Any suggestions for a total beginner to practice & learn pronunciation?
I am many weeks off from being able to practice even the most basic conversation skills. I know like 20 words. But I've read that pronunciation should be the very first thing you master with a language, in order to end up with the least accent and the least amount of native speakers switching to English as soon as they hear you. Duo is...not an ideal way to learn this. What's a good way to make sure I'm making the right sounds and not just ones that sound similar to a non-native speaker such as myself? I have already read enough articles about Dutch spelling, and I'm nowhere near ready to start practicing on Skype. But I want to learn my vocabulary right the first time.
It might be scary, but knowing about 20 words sounds about right to start your first basic conversations. Sure they will be very basic, but if you don't want a non-native accent, the best thing you can do is start speaking with, listening to and mimicking native speakers right away.
One thing that can help is listening to simple clips, and let your conversation partner know you're a beginner, so they will speak simpler and slower.
I'm willing to listen to those single words on skype. You have a valid point and you are entitled to a helping ear and a living example.
I believe one is always ready to start practicing. See what little kids do.