https://www.duolingo.com/Kieran819981

Too ambitious?

So I started the Dutch duolingo course about two months ago. I'm currently about 50% with the tree. In combination with a few other sources I have reached a level probably somewhere between A1 and A2. Now I have recently made plans to visit Europe this January, a meer 5 months away. During that trip I will be visiting several countries, one of them being the Flemish region of Belgium. For all you experienced language learners out there, would it be realistic for me to reach a B1 or B2 level by the time January comes around? I would love to be able to practice and use what I've learned in a Dutch speaking region.

I'll give a bit more information for anyone who might care. This is my first foreign language. My native language is English (If that wasnt obvious). Up until this point, I probably spend an average of one hour per day on language learning. I plan to increase that to about 2 hours per day for the next five months. The resources I will be using will be: completing the Duolingo tree (of course) which I am obsessive about and must keep the entire tree gold, and for those of you who are familiar with them, every lesson available for Dutch on Babbel, as well as working through the Teach Yourself Complete Dutch book without the audio unfortunately, Glossika's 5 month intensive course schedule, and hopefully weekly tutor sessions on italki starting in the near future, as well as dabling in LingQ, and listening to audio books and the radio as much as possible.

Any tips on achieving this goal I have set for myself would be very much appreciated. Do those of you who have more experience with language learning than I feel that this is an achievable goal?

1 year ago

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/grey236
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It's possible. My biggest problem for me is that it is so hard to form sentences in Dutch fluently while speaking; reading and writing is no biggie, but speaking is so dang hard. Another problem I'd see is that most people in the Netherlands speak English, so there's a possibility that they'll just respond to you in English if they hear an accent.

Just watch a bunch of Dutch videos and listen to Dutch songs is my best tip. If you see any word or phrase you don't know just write it down and look it up on: http://www.mijnwoordenboek.nl

Conjugations/Inflections: http://woordenlijst.org/#/

My own personal list of stuff (not 100% accurate): https://docs.google.com/document/d/10fUAVjRRyiOYihgGWjOPGAWJr30vymDEOZaUuzlNr_c/edit?usp=sharing

Dutch grammar: http://www.dutchgrammar.com/en/?n=Grammar/DutchGrammar

Speaky (like italki, just no professionals and it's free): http://get.speaky.com/JwBt/8c8Ov4egvF

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dutchesse722
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It looks like he's going to visit Belgium, not the Netherlands. I'm not sure if people in Vlaanderen will respond in English if one speaks in accented Dutch to them. Probably in the tourist towns they would, but you can always ask to be spoken to in Dutch if you let someone know that you're learning the language. I'm sure most people would oblige.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kieran819981

Thanks for the advice and resources! I also find reading and writing way easier than speaking and even listening. I understand way more when I read than if I hear that text spoken. .

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bob335785
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If speaking and listening are your weaker skills, you should try working on these, because both speaking and listening are vitally important while being out and about in Vlaanderen. I know it's tough, but I'm sure you can do it!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dutchesse722
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Good luck with your efforts in learning Dutch. I'm a native speaker of Dutch and I've made several Dutch flashcard decks on Duolingo's Tinycards site, which may be of use to you. All of them include Dutch pronunciation and they expand on what you learn in the Duolingo Dutch course. Check them out here: https://tinycards.duolingo.com/users/Dutchesse722.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
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I agree with grey236. Also I think motivation will be really important for you. If you're planning to spend 2 hours a day, you'd better make sure you enjoy significant parts of it and that your end goal gives you enough motivation to keep on doing the parts you dislike. Part of this can of course be solved by practising with things you like: music, the news, blogs, sports, comic books, whatever you like and can use in Dutch.

Also the speaking is difficult is a remark that I hear often, so I would advise to start with speaking as soon as possible. And yes that will be daunting at first, but you can start with simple things and short sentences, just start speaking Dutch and have conversations, make many, many mistakes and improve over time. Don't worry about your mistakes, just do it. :)

Regarding the point that grey236 makes about people switching to English, there are a few things you can do about that, first just ask them not to, so say e.g. Kunt u Vlaams praten? Ik wil de taal graag beter leren spreken and next to that if your Dutch knowledge is good enough and your pronunciation is also good enough people will understand what you want to say, so no real reason to switch to English. If they can't understand you (well), there's a bigger chance they'll switch to English even if you ask them not to.

Also for you it's probably helpful to listen to a lot of Flemish, it's not that different from the Dutch as spoken in the Netherlands (probably similar to the differences between US, UK and Australian English). For native speakers it's not a problem to understand each other when all try to speak general Dutch. But for a learner, best to get as acquainted as possible with Flemish, so you're used to the specific Flemish pronunciations and certain vocabulary.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kieran819981

Thanks for the advice! I am worried about staying motivated, but I would be very disappointed if I dont make significant progress by that time. So I'll cling to that when I don't want to do the hard work haha.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
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And I'd say keep on looking for other ways to learn Dutch or be in contact with it, so you keep the variation in. Things like setting your computer language to Flemish, watch a Disney film in Dutch (I'm not sure if dubbed versions are made in both Netherlands Dutch and Flemish), when you're planning your trip, pronounce all the relevant places on the map out loud…it all helps.

Good luck!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
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It feels like it could be possible. Try and get back to us?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Qiunnn
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Yes it would definetly be interesting to see how you found it, I have never really fully learnt a language outside of classes so i am interested to see how far this method could go

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kieran819981

Thanks to both of you! Ill definitely update with the progress that I make. And knowing that I promised to do that should help keep me motivated.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bob335785
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Do you watch videos or tv programmes in Dutch too? I guess that the fastest way to get your speaking better is to find a speaking partner or someone you can chat with in Dutch. :|) @kieran819981

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kieran819981

I'm looking into some tv programs. They're not so easy to find :(

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bob335785
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Do you have any preferences? :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HugoZw
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The streaming site of the 'Nederlandse Publieke Omroep' might help you out.

https://www.npo.nl/

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
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I strongly recommend that you find an exchange partner or two. Nothing improves speaking quite like being forced to actually speak!

I absolutely think it's possible.

1 year ago
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