I really don’t know how people lived without the Internet. I think they just had to ask other people, make mistakes, and learn from them. Now, fortunately (or not) we have access to the Internet 24/7, where we can find practically everything, if we know how to look. To help you function in the Netherlands, we present 6 mobile apps that will help you find your way in Dutch reality, language, and rules. The applications we describe are constantly updated and have many interesting features. So even if you already know some of them, we encourage you to read. Maybe you’ll learn something new.
*This article has been translated from Polish using Google Translate.
This is the main screen of the Google Translate app. The principle is simple: you enter text in one language and the application gives you a translation in the other. The general rule of using Google Translate is that the shorter the text, the better the translation, so even if you have to translate a long text, translate it by the sentence.
At the bottom of the screen you will also see 4 icons that give you access to additional functions. Below we will describe how to use the Camera and Conversation function.
Google Translate can translate documents, even if they are not in digital form. It does not matter if you want to translate the document from Belastingdienst that you received by mail or the leaflet you received in the city. Just click on the camera icon and snap a picture of the document you want to translate. Google Translate will recognize the text in the picture you’ve taken and ask you to select the part you want to translate. You can also select an entire document.
With the help of Google Translate, you can also conduct a relatively simple conversation. Click on the double microphone icon to enter the function. Click on the microphone icon under the your own language and start talking. Google Translate gives and reads the Dutch translation. Click on the microphone icon under the heading ‘Dutch’ if someone speaks Dutch. Google Translate will read you the translation in your own language. You can also click on the microphone icon in the middle at the bottom of the screen. Then Google Translate will recognize the language provide the correct translation.
Everybody knows how to use this app. Enter the start and destination address and the application will show you the possible routes and times of arrival for the car, public transport, on foot and by bike.
In the bottom right corner you can check the description of the route, and, if you have access to the Internet and the location, you can start the navigation mode.
But with Google Maps, you can also learn more about the place you are going to. Click on the icon in the upper right corner to change the map type to satellite view or terrain map. You can also ask the application to show roads, bicycle paths or public transport stops.
In the bottom left corner, you can enter the street view and look around the area you are going to. Smaller chances of getting lost.
You can also prepare in advance and download a map of a given city or area on your phone so that it is available even when you do not have access to the internet.
To do this, go to the main menu by clicking on the icon in the upper left corner of the application and select the Offline Maps tab. On the map, select the area that you would like to save for later. The offline map will take some memory on your phone, but you can delete it whenever you no longer need it.
If you need to go somewhere and you do not want or do not have a car, the 9292 application will help you plan your route from one address to another using public transport, including buses, trains and trams. Just enter the from where to where you want to go and what time. 9292 will show you a few options with the time and number of transfers. Choose the best option for yourself. The app will show you how to get to the bus stop, the bus, tram or train you need to take, and where you have to transfer.
In the country where it often rains and where most of the residents cycle everywhere, this app is essential. Buienalarm gives a rainfall forecast for the next 2 hours in the location of your choice. You can also see how rain clouds are moving over the entire Netherlands. So if you are planning to go outdoors and want to know whether to take an umbrella or not, Buienradar can help and advise you.
But just in case, take an umbrella.
When you come to work in the Netherlands, you often leave a part of your life in your home country. So you have to find new friends, interesting places and hobbies. If you feel lonely, bored, or would like to try something new, the MeetUp app is a place where you can find different groups of foreigners who just like you are trying to spend time in your area. In addition, you can find groups and classes in Dutch learning here. It is worth trying.
Duolingo is a free app to learn foreign languages. With this app you can improve or learn a language in no more than 20 minutes a day. You can even decide that you only need 5 minutes a day. However, the most important thing is to look at the application every day. To help with this, Duolingo counts uninterrupted days of learning. The counter, however, resets if you take a day off.
If you already speak English very well you can learn a lot of languages, including Dutch. There should also be some courses available for your native language. Just download the app and see what’s possible. Even if you cannot learn Dutch with Duolingo, improving your English will help you a lot in the Netherlands.
These 6 applications you will definitely help you find your way in a new country and train your language. Maybe thanks to the newly acquired skills you will be able to find a better job?
You can already check our job offers and see if you like anything!