https://www.duolingo.com/Blackbeart

My Thoughts on the Dutch Tree

Hallo!

I started learning Dutch a few years ago because I have some Dutch roots, and I sort of just decided to learn it because I thought it was interesting, and I have been learning ever since. I completed the Dutch tree over a year ago now, and since then I've been keeping it up by practicing it almost every day when I can manage it. Duolingo has been fantastic, and it has been my base for learning Dutch. I want to say a HUGE thank you to the Dutch team for making the wonderful course.

So, this is pretty detailed I'll summarize my thoughts and suggestions in shortened form here:

---The course (perhaps all courses on Duolingo) could use more conversational sentences that can be applied to real life. ---Explanation of grammar was a bit lacking in some places.

---I highly suggest getting the video course #dutchgrammar, which was amazing for getting down the basics of grammar. (€39,00) ---Talking to people is ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE (!!) to improve beyond online courses and books.

And a more detailed explanation:

---I would have loved to see more conversational sentences throughout the course, instead of the many silly sentences (which are great, but you can't really apply them in real life). I'm not really sure if you learned how to say "I need to use the bathroom" and some other basic sentences like that, or at least not until a good way through the course. -I found that in some places explanations for grammar was lacking, and it had me confused for a bit, which leads into...

---Although Duolingo is GREAT, it cannot be used as a standalone course that will make you fluent, as I'm sure you know. Alongside Duolingo I used the #DutchGrammar (unfortunately not free) on learndutch.org, which is absolutely fantastic! It filled all the gaps of grammar explanation Duolingo lacked and more. I went onto #DutchGrammar2, which although was also great was perhaps was a bit above my level, because I did not get quite as much out of it. Of course getting the foundation down by basic grammar is more important than all the little details, so perhaps that is why. With the foundation of grammar you can probably learn the rest (rules, exceptions,) conversationally with hardly noticing,, you'll just know what 'sounds right'. :)

---Online courses, and books, and learning material is awesome for learning a language, but to get very good, or fluent, you MUST talk to real people. To get over the shyness of speaking a foreign language you really have to just get out there and have a conversation with someone. I get rather nervous and shy when talking with others in Dutch, so I've been trying to talk with some people who speak Dutch in my church, and I'm certain it will improve my Dutch if I do it enough.

Useful resources: learndutch.org is where I started out learning Dutch. There is a 1000 most common words in Dutch course, #dutchgrammar 1 and 2 (apparently he's making a 3rd course), Dutch alphabet, Dutch Proverbs, Typical Dutch, Belgian Dutch, Listening Exercises, some short animated conversations.... Lots and lots of great material! It's a great supplement to Duolingo.

And that's basically all I have to say. :)

I've heard the Tree 2.0 is coming out soon and I absolutely can't wait for it. I hope soon enough that it would make an awesome Christmas present, which also be around my birthday. :) My family is planning a trip to Europe (including the Netherlands) so I hope to get the Tree 2.0 done and get to level 25 by the time we go there.

Once again, a MASSIVE thanks to the Dutch team, thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm looking forward to the Dutch Tree 2.0!

Groetjes!

2 years ago

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/volumniax
volumniax
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Thank you for the resources! And good luck with (crosses fingers) Tree 2.0.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

Regarding the "useful phrases" thing...

You shouldn't learn phrases. They're useless. When someone speaks to you, you shouldn't recall phrases from memory to respond with.

If you know how to say "She touches me a few times per second" and "The duck cooks soup daily" then you also know how to say "She cooks duck soup daily" and you can create many other unique sentences if you know pronouns, different tenses, etc...

The point of crazy sentences is so it sticks with you and you can remember the word. I completed the tree two years ago and so many sentences struck me the right way that I still remember the specific sentences, even though I never use them or reference them. Some just had so much innuendo and humor, and compared to the rest of the courses here on Duolingo that are typically extremely dry and full of really dumb sentences, the Dutch team put together a great course lol.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/apgdl
apgdl
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Learning phrases is useless? Oh come on. Yes, silly sentences are fun and help to remember new words, but I would've loved to learn more basic phrases instead. Things like "what's going on?" - "nevermind" - "excuse me" - "don't worry" - "long time no see" - "it's my birthday" - "get well soon" are pretty standard and used quite often in small talk, not to mention all those typical dutch expressions that english doesn't have and you must know to interact properly with dutch people, like "ja hoor" - "mag dat?" - "zegt u het maar" etc.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

Well of course those are useful but there's only a handful of phrases that you need to learn. The rest of your sentences are built on vocabulary.

