So I have a grave interest in learning Dutch because my grandfather was from Delft, Netherlands. I have a lot of family there right now too, so I want to be able to learn the language to talk to them. I want to know as much of the language and culture. Can anyone help me out with this? Also I would love anyone's language learning journey with Dutch. Any help would be awesome thanks!!!
That’s awesome you’re interested in learning Dutch! I can tell you it’s really an amazing language and you’ll have a lot of fun learning it.
One of the first things I’d do is go to HelloTalk or equivalent apps/sites and try to make some Dutch-speaking friends. You’ll learn so much just by communicating back and forth with them in Dutch when you know a bit on Duolingo.
I’d also highly recommend checking out Dutch children’s shows on YouTube like Peppa Pig Nederlands, Nijntje, and De Smurfen. You won’t be able to understand much at the beginning, but over time you’ll be able to enjoy those shows more and more.
stuffdutchpeoplelike.com is a pretty nice (and humorous) site for learning about Dutch culture and such. It’s quite interesting and I’d recommend that as well.
I salute you for wanting to learn the language of your family and of your heritage. I hope you will be able to travel to The Netherlands soon and visit the marvellous city of Delft as well as many other great places like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and its harbour, The Hague, the windmills of Kinderdijk, the canal-access only village of Giethoorn and more. I suspect your relatives there will be pleased that you have made the attempt to learn Dutch, but don't be surprised if they keep switching to English in order to practise and make it easier for you to communicate. I had a Dutch friend who told me once that if someone claims to be Dutch but doesn't speak fluent English, then he or she is fibbing about being Dutch.
My grandmother was from Delft. We lived in the Netherlands when I was a child for a few years, and I went to a Dutch school. I am re-learning now. I think children’s books are an excellent way to learn. I’ve found a few. Also, Dutch songs are good, since music is easy to remember. I found a podcast with “slow Dutch”, but they don’t offer a transcript, so I have trouble following along at this point.
A trip to NL and having potential relatives to meet is a great motivator, so make the most out of it! It could open another world for you.
For starters, I'd just recommend finishing and drilling the Duolingo course, remembering to use the online version to read the grammar notes. I would also recommend getting a personal tutor to see regularly, either online or IRL, to get the pronunciation right from the start.
Take an ambitious but implementable goal of, say, daily practice for the next 6 months. There will be some, hopefully motivating results by that time.