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28 maart 2019

‘I want to communicate with my Dutch colleagues in their own language’

Rasim Askin Dilan works as a Mechatronics Design Engineer at ASML (detached by YACHT B.V.). He is studying Dutch both for work and to build up his personal life: ‘I want to integrate and be a part of this new cultural environment.’

What is your motivation to take a Dutch course?

‘I have moved to here from Turkey in December 2017. My family is still at Turkey, they are going to move here next October. I am married and I have a 3-year-old son. When my family comes here, first we will send our son to a kindergarden for him to pick up the language, because we decided to send him to Dutch national school. So my primary motivation is to give myself a head start, because I suppose that my son will pick up the language in a short notice due to his age. I want to communicate with him in Dutch. My secondary motivation is to integrate with my colleagues. Even if ASML is a multicultural company and English is the default language there, in my department 90% of my colleagues are Dutch. So I want to communicate with them also in their own language and don’t want to be left out of quick discussions in Dutch near the coffee machine.’😊


Why did you choose to follow a course at STE Languages?

‘To be honest, I requested from my company that I wanted to take Dutch courses. My company registered me to STE Languages. But since both ASML and YACHT are working with STE Languages, I thought that it must be the right choice and I am very satisfied so far.’


What are the benefits of you learning Dutch for your employer?

‘As I mentioned before, the official language in ASML is English. Nevertheless there are often discussions in Dutch between my colleagues during breaks. In the working environment most of the time my Dutch colleagues are speaking in Dutch when they are talking about technical issues. Since I am new to the company every bit of information is vital for me, so I don’t want to miss any additional technical details that are discussed in the background.’


In what other way does it help you to communicate in Dutch?

‘Since I live in the Netherlands, it feels right to communicate with native people in their own language. I want to integrate and be a part of this new cultural environment, not to be a foreigner living in a foreign country. So I think the best way to do that is to learn the native language. Even if I speak “een beetje” Dutch, I can feel that my relationship with people here is getting improved when I try to speak in their own language.’


How do other people respond when you’re speaking Dutch?

‘People react in a cheerful way. I can feel that they are glad that some foreigner who decided to live with them, tries to communicate in their own way with them. In work, my colleagues are all supportive and try to challenge me by speaking in Dutch with me at least 10 minutes every day. They appreciate how hard I study for learning Dutch and how much I improved in the last 6 months. It generates a good synergy with colleagues in the work environment.’


Would you recommend other expats to learn the Dutch language? Why?

‘Of course I recommend them to learn the Dutch language. First of all, learning a language is an enjoyable activity. You can meet with other expats from different working environments in the course and you can exchange your life experiences in the Netherlands. Secondly, I think that it is very important for expats to be a part of life here, especially if they are willing to stay here for a long time. Because someone would feel more comfortable and peaceful in the environment they are living, if they feel belonged to that environment.’


Do you have some advice for students?

‘As my A1- and A1 level teacher Paula Dubeu says all the time: keep trying to practice with the natives as much as you can. Try to use what you have learned in daily life. And one more important thing: “Als je echt wilt leren, moet je je huiswerk maken!”’


What is your general impression of STE?

‘STE is very professional in what they are doing. They provide the correct tools and (so far I observed) the correct content for teaching the language. I’ve made quit an improvement in the last two levels. Besides my hard working, I think STE has also a share in that improvement.’


What is your favourite Dutch word or expression?


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