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  5. Just completed the Dutch tree!

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

Just completed the Dutch tree!

Thanks to Lavinae, KaiEngle, Rhynn, kirlll, and MrsKwakker for all they've done for the course. Now I can go to Amsterdam with substantial experience in Dutch. Well, substantial for an American, anyways.

A few comments about the course:

  1. I was impressed by how thorough the course was. Clearly you five were very committed to giving us the full Dutch experience. Kudos.

  2. There were a lot of mistakes, though. Some happened to be the difference between passing and failing a level. Also, I must have gotten at least 30 emails a day saying my alternate translation had been accepted. But I guess that's why they beta-test it.

  3. Really liked the culture section at the end. The Netherlands was the one part of Europe I never really learned that much about in school (probably because they never get involved in any wars). But now I'm really looking forward to experiencing Dutch culture firsthand.

  4. I especially liked the food section, but I noticed one glaring omission: the best Dutch drunk food, bitterballen en mosterdsaus!

  5. I still can't pronounce the Dutch 'g' or 'sch'. And when I try to, I inevitably end up getting a sore throat. Clearly I need speech therapy. That's why you don't smoke, kids.

  6. Being a native English speaker and B1 in German, I was incredibly lucky to have completed the course so quickly. If I didn't have that German background, I'd be killing myself over the grammar and syntax. At least there's no cases in Dutch.

  7. Owing to my (even stronger) French background, I would often mistakenly translate 'je' as 'I'. Must have made that mistake at least a dozen times.

  8. On that note, I find the concept of strong versus weak pronouns incredibly annoying and arbitrary. Same with 'de' and 'het'.

  9. Much as I'm looking forward to Amsterdam, I'm tempted to make a side trip to the Wadden Islands just to see those seals.

  10. Bring on Irish and Danish!

July 29, 2014

81 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Knoxienne

Congratulations! I'm still working my way down slowly but surely!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sojinjung

Totally concurring on 7. Eight years of French will do that to you ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/azureskye

Great job completing the tree so quickly!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeanette525

Congrats! Dat is goed! (And that's how far I am on the Dutch tree so far, lol).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALoUSyUseRnaME

Congrats! I'm still just at the beginning of the tree! Have 5 lingots!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

Giving those 5 back, I already earned hundreds just from completing the Dutch course


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALoUSyUseRnaME

Oh, I see... thanks then ;) (I obviously needed my precious 5 lingots back ;) It's really unfortunate how useless lingots are these days...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/azureskye

Wouldn't giving XP be cool? I mean it takes the learning out of learning...but still. ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALoUSyUseRnaME

It would be cool... I have a lot of excess XP in French, I think I should be on level 27, but at the same time it helps me maintain first place in the all-time leaderboard :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Allopathie

Use the lingots for quizzes. Take a quiz a day; when you run out, redo Basics 1.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Congratulations! I would say that in Dutch, but the spelling is killing me right now. Thanks for the rundown! I'll add the Dutch trophy to your trophy line tomorrow. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/athanais

Gefeliciteerd! ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PopTartTastic

Wow! That was fast. I'm still on level 5. :P I've been to Amsterdam, and it's a beautiful place. I'd recommend taking a ferry around, and visit some art museums (I went to Rijksmuseum and the van Gogh museum.) and just walking or cycling around. There are tons of little shops out there. No trip to Amsterdam is complete without buying cheese though, so you ought to get some. I wish I lived in a Dutch cheese shop...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Simius

Congratulations, that is amazingly fast!

I really recommend visiting the Wadden Islands, especially in the summer. Vlieland is my personal favorite, it's absolutely gorgeous.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/le-lapin-noir

Wow that was fast. Did you complete the Dutch to English course beforehand?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

No, I tried doing that but I couldn't get past the first tier. It got so much easier once you threw text-to-speech, notes, and dictionary hints into the mix.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/makiminami

Wow! Amazing, I'm barely a level 6 on Possessives, Adjectives Basic, and Clothing. You make me even more motivated to finish my Dutch tree!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dallontrash

That's about where I am on my tree, haha.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mr.presley1705

Congrats man, I see you are a Notre Dame fan by your username. go Irish!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

Yes! Finally someone got that reference! Though I did once have somebody write in Armenian on my profile, lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Whle_

Congratulations, in such a short amount of time too! I'm just up to Indefinite Pronouns, but I started a week into the 'beta' phase and my style is basically complete a level, and then practice it over and over, and then strengthen all my skills since I'm so scared of forgetting! Well, a big well done to you, and I hope you LOVE Amsterdam. I personally loved it when I went, be sure to try the Stoopwaffels and chips/french fries with mayonnaise. Lingot to you, my friend! C:


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SDPhil

We are actually on the same skill. I should be like you and review because I'm forgetting words after a few days.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Whle_

Yeah, especially starting out a language it is hard to remember, but I suppose it must come more natural later on.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SDPhil

Yeah, I agree. The orthography is really difficult to me, especially since I've only studied Romance languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimoHeddes

"I find the concept of strong versus weak pronouns incredibly annoying and arbitrary. Same with 'de' and 'het'."

