Is the winner of the Erasmus Dictation Competition going to emerge victorious at this year’s National Dictation Competition? It might just happen, because Peter van der Zwan, who won Erasmus’ 2015 Dictation Competition, has just informed Erasmus Magazine that he has been selected as a contestant on the national edition.

It was because of the National Dictation Competition that Van der Zwan signed up for Erasmus University’s own dictation competition in the first place. “I had been studying all the spelling rules and all that in preparation for the National Dictation Competition.”


After winning the Erasmus Dictation Competition, he had vowed not to engage in anything language-related for the next eleven months. However, he has been forced to change his mind. “If I sign up for something, I want to do it to the best of my ability. I’m not spending all my time preparing, but I am spending half an hour a day.”

Peter van der Zwan
Image credit: Aysha Gasanova

He is fortunate in that his colleagues are helping him prepare for the competition. “My colleagues think it’s wonderful I’m taking part in the National Dictation Competition,” he said with a smile. “Every once in a while they’ll subject me to a test. You know, they’ll work a difficult word into a conversation, then they’ll casually ask me how to spell that word.”

The National Dictation Competition will be broadcast on NPO 2 at 8.20 pm on 19 December.