I've finished my Dutch Tree, what's next?
I have really enjoyed this course and believe it has helped me in so many ways. Now that I have finished my language tree, what are some things I can do to continue learning Dutch? Coming from a Dutch family (now in the United States), I would love to speak Dutch fluently one day. I am going to continue to use Duolingo to review, but are there any other ways I could improve my skills? Bedankt :)
Congrats on finishing your tree!
.... other ways I could improve my skills?
The reverse tree, the course English for Dutch speakers, is very useful. There you have to translate much more from English to Dutch.
Here is the link to the Duolingo Help center for "How do I switch my Duolingo course language?"
Use the web version of Duolingo (www.duolingo.com) instead of the App. The web version works also fine on a tablet or phone, when WIFI is available.
Try to write in Dutch on the Duolingo Dutch Facebook Group:
It's time to start looking for books to read, people to speak to, etc.
Heel veel plezier en succes gewenst bij het vervolg van je studie Nederlands!
I recommend keeping on going with Duolingo, even though I finished my Dutch tree, I find I have not got it all memorized. Also, even before doing a a reverse tree, on the web version, (which is much better by the way) try covering over the screen so you cannot see but only hear the words, that helps on focus on the sound and meaning and is a whole new experience in itself.
A few more things you can do.
Read whatever you find interesting:
- children's books (can still be interesting for adults, especially if they cover certain aspects of Dutch culture or history you're interested in)
- novels (you can start with a Dutch translation of a book you really like, English language classics are no doubt translated in Dutch)
- newspapers (starting with international news or sports may be easier as you will already roughly know what articles are about. And maybe you're curious about the Dutch perspective on American politics?)
- comic books
Listen to whatever you find interesting:
- Dutch radio
- Dutch music
- audio books
Watch whatever you find interesting:
- films (you can start with Disney films in Dutch with Dutch or English subtitles) I guess it'll be difficult to find Dutch films with English subs, but maybe Dutch subtitles exist e.g. for the hearing impaired
- Dutch TV
- Dutch vlogs on youtube
Do anything online with a Dutch community:
Try making Dutch speaking friends (even if only an online language friend).
If you let me know which of the above you're interested in, I can find you some references.
Thank you :) I have been listening to Dutch radio stations for a while now and have noticed that they have helped me pick up on quite a bit. Are there any books you would recommend?
Cool! Good to hear it's helpful.
I'll mention some novels for (young) teenagers, if you'd like to try a higher or lower level, let me know. It just dawns on me that I don't really remember many of the books I read when I was young, so I'm just listing a few very famous ones.
- Jan Terlouw: Koning van Katoren
- Jan Terlouw: Oosterschelde; Windkracht 10 (situated around the 1953 North Sea flood which killed some 1800 Dutch)
- Jan Terlouw: Oorlogswinter (situated in the 1944-45 Dutch famine)
- Thea Beckman: Kruistocht in Spijkerbroek
- Annie M.G. Schmidt: Pluk van de Petteflet (for younger children, but I just have to include her in a list like this one, her children's poems and songs are also world famous in the Netherlands)
- Roald Dahl (not originally Dutch, but maybe easier if you've read it already)
Marianafiske: I started with Minoes when I finished the tree but it was still a bit hard. I've since read Wiplala and Abeltje by Schmidt and that's where I would start. There are very fine recordings of both these novels read by Schmidt's son Flip van Duyn. I did Quizlet sets for a number of chapters of Minoes which I'm very happy to share. You can find me on the Duolingo Dutch learner's group. Veel plezier!
As a bonus, one of Annie M.G. Schmidt's famous poems, De spin Sebastiaan: http://www.bermione.be/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/sebastiaan.html
Reverse tree and start reading books. You can find several free or low cost children's books on the web. Also, you can find a few "grown up" ebooks on Amazon that are low cost or free and in Dutch. The advantage to reading ebooks from Amazon is that you can highlight (tap on) any unknown word and have it translated automatically.
Glad to help. Good luck. When you search (either on the web in general or on amazon), search for both "Dutch" and "Nederlandse" (as separate searches) and you should get better results.
I got this from another duolingo user, see if it helps! https://www.youtube.com/user/magauchsein/search?query=dutch
Do you know librivox? There you find audio books for free, also in dutch. I still find it hard to follow dutch native speakers; so I downloaded the dutch audio book of Jules Verne's To the Center of the Earth (Naar het middelpunt der Aarde) plus the ebook (also for free) I'm listening and reading along one chapter a day. When I feel confident, I just listen and read afterwards.
If you want to speak Dutch fluently, I'd watch Dutch TV. You can watch public TV at www.npo.nl, if it says it's not available in your country you can install Hola! which provides you with a proxy. Also, there must be a Dutch community where you live. Find them, make friends with them and pretend you don't speak English.
So, I finished my tree a bit ago. And just this last few days finished the reverse tree. And I move to the Netherlands in... oh god.. 2 months and counting.
In addition to the other suggestions here, my best extension of learning has been Het Klokhuis, a kid's TV show. Has the advantage of being a little bit informative of random nuggets of Dutch culture (and made me really hungry for some rookworst), and having subtitles so I can sit there with my phone on the Google Translate app to make sure I can follow along.
There are also a lot of different presenters, and some cartoons in goofy voices, so you can start to pick up different voices as well. And since it's video, you can always rely on seeing the over-the-top acting for kids' TV to help get the meaning. Possibly the single greatest Dutch learning tool I've found so far for me.