Zeg maar / dat mag would be useful to learn but they're very easy to understand by context without much explanation... I learned them both by hearing them in videos and they're pretty straight forward.

I agree with you to an extent, they'd be very useful in the course, but I mean that it's useless to memorize phrases like "I have twenty ducks" because you'll never need to say that. If you know how ik / hebben / how to count / eend then you can use them to make many unique phrases on your own. It's silly to memorize that as one chunk (some people DO do that believe it or not) and complain about how you aren't learning anything.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Blackbeart

@DogePamyuPamyu - Yeah, that's not really what I meant. By phrases I meant expressions commonly used in spoken Dutch conversation, which perhaps may not be encompassed by the normal grammar rules. For example, I'm sure a lot of times if you tried to construct a sentence in spoken language for some normal everyday thing it would end up sounding very stiff and unnatural, because it's just not how they say it. Yes, of course memorizing the sentence "I have twenty ducks" word for word by hearth might be useless. Sentences like those are for practice, and can be 'dissected' and the terms and words used mixed and matched in constructing other sentences, and grammar learned from it. :D

@apgdl - Yes, that's exactly what I mean. Common sentences like those and some slang even would have been good in the course.

The level I would like to get to in Dutch is so that I can perhaps almost fit in with Dutch people, not to become a guru in formal language and grammar (which I don't think Duolingo does at all). I just wish that there could be more conversational sentences, to see what a normal Dutch conversation might be like, and even a more conversational layout to Duolingo. And I suppose that is exactly what they're trying to do with the bots, but of course I can't use them. But I don't mean to complain in any way, and besides, this is where talking to real people comes in, waaay more useful than anything advanced course can offer.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cam_and_Alex
Cam_and_Alex
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I agree wholeheartedly about that book. That book is amazing, and is actually the book I am currently reading. It is very thorough and helpful! =) I've also found that Teach Yourself Complete Dutch has been of great help as well, and I've found a traveler's Dutch dictionary that you might want to pick up to learn how to say the simple phrases like "Ik heb de badkamer gebruiken nodig!" and such. Enjoy your trip to the Netherlands, and best of luck to you in your current and future endeavors! =D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Blackbeart

Wait, sorry... Which book are you referring to? I hope I can learn the basic phrases like that from talking to Dutch people. :)

Dankjewel!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cam_and_Alex
Cam_and_Alex
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Perhaps the video course and book aren't the same. I am referring to this book. I would look for it on Amazon. I would have linked from that page, but Amazon is blocked on the school laptops. -_-

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Blackbeart

Ah, I see. This is the course I am referring to: http://www.learndutch.org/dutch-grammar/

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Robin24305

I am happy to see someone commenting on the Dutch course and I completely agree with your points. I am working on consolidation now, doing exercises over and over, which is fun as one gets a lot more right and I can see that by the time one gets to level 25, one will really know most of it. I also agree it is really daunting to begin to speak it though, I can never find all the words I need, but I guess that is just part of it, you have to frame a sentence you can say, not try to translate an English one.

I also agree that #dutch grammar is a great additional resource, especially his new clips: Heb je zijn.

but duolingo's game element keeps me going, it is really a great tool.

Thanks to Duolingo for helping 150 million people like us enjoy learning new languages.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Blackbeart

Exactly what I'm doing. I just strengthen them every day. I'm pretty sure if I left it my Tree would stay gold for quite a long while.

Yes, Heb Je Zin is great! I think I am a little above the level, so I understand it all perfectly without the subtitles.

Hooray for Duolingo!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarkL92
MarkL92
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Heel leuk om te horen dat je geïntresseerd bent in de Nederlandse taal! Ik hoop dat je een leuke tijd zal hebben in Nederland en Europa. Gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag alvast!

Groetjes

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Blackbeart

Dank u wel! :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DankStarMemeia
DankStarMemeia
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Thanks for the tips! I'm still fairly new to Dutch myself but it's good to know where else to look if I ever plan on further expanding my knowledge of the language. I'm actually filming a YouTube video on my experiences with Dutch tomorrow! Haha.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nico_Ferrara
Nico_Ferrara
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One of the lines in the Dutch lessons I had today was "I am a banana". I was very disappointed at that.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Redwolf1928
Redwolf1928
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I don't mind some of the silly sentences. They do stick in your mind, and add a bit of humor to the course.

2 years ago
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