As a Dutch person I full-heartedly agree. I have people around me trying to learn Dutch and I've come to find that Dutch grammer is impossible to explain with logic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuzanElise

Please, go outside Amsterdam if you have the time too (and after you visited the highlights ;)). Amsterdam is beautiful, but the Netherlands are so much more than that! Visit het Groene Hart if you can, lots of pretty nature to discover (hire a bike if possible), the Wadden are great too. Maybe you can try 'wadlopen', mudflat hiking to see the seals (or go on a boat trip), just make sure to bring a pair of rubber boots :) And, of course: Gefeliciteerd on finishing the tree!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

What do you recommend in Rotterdam? I can't see everything due to time constraints and the desire to see other countries, but Amsterdam and Rotterdam are definite.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuzanElise

Sounds like a good combination of the 'old' and the 'new' Netherlands. Rotterdam (as marzman said) was bombed in WWII and therefore has a lot of modern architecture. Recommendations for Rotterdam: de Euromast, de Erasmusbrug, the cube houses, de Kunsthal, het Maritiem museum, boekhandel Donner (not a very interesting building, but it is a huge book store), de Sint Laurenskerk (never visited it, but sounds interesting), the SS Rotterdam (a cruise ship of the Holland-America Line that can now be visited, completely restored in his former state and you can take tours). I've probably missed a few highlights, but I only ever go to Rotterdam for the childrens' hospital. My favourite city in the Netherlands is Maastricht, but is in the far south and quite a long drive from de Randstad.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marzman

I would skip Rotterdam and go for some place else. Utrecht or The Hague maybe (in that order). Rotterdam has the harbour but further no history because it was destroyed in WWII.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamNowek

Getting flattened in a war isn't a history?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marzman

I mean no historical buildings or places.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luke_5.1991

I can relate with the "je." The Norwegian word for "I" is "jeg," which sounds just like the Dutch "jij," meaning "you." This has cost me many hearts.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

Very interesting to hear this..............exactly how similar are the Nordic languages to German and Dutch? Anything I should watch out for?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blizzard-spider

They are really similar in that it's easy to see a lot of the words have the same roots, but not quite similar enough that you could always just guess the meaning if you know only dutch/german. Knowing english helps too btw! The verbs are easy because they don't need to be conjugated based on the pronoun. There are also various false friends to look out for, as with any language, like 'bil' meaning 'buttcheek' in dutch and car in danish. Or 'fart' meaning speed- hehehe (sorry, this is my 5-year old brain speaking).

Some grammer concepts are different though- like in some cases you add 'the' to the end of a noun (i.e.- mand=man, manden= the man), which you don't have in german/dutch/english. So to conclude, the vocabulary will be recognisable but not always guessable, and there are some grammatical differences as with most different languages. (Interesting to note is that danish has a similar sentence structure and counting system as dutch, but other scandinavian languages may differ in this.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luke_5.1991

All non-English Germanic languages I've studied have "e"s in adjectives that follow the definite article: das weiße Haus, het wite huis, det hvite hus(et), etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Physiker729

I had this problem too! But from a Swedish learner's perspective, so it's maybe less forgivable, since "jag" doesn't even really sound that much like "jij".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blizzard-spider

I'm dutch learning danish and I initially had the same (jij vs. jeg) problem :) But you'll get used to it quickly, especially if you see it used often.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stephenbal4

I love the attitude toward Irish and Danish!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stwel

Congratulations, that's really fast! And this probably makes you the first to complete all current 6 languages for English speakers?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

Doubt it. I feel like there's got to be somebody out there under the radar who finished within a week.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stwel

I'm sure you're not the first who completed Dutch, but I'm sure there are not too many people who completed all the other languages, so I think there's a pretty good chance that you're the first to complete all six. Anyway, well done and good luck with the languages to come :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stephenbal4

He also may be the first non-Dutchman to finish it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marzman

Gefeliciteerd araparseghian. Goed gedaan, erg snel ook voor een Amerikaan.

