How to gain fluency fast in Dutch - a tutorial.
As you have experienced learning Dutch in certain degrees, you might wonder when you will be able to speak it. Maybe there are tricks and cheats to learn faster. This is nonsense, because nothing can substitute the time you invested and the experience and knowledge you derived from investing this. There are, however, clever ways to learn and to stay dynamic in learning. As you are all living humans, your learning is different at different times and this is so for different people. People's inclination is also important, as to see what works best for you when. Some people are more visual and like to see pictures, some learn more by hearing words, others do more and others again like to read and philosophize about Dutch. As only few people know what works best, try out and try many different things. Change your actions regularly and do not solely learn vocab lists or solely speak Dutch.
I will give some handles for you to try out.
Visual: Google the words for pictures or preferably draw words / sentences in pictures to link this image in your brain with the words.
Hearing: Youtube is great for listening to many kinds of voices in Dutch and to figure out how you actually pronounce that weird 'g' sound properly or why there are different ways of speaking throughout the Netherlands. If you have a Dutch neighbour, friend, acquaintance listen to them when they speak Dutch.
Do: Speaking is good to do it here on iTalki or with Dutch people you know. I would recommend a lot of doing anyway and the way to start is to practise speech with everybody who knows Dutch and to write as much you can write. Don't get confused while speaking, though. Struggle with confusion in the mental part.
Mental: There are a lot of vocab lists on the internet and a lot of knowledge that can get you started. I also recommend you to 'just' learn vocab lists and many many conjugations, because they will start to pop up when you start to talk and will benefit you greatly. Getting confused is fine, but ask some people to solve it after a while.
Dutch is considered a 'difficult' language because of its high amount of exceptions in conjugating verbs. Play with conjugations, laugh about the many mistakes you will make and the weird things you will say. As long as you are not talking to the police or the medics, mistakes are good to learn from. It gets you out of your comfort zone, as that is where you will learn the most.
What is your experience with this? Which style works for you in learning Dutch?
Let me know!
O-J, Community Tutor Dutch
For me Anki droid and Assimil. Also talking with people here, and asking them to langzam pratten :). Ik fond ook een junge voor yyy language exchange, and starting to practice with
It sounds that you found a way to thoroughly practise Dutch, right. Not only in one way, but, as you said, with many ways that train something different.
Great example, thanks!
I try different things almost every day. I work with vocabulary, but seldom, as I never see any progress. On the other hand watching DVDs in the language I want to learn helps a lot. And so does talking to myself; sometimes I invent stories just to get me talking. After a few times, the strange new sounds lose their weirdness. Step by step you will get accustomed to talking in the new language.
Sounds good Jennifer. DVD's help a great deal indeed. I know that I prefer to learn a lot of vocab lists and then practise them with native speakers. After a while, the words lose their weirdness indeed and you feel that you know the word.
I am a native Dutchman myself and I have tought Dutch to foreigners.
Regarding understanding Dutch some learn by watching Dutch soap series because the language is rather simpel.
It might help to read Dutch newspapers. Some can be pretty complicated for foreigners.
To practise the numbers I used a trick to learn to count in Mandarin.
Rather then to learn the numbers in a sequel I looked at number plates and translated them.
Who doesn't want to learn by watching Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden? Especially when someone knows English, Dutch is a piece of cake. Mandarin, as you have encountered, does not sound like Dutch and needs a different frame of reference. A bit difference though when you speak another Asian, because I thought they shared the roots. You have to build the reference from the ground up.
Thanks O-J, I hadn't heard of Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden. I'll watch it now, if I can find it.
Try Onderweg naar morgen as well. If you like different kind of series, try de Coassistent. If you like vintage, you can try Toen was geluk nog heel gewoon. Btw Jmat, do you practise speaking as well or are you currently looking and listening?
I've only just begun to teach myself from a textbook to be honest. I've been trying to find something to listen to on YouTube, but I don't know what to look for. All the Dutch I can find is mostly just people blogging about various things.
I'm hoping to be able to get by in Dutch when I'm in Amsterdam at the end of the year. Last time I went, it was embarrassing when I didn't know a word of the local language and everyone spoke English fluently.
First I learnt some 500 words(of course forgot most of them ), then I learned basic grammar. Then, immediately I started watching TV, reading book and listening to FM. Also, I read reisverslag written on waarbenjij.nu and similar sites. I liked progams like Van de Straat, de dino show and de wereld draait door. Talking about books, I read short stories and poems from a book 'De danstent in de Wei'. I tried not to forget words that are used in daily life by listening to FM and reading websites for news.
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