How language training helps with professional football
7 january 2021
PSV football player Timo Baumgartl not only trains on the field, but also at STE Languages. He does this together with his girlfriend Julia Negassa and Kim Bestgen, the girlfriend of PSV goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall. The three of them work on their Dutch language skills.
PSV is an international club. Players come from all over the world and English is the working language. Is learning Dutch actually necessary? "At PSV every meeting is in English, but I always try to speak Dutch with my teammates," said Timo, "except with German players of course!"
'More than just a canteen talk'
According to Timo, speaking Dutch has several advantages, and that goes beyond just catching up in the canteen or changing room. Timo: 'Speaking Dutch also helps me during matches, when I want to say something to the referee or to my teammates.' Both Dutch and English are therefore widely used at PSV, but it doesn't stop there. After all, with Roger Schmidt, PSV has a German trainer and that also has an effect on communication. 'We regularly use German football terms, such as pressing and gegenpressing.' Schmidt stands for high-intensity football with fast transitions. To master that you need training, and that is a clear agreement with learning a foreign language.
'Better understand what is being said'
At STE Languages, Timo is part of a real PSV group, together with his girlfriend Julia Negassa and with Kim Bestgen. For all, Dutch is not the most commonly used language. Julia: 'I am currently studying in English, so I speak more English than Dutch. Still, it is good to learn the language, because then you understand what people are saying and you can also respond to it. I can practice my Dutch during sports, when shopping or with the neighbors. '
'Practice everyday situations'
They all like the language training. Timo: 'STE has a lot of experience with learning Dutch and has very good teachers.' Julia: 'We start each training by talking about what happened that week. Then we do exercises to improve ourselves. The training has so much added value for daily life. ' Timo: 'The first moment I benefited from the training was when I suddenly could follow a football meeting in Dutch.' Julia has a similar experience: "At a certain point during exercise I understood exactly what the coach was saying."
'Now I can talk to anyone'
Kim is also pleased with the language training: 'I ended up at STE on the basis of a recommendation. I think it is important to learn Dutch so that I can work here. We have classes twice a week and get homework at home. Our teacher Yvonne is great and really helps us move forward. Because I can now speak and read in Dutch, I can talk to anyone!'
Dutch and German are related languages and our students have experienced that too. 'Dutch is similar to German, but sounds a bit funnier,' says Timo. For Kim, Dutch is mainly 'a mix of German, English and French'. From that point of view, the favorite Dutch word of both Timo and Kim - "luggage carrier!" - a completely different experience. Julia has 'tasty' as her favorite word and that is a term that often comes in handy in everyday life.
'Together is easier'
In short: Timo, Julia and Kim are enthusiastically working on their Dutch. The fact that they follow the training together stimulates the process. There is therefore a tip that they would like to give to other students: 'Find a partner with whom you can learn together. Then it will be easier and with more pleasure. '