January 19, 2015

Dutch: My impression after 19 days of studying + USEFUL LINKS

As I promised, here is a post about my impression about Dutch after some time that I spend studying it.  At the end of the post I will also share links to some sites that I found useful :)

Generally, Dutch is average when it comes to difficulty. The grammar is relatively easy (For someone who speaks English, Swedish, Norwegian* and German) but I have already encountered some harder concepts while skimming through a grammar book. Namely: demonstrative pronouns (Two for "this" and two for "that" depending on the gender of the word and if I am not mistaken two for plural), word order (My knowledge of German does not make it easier, but I like it, since I treat it like a puzzle) and there probably are other weird things to be learned.

The worst part of Dutch is pronunciation. I am able to pronounce all the sounds of Dutch quite correctly, but because Dutch has many dialects, I still don't know what are the phonological "properties" of a standard dialect (If such exists) and because of that I don't know how to pronounce my R's (No idea, I keep switching between "rolled-only" and "French guttural plus American before a consonant*").

Spelling isn't so difficult nor is the basic comprehension (French seemed harder) and my overall progress in the language is quick. I can already form sentences and I would be able to record a short video, if I only knew the correct pronunciation and the flow of the language (Some words are like painful throat-twisters...they are fun to pronounce though).

Dutch is fun! Finally, I feel like I'm progressing and getting more fluent with every hour, so that's amazing. I will keep it up until 7th of February (Officially) and then we'll see. Maybe I'll just drop grammar books and continue learning only by practicing the language).

Now, here are the resources I'm using:

- Basic Dutch I
- Dutch -  The 1,001 Most Common Words
- 100 Essential Dutch Words
- Hacking Dutch

Thanks for reading and good luck with your language studies. I'll try to update it once more before the whole challenge ends.


*I can read Norwegian well, and I speak it a little but I have a heavy Swedish accent and I sometimes use Swedish words when I speak it

*I prefer that one more, because I like American R's in Dutch...sounds cool!

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