You mentioned in your posts that tekenfilms help. Where can an American living in America find Dutch cartoons or children's books? As far as multimedia, currently I watch Belgian and Dutch online news and other (limited) programs, listen to online radio, and read whatever sites I can find in Dutch. I have one Dutch children's book (Richard Scarry's Eerste Speel- en Oefenboek), but it was a gift from a friend.
I tried to search the forum for this, but came up empty.
I will post the answer here as I think it may prove useful to others as well.
I will try to address a few things:
Where to buy
What to look for
What you need
Where to buy - this is the easy one.
http://www.bol.com and use menu to go to netherlands or
What to look for -
If you want to hear the video in Dutch or Flemish look for
"Nederlands gesproken" or "Vlaams gesproken"
Sometimes it may list "Taal" language and say it there also with
the type of audio used such as stereo, Dolby 5.1, DTS or stuff like that.
Then there are subtitles aka "ondertitels" with a list of languages
For example, I bought "Stuart Little 2" and it was listed as
Talen Nederlands Vlaams Engels
Digital 5.1 5.1 5.1
Ondertiteling Nederlands, Engels, Hindeoestaans
So I can watch it in Dutch, Flemish and English with
Dutch or English subtitles and any comibation thereof.
I don't speak Hindu, so that is not much use for me.
I must also say, always remember, "LET THE BUYER BEWARE"!
I bought two Lassie DVD's that clearly said they were
"NEDERLANDS GESPROKEN". Guess what? They were in English
with Dutch subtitles! (luckily they were only 4 euro's each).
REGION 2 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DVD's are marked with a different Region code for different areas of the world.
The USA is REGION 1 and Belgium and Netherlands are REGION 2 for EUROPE.
There is also a REGION 0 which has a special meaning in that it can be played
on any DVD player regardless of region.
The most DVD players that we buy in the US are desigated for REGION 1. Which
means they won't play the REGION 2 DVD's. How nice is that?
However, you can buy a "regionfree" DVD player (look on the internet) but they
often cost more money. Another alternative is to buy a DVD player which can be changed
into a REGION 0 (free) player by entering a "secret cheat code or something like that".
You can search the internet to your hearts content. I bought a Philips DVP-642
(dvd player) for about $70. It also plays divx (if you interested). I bought
it from compusa but it is also available at http://www.amazon.com.
Well you can see from the review on amazon that you can convert it to region free.
I searched the internet to find the instructions and it worked.
The other thing you can do is watch the videos (dvds) on your computer.
Of course most computers tell you that it is REGION 2 DVD and give you
the option to change the player to REGION 2. Of course, if you watch
a REGION 1 DVD later it will ask you to change again. They only let you
do this a few time, maybe 4 or 5 and then it locks in. I have two
DVD readers in my computer to avoid this hassle, one for REGION 1 and the other
for REGION 2.
There are some programs out there if you want to use your computer to copy
your dvd and take make it region free. I think the quality is degraded a bit
in the process, however. You also have to ask youself if it is worth your time?
That is why I bought the DVD player and made it region free and also a have
2 dvd players in the same computer.
PAL or NTSC.
We use NTSC (Never The Same Color) standard in the US. In much of Europe it
is PAL. So you need to make sure that you DVD player can play PAL and convert
it to NTSC when it plays it to your American Television. Just another thing
to check! They don't make this easy, huh? The DVP-642 does this with no problem!
Some suggestions -
For your first purchase, just buy one dvd or book. Make sure you like the
company you are dealing with!
Buy DVD's for your level. Disney's Bambi, Snow White and Pinnochio are for really
young kids. The is not too much talking in it and it is really simple. For me
it is too simple and there are two few words, thus it bores me now.
Shrek and "The Emperors New Groove" (Keizer Kuzco) have a lot more going on and
have what I would call mid level language use. Besides they are fun and I enjoy
watching them over and over. Then there are shows like Kabouter Plop and Piet
Piraat. They are made by Studio 100 in Belgium and are absolutely fantastic!
In fact, I have not seen anything from Studio 100 that was not great! I don't know
how they do it. (I can't wait to go to visit Plopsaland theme park in Belgium.)
Of course, no english subtitles. But with a dictionary you can learn a lot!
You can buy Flemish and Dutch TV series as well if you are more advanced.
I love "Flikken".
Be prepared for sticker shock! They are not as cheap as DVD's in the US!
You can find some bargains, but be careful or you will get stuck with
Lassie in English with only Dutch subtitles!
I hope this introduction is of some help.