‘There is another language in Dutch. That of abbreviations’

Just when I thought I had mastered the Dutch language a bit, I learned that there is still a language in Dutch. The language in abbreviations. Vlgs, sws, ipv, idd, ff. Sigh. I discovered this new language at school. In September I started the Industrial Product Design course at the Hogeschool of Arnheim and Nimwegen. In the lessons on materials science we received powerpoint presentations that were full of words that I did not know. They were abbreviations. My friend made a list of abbreviations and their meaning for me. It is now hanging over my desk. There were also many abbreviations in the materials science exam. Because I have only been in the Netherlands for a short time, I can use a dictionary during exams, but some abbreviations did not. Idd, for example. That means ‘indeed’, but is not an official abbreviation. I felt like returning my pain to the teacher and using Arabic words or self-invented abbreviations in my answers. I soon made up “vlgsa”. If I were to use that, the teacher would be surprised and ask me: What is that? Then I would say: According to Anwar! I did not do it. I did not dare. All exams and reports that I had to make in these first months, I have achieved, except material science. This is not only due to the abbreviations, but also because the material was in two languages. We were taught in Dutch, but had an English study book that was almost too English. It was full of jargon. The test was also in Dutch and English. That was hard. I became angry with myself because I found it difficult. I also became angry because we received an English textbook in the Netherlands. It reminded me of Geert Wilders. I felt like using his words: President, we are losing our country. Mr President, in the Netherlands we speak Dutch! I thought about saying that in class, but I did not do it. We are in school, not in the House of Representatives. In April I have a second chance regarding the exam about materials science. Fortunately I am not the only person who has to do the exam again, but there are more people who did not pass the test. So that is sws again ff blocks.

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