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How Far Does the Duolingo Dutch Course Really Get You?

From the few lessons I've taken and rigorously reviewed, I can tell that Duolingo is a stellar learning program, and it's amazing that it's offered for free! I'm wondering, however, how far it gets you in the really scheme of things, all on it's own. (I'm looking for A1, A2, B1, etc.) Also, what are some ways to strengthen Dutch once you've finished Duolingo? Books, sites, movies, music, youtube channels, and most things you can think of are fine. I just couldn't seem to find a list anywhere of resources. Thank you in advance, en Doei!

6 months ago

21 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/pentaan
pentaan
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how far it gets you in the really scheme of things, all on it's own. (I'm looking for A1, A2, B1, etc

Duolingo will only bring you to an A2/(B1) skill level in reading/writing and A1 (maybe A2) in listening/talking.

I just couldn't seem to find a list anywhere of resources

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/apgdl
apgdl
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I started from scratch and reached level 25 without much focus on other resources and without being exposed to the language in my daily life. Here's my personal take on your questions, plus a few suggestions:

  • from a quick self-assessment (but also a couple of online tests here and there), I believe I reached a solid B1 in reading and writing, and A2 in speaking and listening;

  • there's no comprehensive list of dutch resources here on DL, but you could start here and then take a look at the related discussions on the right (browser only);

  • Memrise, Anki and TinyCards are great to bone up on your vocabulary;

  • HelloTalk can be pretty good for basic convos, use it when you feel more confident with Dutch;

  • on the reverse tree: it hasn't been very useful to me, I think it adds very little to the already massive EN>NL course, but hey, maybe you find it leuk.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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I think the advantage of the reverse tree is that it allows active use of Dutch much earlier on. I assume eventually the Dutch from English tree will provide a reasonable amount of translation into Dutch, but as yet I have not managed to attain much in the way of that (this will hopefully be changing for everyone shorting with the introduction of skill levels). Of course, translation into Dutch is ubiquitous from the first moment with the reverse tree.

No question the "forward" tree is a very good deal longer, perhaps the most "unbalanced" pair of trees on this criterion on the site.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/apgdl
apgdl
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True, what I liked the most of the reverse tree is that you could translate more often into dutch, but the english voice threw me off for some reason. It would be fantastic to have an option for advanced learners to dynamically set the amount of each type of exercise that shows up during practice, so I could choose to do EN>NL all the time.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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Absolutely. I think the skill level system will move toward that; I'm looking forward to it a lot. We'll see if it lives up to expectation.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pentaan
pentaan
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@APGDL

but the english voice threw me off for some reason

You can disable the audio/listening exercises in your settings
http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Frequently_asked_questions/Accessibility go to "Turn off audio".

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/apgdl
apgdl
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Good tip! Too bad you have to manually change it every time you switch between courses.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bonabell2

I personally listen to Dutch radio stations and read Dutch children's books. I'm reading one available on Amazon now called "Alexis in het Zeep Koninkrijk". It's aimed at 11 year olds and is a fair challenge I think. Haha.

I do listen to Dutch music but I'm finding that a huge up hill struggle. As so many artists sing in multiple languages. Broederliefde is a good example. I've also tracked down a couple Twitch channels just to watch their chat interact with each other.

I also lurk in The Netherlands subreddit just to see what I can understand. It's all about surrounding yourself, making friends and just try try trying.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/who_cares_nvm

Heres my input on "strengthening Dutch"

  • watch Dutch YouTubers
  • watch Dutch TV (bvn is a great app for that)
  • listening to Dutch music (I personally am a fan of Guus Meeuwis)
  • turn on Dutch subtitles when you are watching a movie/if theres a dubbed version choose this one and add subtitles in your language
  • read books (I started reading children books...now I am reading Harry Potter and it helps A LOT - ofc with a translator on hand, but its worth it)
  • get a language buddy (HelloTalk or Tandem, or even on here)
  • go on a vacation, if you can

Basically expose yourself to as many Dutch things as possible, reading, hearing and maybe even speaking wise (singing along to some music). Its not important that you understand everything, but that you get a more intuitive feeling for the language.

The rest is pure passion...and practice. Good luck!

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/who_cares_nvm

Also changing my phones interface to Dutch helped.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sarahsmiles67
sarahsmiles67
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I also did that, which changed most of my apps to Dutch too, and I found it really helped me just think in Dutch naturally because I was quite immersed (along with talking with my Dutch friends!).

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/who_cares_nvm

Exactly. At some point you stop thinking about it and just naturally use Dutch.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/No.Longer.Using

Thanks for this information, but I have a few questions to get me started:

Do you know any Youtubers targeted towards 12-15 year olds? Do you know any TV Stations targeted towards 12-15 year olds?

If you could answer these, it would be a great help! Thank you.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/who_cares_nvm

On YouTube you could look for 'OnneDi' - she might be something for your age group. Also from her channel it should be easy to find other similar YouTubers.

With the TV question Im a bit clueless, because I dont receive Dutch television here and merely use the bvn app. But I get that might be boring for you, as its mostly news and talkshows...

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bonabell2

You could try kids-tube.nl for TV shows in dutch. It's mainly dubbed over cartoons but still does the trick. Such as totally spies, Dora the Explora (her second language is English, isn't that funny?) and a couple episodes of pokemon. It's free so, there's not much. haha.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Caleb59709

Hey, thanks for the advice! Do you have any recommendations for dutch youtubers? dank je!

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/who_cares_nvm

Look at the comments above you :)

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mededogen
mededogen
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I've heard it can get you to a B1 level if you really put in the work! Try to use Dutch as much as possible in daily life. Change the interface language on apps/websites/games, etc. I've heard that can be very helpful. Speaking with native Dutch speakers also helps a lot and I'd recommend HelloTalk for that.

Doing the reverse tree can also be very helpful, I've already started on it as you can see. You learn a lot of new things.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DatRosi
6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FreekVerkerk
FreekVerkerk
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Het beste is om veel Nederlands te lezen en te horen. Gewoon uren maken dus. En om het leuk te houden kun je zelf dat uitzoeken wat je leuk vindt. Ik kan televisie aanbevelen, uitzending gemist. Tegenwoordig is een heel populair televisieprogramma: "de luizenmoeder", via Google kun je ook nog de oude uitzendingen vinden en bekijken. Verder kan ik ook nu.nl aanbevelen. Gewoon om het nieuws te bekijken wat de andere Nederlanders ook bekijken. Een taal opent toch ook een andere cultuur, geniet ervan. Je kunt eventueel het boek: "Het Achterhuis" van Anne Frank downloaden en lezen en zo is er meer Nederlandse cultuur beschikbaar.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimDiggle

The best way of getting proper practice is to go to the country but the problem with Dutch is that virtually everyone in The Netherlands speaks fluent English and immediately switches having recognised your halting ability! Best advice I can offer, based on experience, is to avoid Amsterdam/Rotterdam/Bruges and all the other popular destinations and find an obscure corner of Flanders (Dutch speaking Belgium) where you will still find hotel, restaurant, bar and shop staff who speak only French (very reluctantly) or Dutch!

6 months ago