stories.

You will hear all of the exercises one by one through the telephone. You will also answer through the telephone. Your answers will be assessed automatically by the speech computer. To give you an idea, we give you an example of the test (of course your answers cannot be recorded).

Language test by telephone

Use this form to get your free example (mp3 - 5,5 minutes) of the Language Exam :

* First name
Last name
* Email address
* = Required Field

Do you feel you have still a lot to learn before you can pass this exam? Our Digidutch Course is tailored for people like you!



Dutch learning links


We have added a new item to our website: Learning Links. You will find links to several sites where you can practice your Dutch.

  • Online learning
  • Dutch courses
  • Dutch Newspapers
  • more…

Dutch TV on the Internet
View Dutch television programs on the internet



October Offer for Newsletter Readers

Proverbs Pro October Offer

If you ENROL IN THE LANGUAGE WEEKEND before October 31st, we will give you our Full Proverbs Pro Course (25 expressions by mail with all sound bytes + final test) as a bonus! Normal price of this course is € 9.50.

Listen to one of our Proverb soundbites


Say it in Dutch!

Expression of the month

Wat heb ik gelachen, zeg!

Oh, I really laughed my head off!


Listen !Listen!

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