Dutch in 100 Days: Top Tips for New Learners

Hoi! Back in September 2019, I started learning Dutch.

For this 100 day language project I wanted to demonstrate that…

  • There is no secret ingredient to learning a language. You really can make good progress in 15-30 minutes of daily consistent study over a 100 day period.
  • I wanted to prove that you don’t need to move to a country to learn the language!
  • Finally, I wanted to demonstrates that you can learn a language independently and without breaking the piggy bank.

The Goal: To learn to speak and read in Dutch to a minimum of A2/B1 cusp level within 100 days. I wanted to be able to have basic conversations in Dutch – and make sense of the menus!

Getting offline I hosted my very first Duolingo Dutch meetup in my local community.

Progress so Far…

It has been a heck of a journey and no plain sailing! Just as I thought I was making progress something would knock me off track! However, I persevered and enjoyed the process as well as having my eye on the final goal. Being part of the very supportive Parleremo Community really helped me.

I recently did an online Dutch proficiency test that has now put my level at A2. I have had conversations in Dutch and now have no problems reading menus in Dutch. I’ve also learned a little about the history and culture and the close connections between the Netherlands/Belgium and England. I have made new friends who are Dutch. This month I also became a Volunteer Duolingo Ambassador and now host free Dutch Meetups in my local community.

Top Tips for Dutch Learners

1. Struggling with grammar? Familiar with Star Wars? Speak like yoda!

2. Struggling with some Dutch Pronunciation? Put on a Scottish Accent! The Dutch ‘G’ can be a hard sound to pronounce for native English speakers. However ‘CH’ in ‘Loch’ is a similar sound and great practice. Other words such as the Dutch word for Brown can also be hard to pronounce, but try saying it in a Scottish accent (Bruin)

3. The Input Method! Watch Dutch TV with subtitles and listen to Dutch Redio stations. Parleremo has a huge collection of radio stations in over 30 different languages. Don’t worry if you you are not understanding everything you can hear. Become familiar with the accents and patterns of the language.

4. Less is more approach. Have a daily focused goal and working towards that goal for as little as 15 to 30 minutes a day over a consistant period can really help with achieveing over all fluency goals.

5. Practice makes Permanent! It may seem morning to repeat same materials, but in doing so you are building those memory muccles.

Goals for This Month…

Complete the 100 Day Dutch Project, then I am taking a break for Christmas! In January, I will be continuing my Dutch Journey for another 100 days to work towards mastering the B1 level.

Resources For This Project

During my 100 day project, I used Parleremo. A free language learning platform and community of language learners. The website is packed with useful tools and materials.

I took part in the Parleremo Language Marathon to help keep me motivated whilst learning Dutch. Many challenges tend to use Facebook Groups, but what I liked about this challenge is that it is hosted on the Parleremo platform. It has a wide range of tools and resources in 35+ different languages to help build a consistent study routine within a very supportive language learning community!

I used the free 10 week video course on Kick Start Languages. This showed me the key words phrases to use to really ‘kick start’ learning a language.

I have invested in the Dutch in Three Months Course from DK and the Lonely Plant Dutch Phrasebook, Bart de Paus Grammar Course which is available on Amazon.

UTalk is one of another one of my favorite resources for learning languages. It uses verbal, visual and fun exercises to teach languages. A fabulous free alternative to this is LingoHut.

Not to forget that I also used Duolingo and Memrise to build my vocabulary.

Published by

The Mindful Language Learner

Trisha, is the founder of Language Learners Journal.com. An award-winning blog dedicated to empowering and promoting a more mindful approach to independent language learning and teaching across the UK and beyond. Trisha has a professional and academic background in psychology and well-being. She has been practicing mindfulness for over 20 years and has professionally taught CBT-based mindfulness for the past 7 years. You can follow Trisha on her official Facebook Page, Instagram or Twitter accounts to discover how to apply simply mindfulness practices and scientifically proven strategies to your language learning...

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