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Question for those who speak/are learning both Dutch and German

deguo
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I've read a lot about how much easier it is for those who speak both German and English to learn Dutch, but I haven't really seen anything about how easy/hard it is to learn German after Dutch. What has been your experience? If you haven't personally done this, please feel free to weigh in anyway.

Thank you in advance!

3 years ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

Learn one at a time. Once you are proficient, like way pay Duolingo level, start the other.

I had had over 3 years of German and knew all the grammar and could use it quickly before using Dutch. However, if you learn them at the same time, you might accidentally write "Ich ben" or "Ik bin" or it might slow you down when talking. Today when I was giving a presentation in German class, I froze up because I wanted to say, "Er lebt noch" but I kept thinking "nog steeds nog steeds nog steeds nog steeds" and ended up saying "Er lebte noch" and my German teacher had to correct me, even though I know the difference well. In situations like that where you're nervous and need to thinking quickly and clearly, it might be bad.

That being said, it's not a problem for me. I used to have a VERY hard time switching between the two. I'd need a full day between each before I could use each one at my full potential. But now I've gotten to where I can message a Dutch friend, do my German homework, send an email in Dutch, then converse with a German friend.

What makes me want to put Dutch into German when thinking quickly is that Dutch is simpler... So if I wanted to tell a German I want to go somewhere, it's easier for me to just say, "Ik wil ernaartoe!" but they wouldn't understand. I basically need time to clear one language from my brain before I can use the other easily.

Just don't learn them together... I don't have problems confusing them because I know the differences well, but my German is good and I even have issues when thinking fast, so someone who is learning both from the start simultaneously is going to just run themselves into a pit of confusion.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

Hopefully that convinces you not to do it soon. I'd say learn German first to a proficient level, then learn Dutch because it's hella easy then.

Learning German after Dutch will make you mad because Dutch is just SOOOOOOOOOOO MUUUUUUUUUUCH EAAAAAASIEEEEEEER. Swedish makes me super mad because it's harder than Dutch for me, but I need to learn it. XD

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deguo
deguo
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Thank you; what an awesome answer! I definitely was not planning on doing it anytime soon (at least another year or two), but it is something I've been thinking about recently. It's nice to know that when I finally do, I'll have a head start (even though I'm sure it will make me super mad).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

Yeah like I started Swedish way too soon... I wish I wouldn't have. It definitely doesn't conflict with anything, but like I'd rather be really really really good at Dutch/German. I am gonna finish the Swedish tree and learn all three together (like vocab), though.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deguo
deguo
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I did the same thing with Portuguese, but I ended up giving it up because I wasn't so into it. My lowest point with Dutch was higher than my highest with Portuguese. The temptation to learn a lot of languages is too real, but I have a lot of respect for your dedication.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

I definitely will not give up Swedish, I'll just take it slow until I have endless time. In the Summer, my life will literally be Swedish all day every day lol.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
Susande
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Well the big advantage of learning German when you know Dutch, is that they are very similar (word order, vocabulary), so if you don't know a word, you can just Germanise the Dutch one and have a good chance it's the correct word (and the German speaker you're talking to won't notice you didn't know the word). Certain specific aspects/words are almost identical: toch = doch, whether to use hebben/haben or zijn/sein as an auxiliary verb (only some exceptions), niet = nicht, geen = kein, and probably many others.

The one BIG difficult thing when learning German when you know Dutch, are the grammatical cases…and next to that the word genders. These don't match as often as one would like. :)

And as DogePamyuPamyu already mentioned…since they are so similar, it's better not to learn them side by side as you will likely mix them up. But whenever you cement one, and then move on to the other, I'll be very helpful!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aurie_lehleh92
aurie_lehleh92
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Dutch is like in between English and German... having good grasp of grammars and vocabs of German helps a lot... but don't get confuse with certain similar words with similar spellings (a problem I kinda facing right now).

3 years ago