General Advice

Hallo vrienden, goedenavond! I have a few quick questions and was hoping to get some advice from more advanced and/or native speakers.

First off though, I've been learning Dutch for about a month now and have done what I can to surround myself with Dutch things. I listen to Dutch rock and pop music, but mainly various Nederhop artists. I also listen to Dutch talk shows and read the news (although I comprehend very little at the moment and have to translate a lot)

Currently I only use Duolingo as well as my book on Dutch Grammar, but when I have finished Duolingo's course I plan on using Babbel & Rosetta Stone as well, just to get a broader grasp of the language through various courses. (Although not simultaneously of course. I will complete one program before moving on to another, while still practicing in the original) I usually spend 3-4 hours a day practicing and reading/writing in Dutch. questions are these: 1. Is there anything more I can do to inundate myself with Dutch culture beyond listening to music/reading news? 2. Would you advise against using another program after completing Duolingo? 3. Is there any useful program/website to connect with Dutch speakers for language exchange? 4. What advice can you give me for retention of what I am learning? (Obviously I know the old "practice until you get brain rot" idea, but is there anything specific that you have found useful when language learning?)

Bedankt, hartelijke groeten.

6 months ago


For me, I am studying German. As I am working with Duo I am also working my books - Grammar & Vocabulary. In addition, I order children's books, but I am only able to read the ones for about a four year old.

I have others for older children but they pose a big problem for me right now. On top of this, I download from many sites worksheets - little stories for a specific age or grade or German A1 - A2. I also download test or write up my own. Last week I took about 50 vocabulary words on the left and had to match them to the definition on the right (these were all scrambled up). You see, I believe it is not enough to study - you must be tested vigorously.

On line I watch German children's movie clips. The Alphabet - it help with pronunciation. Nursery rhymes .. etc. Once I know enough to hold a conversation then I want to make a major effort into pronunciation. I do not believe on here that is the main focus - I think it is thinking and writing / reading in the new language. But I also believe this is definitely a great start into any language available.

6 months ago

Thank you very much for that! I have downloaded the PDFs of a few Dutch children's books to read, but I hadn't thought about downloading worksheets or elementary level vocab tests. That makes a lot of sense, since many of us are starting at essentially a toddler's level and progressing forward. Thank you for that advice! :)

6 months ago
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Hello Logan! I personally am a native Dutch speaker, but I'll give you some insights on how I learned my other languages. I learned English mainly through the internet, but especially by watching series on Netflix WITH English subtitles. (Same goes with German) Though I must say, before doing this and actually understanding this, you need to have some knowledge of the language. But I think that if you were to combine watching Dutch documentaries/series with Duolingo, you'd get very far. These Dutch documentaries are easily to find on Youtube, though I must warn you there, the subtitles might not always be correct, since they are mostly created by other viewers.

I think it's great to hear that you spent 3/4 hours a day learning Dutch. I believe that in that rate you'll learn Dutch quicker than you can imagine.

I wanted to give you a little warning/piece of advice about Nederhop. I grasp from your story that, that's the genre that you prefer, but like in most languages hip-hop usually goes hand in hand with slang. They often do not use the correct grammar and for a person who is learning Dutch this can be very confusing. So be careful with what you choose to listen to.

I have a few Dutch (old-school) songs that my dad always listens to, maybe you can try to listen to them first and then see what the lyrics says or vice versa. These songs use very specific Dutch things and the pronunciation of the words is very clear, so I think they'll be of great use to you.

Other than that I'd say, you rock!

6 months ago
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De beste wijze om een taal te leren is via de liefde... een vriend of vriendin hebben met deze moedertaal helpt je enorm vooruit. Dit terzijde. ;-) Ik zou deelnemen aan de discussies in de clubs van Duolingo. Je moet enkel een club vinden waar men actief meewerkt. Twijfel niet om te veranderen van club als er weinig activiteit is. Neem zelf initiatieven door bijvoorbeeld een multiple choice kwis te posten, of vragen te stellen in deze club. Actieve gebruikers zetten aan tot activiteit.Hou het eenvoudig. En kijk naar het niveau van de administrator van de club.

6 months ago
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Hallo, Logan. Since I have an interest in the weather and it is something that is a good topic of discussion, every day I go to and read and watch their weather reports (Moniek Wulms is an interesting challenge to understand. But the more I work at it, I am able to pick out each word and am getting a sense of her "accent", cadence, etc.) . In order to hear conversations, I listen to Dutch talk radio on NPO Radio 1. Also, I enjoy watching "Doen ze dat zo" and "Waarom Daarom" videos on "Het Klokhuis" . Finally, I enjoy listening to songs like "Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten" and "Tulpen uit Amsterdam". getting the lyrics with English translation is pretty easy. "Succes" in your efforts!

6 months ago

Although I only started Dutch today, I have used Babbel for French and my friend used it for German, we both agree it has been useful, though I do find DuoLingo a LOT easier. Also, if you can find one (obviously it's difficult), a Dutch pen-pal is great practice. Also, finding short Dutch clips on YouTube and putting English subtitles on it is great. Find anything designed to help young children, as, after all, we are at about the same level of a 1-2 year old child.

6 months ago
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