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Question for people who started Dutch from zero on Duolingo

I was just wondering if you could share your experience of learning Dutch from scratch on Duolingo. Especially those who speak no German or Afrikaans. Do you find it very difficult? I am planning to start my tree really soon, but feel a little intimidated :) Any tips?

August 22, 2014



Well, I find it to be very fun! Dutch is very similar to English, so I'm greatly enjoying it. Learning a new language is always challenging, but this course has me feeling so motivated that I just keep going.

As for tips, I suggest writing down all the words with their definitions and pronunciations. Sometimes words look and sound very similar, so that might throw you off and leave you frustated. And writing down has been known to retain information because it engages a different part of your brain. I keep a notepad open with all the words I've learned so that I can glance at it. I find that it really helps me.

Also consider that Dutch doesn't have a Words tag yet.

I'd also suggest having Forvo open in another tab. Some of the Dutch pronounciations are a little wonky. TTS' do that sometimes! So if you ever find an oddly pronounced word, or it sounds too difficult to pronounce, go to Forvo so you can hear real Dutch people pronounce it for you! Be careful, though. Belgium people have a different pronunciation from Nederlands' people, and this Dutch course concentrates on Nederlands.

Other than that, it's all about having fun! And I'm really glad I started learning Dutch~

ps. Dutch is still in Beta, so the Dutch flag level-system will appear a little off on forum posts.


Dutch is completely new for me. I hadn't heard a single word of it, and it was never on my radar as a language I wanted to learn. But, as you can see, that is no longer.

The word order is something to get used to. It may seem random at first, but it is definitely logical, and makes sense in the grand scheme of the language. I get a kick out of seeing English words (or is it the other way around) in the lessons, and there is one sentence that sounds like an English one, just with a little accent.

Overall, I am really enjoying the course so far. My tips would be to read the grammar explanations provided by the moderators, the Tips & Notes, and a good amount of review. Best wishes!


I have no background in Dutch aside from listening to Sky Radio (it was on cable in London) occasionally in the mid 90s. Finding it surprisingly easy so far. There is certainly a similarity to English that makes it possibly a little easier to learn than some other languages.

I've been writing down some words and look at them randomly through the day and also use a few phone apps for quick word revision. The repetition is helping me to remember.

For me it's a fun language to learn. I'm enjoying it and that's why I'm sticking with it.


I am exactly in the situation that you are entering. I quit German (unlike Creeper Ghost) because it was too hard for me. I find Dutch to be fun and enthralling. It really does feel like a "twin separated at birth" from English. Everything I learn in Dutch reminds me of Elizabethan English (like putting "niet" at the end of the sentence) or of modern English. Here are some cognates that will encourage you.

Man Sorry Pasta is was we kat krab

And I'm sure there are quite a few more


My mother tongue is German and for me learning Dutch is also very funny, because most words are a mixture of German and English. So any knowledge of one of the two will help.


There's a huge amount of them. If I open my dictionary on a random page:

moralize - moraliseren | morass - moeras | moratorium - moratorium | morbid - morbide | morbidity - morbiditeit | mordacious - bijtend/sarcastisch | mordacity - vinnigheid | mordant - bijtmiddel | more - meer | morel - morielje | morello - morel


Indeed. Also, some cognates might not be obvious at first but you'll pick up on them quickly. "Vlees'' is usually translated as ''meat'', but the cognate is ''flesh''.

And then there is the issue that Dutch isn't one of the most regular languages out there. But neither is English and the neat thing is that for example most irregular verbs in English are also irregular in Dutch. Compare ''I eat/I ate'' with "Ik eet/ik at'' or ''I see/I saw" with ''Ik zie/ik zag".


Yeah, I love saying "De kat eet vlees" evilly when I'm strengthening skills!


For me, I think Dutch Is fun and exciting! Very similar to German and English! :D


I'm learning Dutch a lot the same way I learned Spanish. I grew up with smatterings of Spanish in California and managed to learn the grammar in order to plug in the lexicon that I already knew as well as expand my vocabulary. I picked up some Dutch from Dutch folks at church over the years and along with some knowledge of German have been able to study it and learn it.

[deactivated user]

    Well, I have a background in German so maybe I'm not the best person to answer it but I wouldn't say that it would be difficult at all to pick up in it's beginning stages. It's fairly straight forward the only difficult part for me is pronouncing the words right and getting the spelling. Intermediate and advanced Dutch I can't speak on yet.


    Pretty easy until the second shortcut, there I really have to start learning new things because I already knew german, english and swedish. I have to put some effort to advance on the tree.


    Thanks a lot for all your comments, they are really very motivating!


    I haven't done much yet, but I think it's rather simple, just remember the rules. If you need any help, you can contact me, anyone who's learning Dutch, or the wonderful Dutch team, which you can find on the Dutch course page. Good luck!


    Started with next to no knowledge (could say things like "Het paard is snel", but that's about it), and now I'm only NL 1 and NL 2 away from finishing the course! I've loved the language a ton, and I'd definitely recommend learning it. It's easier than German, which is why I'm doing it instead of German, but still is very challenging at times, ESPECIALLY with that killer word order.

    Later in the tree, there are some errors since fewer people have reached it/reported issues, but that'll hopefully change over time. And the course really does teach you a good deal! I can say a couple things in Dutch that I can't say in Spanish, which I've been studying for years!


    I've learned a bit of German, and then when Dutch came out, I decided to take a break from German to practice Dutch. Aside from it being incredibly similar to German, it's also really close to English. I've been doing better with Dutch than I ever thought I would! I think that part of my success with Dutch was the fact that I already have some basis in German, which has been incredibly helpful.


    As I am learning German, I've found it easier to understand the structure of the Dutch language because it has some similarities with German and English. I got stick to it and I 've never had such a pleasure learning a language. Other things that motivates me, it's the country and its particularity (windmills, bicycles, bilinguism, etc...).


    Dutch has been a fun language for me, and that's why I've stuck with it so far.

    Spelling and pronunciation takes some getting used to. The word order is so far the most difficult grammatical concept.

    There are many cognates, including irregular verbs, with English. That's a huge help. Entire Dutch sentences sound like something you'd overhear in a bar from someone's who's drunk. I'm sure the reverse is true for the Dutch. :)

    I did study some German in college and here on DL, and also a tiny bit of Anglo-Saxon as part of a course on the history of the English language. I've also had some light exposure to Yiddish. I'm sure I've forgotten more than I remember from any of these, but the German experience does help a bit.


    I didn't know any Dutch, German, or Afrikaans when I started, but as I am a native to Indonesian, which is influenced by Dutch too. I have tried almost every language Duolingo has to offer for English speakers and no language has been easier than Dutch for me. The grammar and vocabularies are quite similar to English and the pronunciation not far from Indonesian. I found Dutch quite addictive too!

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