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Ahmed participates in conversation tables to better understand ordinary conversations

Ahmed has been living in Belgium for six years now. The rest of his family is in Turkey, and some are still in Syria. He has regular online contact with them, but less with family members in Syria, because electricity is not always available there. 

That is why I come to Babbelut, to practise these ordinary conversations and to learn more vocabulary.
The problem is that in Brussels Dutch-speaking people also tend to speak French. We don’t hear much Dutch in the street. It’s not natural to have a Dutch conversation.

I want to work as a general practitioner here in Belgium. My degree in medicine from Syria is not enough here. That is why I am redoing the last three years of the Master of Medicine in Belgium. I am in the final year now. During my internships, I talk to patients. That works well when I can use medical terms. But it becomes difficult when they talk about ordinary things in life, for example when people are having psychological problems. That is why I come to Babbelut, to practise these ordinary conversations and to learn more vocabulary.”

Every language requires a different mechanism in the mouth to produce sounds. In Arabic, we have a b, but not a p. So when I want to say pijn’, it often comes out as bij’, or even been’, because ij is not an easy sound either. Conversation tables are important for me to learn to pronounce all these sounds correctly. When I speak Dutch, I have to very consciously relax my larynx!” 

The problem is that in Brussels Dutch-speaking people also tend to speak French. We don’t hear much Dutch in the street. It’s not natural to have a Dutch conversation.” 

I don’t know at all yet where I will be able to start my doctor’s practice. Maybe in Antwerp or Ghent? Sometimes people use different words for the same things. The better I know Dutch, the faster I will be able to understand people.” 

You want to know more about Babbelut, the conversation tables of the Dutch Language House Brussels? Click here.


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