https://www.duolingo.com/skynightstar

The struggles of a Norwegian learner trying to learn Dutch

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Hei alle sammen! So I've been learning Norwegian for a while now, almost six months, and you could say I've gotten pretty used to the language by now. A few days ago I decided to start learning a bit of Dutch on the side, as I thought it'd be fun (more casually than Norwegian, as Norwegian is my main focus). But when you're used to Norwegian, learning Dutch can be both slightly confusing and frustrating. I thought it would be amusing to share my reasons (and light-hearted frustration):

  • the masculine indefinite article in Norwegian = 'en', but in Dutch the indefinite article is 'een' (you can imagine the endless amount of times I have written and will write 'en' in place of 'een' before either not noticing and getting it wrong, or noticing before I press check, sighing at myself and having to go back and correct myself)

  • 'mannen' in Norwegian of course translates to 'the man', but in Dutch it means 'men'. AHH! I'm so used to Norwegian I sometimes forget other languages don't use suffixes to make an indefinite into a definite.

  • 'de' in Norwegian = 'they', 'de' in Dutch = 'the', not to mention the struggle not to pronounce 'de' as dee as it is in Norwegian (in Dutch it's kind of pronounced like 'duh', but with a much shorter 'u' sound)

I will update this post with any further complications if they happen to crop up! :P

8/13/2018, 4:10:10 PM

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SheenaBastet
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Imagine when you are learning norvegian + swedish + dutch + german :p

8/13/2018, 11:46:26 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Deliciae
Mod
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Nei, jäg wil nicht!

8/14/2018, 7:43:12 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Luke_5.1991
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Jäg kann dij niet forståen.

8/14/2018, 10:16:44 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Deliciae
Mod
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Hast u snakket zu mycket japanse?

(Conflicting sentence structures encountered. Abort, abort!)

8/14/2018, 11:21:37 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Jersebas
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Being Dutch myself, that's why I dropped Swedish on Duolingo as soon as the Norwegian tree came out =) Differentiating between Dutch and the rest is doable for me, but not using German in Norwegian sentences was hard enough without having "Norwegian-like" Swedish words there as well!

Learning multiple languages and switching between them will result in mixing up words. I can totally relate to skynightstar's experience with typing something, getting it wrong, looking surprised at what I did wrong and seeing I used the wrong language somewhere, rolling my eyes and sighing... even Norwegian words in Spanish lol. On the plus side, these languages being so similar sometimes, it's easy to understand new words imo. Sometimes the English "in-between" language only complicates words for me with Norwegian as the Dutch words can be quite similar. Linn and Luke's sentences make perfect sense to me btw hehe =)

8/14/2018, 11:04:01 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/8BsnlGDi
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So I want to learn Swedish, Norsk, Dutch, German and Icelandic xd

8/14/2018, 9:11:21 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SheenaBastet
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Waiting for Icelandic !!

8/16/2018, 2:50:10 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Multi0Lingual4
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"De" in Norwegian always gets me, every time.

8/13/2018, 4:32:22 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/skynightstar
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I feel your frustration.

8/13/2018, 5:56:00 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SupBlue24

same problem with Mannen here (and similar cases) it could get really frustrating I am new to Dutch as well as Norwegian (Imagine the struggle of a beginner) but I guess you will stop making mistakes sooner or later in the language :D

8/14/2018, 10:57:47 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/skynightstar
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It must be even harder to be a beginner to both! And to be honest, you may stop making mistakes so frequently but there are always occasions where your brain slips in the wrong word (I sometimes type 'melk' in English even now).

8/14/2018, 2:15:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SupBlue24

I forget english words now too haha

8/14/2018, 8:42:11 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/skynightstar
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I'm also the worst for typing 'mann' in English now. I actually forget it's only one 'n'.

8/15/2018, 3:29:19 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
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Interesting. I'm learning both Dutch and Norwegian at the same time, and those are the things that get me every time, even though I usually put both time and a couple of other unrelated languages between practicing them. I also find myself frequently wanting to translate Dutch je as French je. I've talked to polyglots, this seems to be normal, if frustrating.

8/14/2018, 1:40:58 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/skynightstar
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That happens to me too! I've been studying French for years now (although I don't have much to show for it, don't ask) and immediately upon seeing 'je' I think 'I', so it's an effort to start thinking of 'je' as 'you' now. Also, a sidenote: as a native English speaker, or maybe just a weirdo, I keep laughing at 'je drinkt melk' because to me it just sounds like 'ya drinked milk' in a slightly Scottish accent and for some reason that is hilarious to me.

8/14/2018, 2:19:16 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Brennan669712
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I am a fluent Dutch speaker and had that problem reversed...very frustrating. It takes a lot of repetition of the basic Norwegian skills to get it planted in your head, but after a while it'll be pretty natural.

8/15/2018, 1:34:45 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/skynightstar
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That's exactly what I'm doing with Dutch. Repetition is key :)

8/15/2018, 3:30:01 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/adriansworld
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I understand your frustration. That is the challenge with the germanic languages. :)

8/14/2018, 5:33:01 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/skynightstar
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True!

8/14/2018, 6:05:17 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Alexandros_SPQR
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Maybe Norwegian, Swedish and German it would be a better combination than Norwegian and Dutch. Dutch switches with Danish, I think.

8/14/2018, 8:25:26 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Omar.Marcos
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I can imagine that!!!

8/14/2018, 11:10:00 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/demama
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I'm dutch and I really want to learn norwegian, swedish and danish. It truly is confusing af, but jeg vil suksess! en dag!

8/15/2018, 9:15:12 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ChristianK975057

nice

8/16/2018, 12:07:57 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/AKicsiMacska
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Although, "de" in norwegian can mean "the" in certain circumstances, like "De Tre Bukkene Bruse"

8/21/2018, 3:52:01 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/skynightstar
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True!

8/21/2018, 1:09:13 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Moongrovenly

Specifically when it's a plural with some descriptor(s). But I think maybe the meaning then is kind of ambiguous between "the" and "those".

9/23/2018, 6:22:32 PM
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