You should be able to translate that now :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimoHeddes

Also for an American? What do you mean to say with that? Genuinely wondering.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marzman

The group here is 'erg snel ook' and not 'ook voor een Amerikaan' what could be an insult (and it's not, 'erg snel ook' is a compliment)

I don't think a lot of people speak the Germanic languages over there. And I have not finished the tree yet and I am dutch. So therefor the 'voor een Amerikaan'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stwel

:-) One can understand the confusion. By the way, a lot of Americans speak at least one Germanic language, seeing English is one :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marzman

It is indeed part of it, i never realised that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dallontrash

Congratulations, araparseghian!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elen-ka

Awesome! Did you know any Dutch before or you started completely from scratch? Either way very impressed and motivated by your example!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

I tried doing the Dutch-to-English course when it came out (so I knew a few words like ik, kaas, paard, etc) but I couldn't get past the first checkpoint. Because I'm more of an audial learner, hearing the text-to-speech (even if it needs improvement) is absolutely crucial.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stephenbal4

and I also love that we have so many lingots that we can just give tons of them away on posts to show which ones we really like


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fazac

Out of interest, do you feel that you've really learnt the language completing it that fast? Or have you just completed the tree? Can you remember everything you've learnt?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

I still think there is a lot more learning to be done. That's why I've been strengthening my weak skills constantly the past few days. And there are a lot of weak skills. I'm still not entirely clear when to use "er", and I often get the syntax wrong on long sentences.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

It was an exaggeration


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/coloraday

Ah, then I think you should coin a stronger word for it. Kidding - well done. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StefanoSolgreno

Congratulations! Impressive! I am looking forward to jump on that boat in a while xD At first I Thought you were a native..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdrianJosh

like the three was out in 2 weeks how was that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carolind

On point 5: My cousin married a Dutch. When learning the language, she had a sore throat for months. Good news is it eventually goes away. Try the Flemish 'g'. It's softer than the Dutch 'g'. I find it quite pretty.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melaninja

I am very impressed.. congrats!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/donalush

Gefeliciteerd :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dm77

Wow Congrats! Goed gedaan! I'm still learning - I'm on basic adjectives on my dutch tree. ^^;


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/athanais

Don't forget to do Wadlopen while in the islands!! :D it's an amazing experience!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drockalgzemoser

Second with the "je" mistakes :P


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lolaphilologist

Super impressed with your speed!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shastri23

Congratulations! I'm barely 1/4 way through it. I'm hoping to impress everyone in Suriname when I go in December


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

That sounds really fun! I've heard the food there is incredible!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shastri23

It most definitely is. Cultural fusion always manages to create some culinary works of genius!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ghossilva

Felicitaciones. ¿Cuánto tiempo te tardaste?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

Un poco menos que dos semanas


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/buunny

Congrats! What level are you at now that you've completed the tree?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/x_-

Congrats! :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.Farrelly

hello congratulations! im fairly new to this site let alone this whole learning a language with motivation, but i was wondering how substantial the level of your dutch is now? how strong in a language do they courses make you?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stephenbal4

I just finished my German tree (took me 59 days of a lot of playing in my free time). I am able to listen to German pop music and pick up quite a few of the lyrics. More classical music would be slower and even easier. If I'm watching a lyrics video, I understand a lot of it. And if I'm reading the lyrics, I understand 75% of them usually. I've been talking to natives for a week or two, and I make a lot of mistakes, but I can actually hold a chat conversation. I have a ways to go before fluency, and I still look up a lot of vocab, but it's a hell of a headstart. I took a semester of German in class, and I don't think I was anywhere near this proficient.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.Farrelly

thank you for such a speedy reply, i appreciate it. i happened to come across this website by chance (stumbled upon) and have always felt it important to at least try and learn another language, it seems only fair. But in school i always found it difficult (french and spanish, and latin to an extent) but i think i lacked motivation then, i feel a lot more motivated to learn, especially when these lessons seem very easy? but when i make a mistake i tend to go back and re do the lesson, how is it you've been talking to natives?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stephenbal4

You're welcome. That's good. Motivation is really important. My strategy was to never go back and redo the lesson, because that would slow me down and (for me) probably kill my motivation eventually. The skills become colored anyway when Duo thinks you need to practice them, and you should definitely regold them when that happens. The skills do get harder.... quite a bit harder. The first section or two of the tree is pretty simple. I went on conversationexchange.com and mylanguageexchange.com. the first is free, the second requires you to pay 25 a year to contact people. I did not pay, but someone ended up contacting me from there a week or so later. I exchanged email / skype information with them and I talk to them on there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.Farrelly

i feel i have to redo lessons because i struggle a lot with suffixes and spellings of words? varkensvlees and schrijven for example, i assume it's just due to a different lay out and coupling of letters in comparison to english and obviously an increase in the letter v. Quite a bit harder isn't necessarily a bad thing though right! i mean difficult keeps the mind busy? right? tell me i'm right haha. the whole skype thing is really cool though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stephenbal4

That's fair enough. To each their own. Haha yeah I like when it gets harder. French is boring me right now :(. Yeah, I really enjoy talking to natives.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PyroNewman

Gefeliciteerd, araparseghian!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/schiffmeister

Congrats! I finished mine just today. I alternate between C1 and C2 in German, and that knowledge helps SO much in Dutch (and Danish, even)!

Learn Dutch in just 5 minutes a day. For free.