Reached a bit of a wall and dont know what to do.

Ideas for learning Dutch. What have you tried? What worked for you? What did not work for you?
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dominique120
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Reached a bit of a wall and dont know what to do.

Post by dominique120 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:54 pm

Hello everyone! I've been learning dutch from "Hugo Dutch in 3 Months" and have reached week 8. But now, for every section that I advance I feel like I go nowhere. I dont really know what to do next. I want to continue with my studies but I feel like now is a good time to choose another path and build on the base I built from the book.

Right now I notice a pretty severe lack of vocabulary. I can read a text easily but if it uses words I dont know its like reading something with a bunch of blank spaces in it.

I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for me, either in the form of a new book or something else. I could practice conversation and gain vocabulary through there by conversing with my father since he is a native Flemish speaker but I dont live with him anymore so its a bit complicated.

Thanks!

ngonyama
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Re: Reached a bit of a wall and dont know what to do.

Post by ngonyama » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:30 pm

dominique120 wrote:Hello everyone! I've been learning dutch from "Hugo Dutch in 3 Months" and have reached week 8. But now, for every section that I advance I feel like I go nowhere. I dont really know what to do next. I want to continue with my studies but I feel like now is a good time to choose another path and build on the base I built from the book.

=D> Congratulations for reaching that point. Yes, many people have reached that point before you. In fact everybody does reach moments of despair. The truth is that you do not learn a complete language in 3 months, no matter what Hugo tells you. He lied.
Besides language can never be learned from just one book or one course.


Right now I notice a pretty severe lack of vocabulary. I can read a text easily but if it uses words I dont know its like reading something with a bunch of blank spaces in it.

As opposed to just blank spaces? Count the non-blank ones! Is the glass half empty or half full? If it is less than half full, maybe the text is too hard for your level of understanding. Especially if it has a lot of specialist jargon or if it is poetic or literary that can easily happen, don't blame yourself. Read a children's book instead. Yes it is boring I know.. But it's gratifying to actually understand it! If the glass is more than half full, use something like wiktionary (say nl.wiktionary.org) to fill in a few blanks. Or go to Wikipedia and read an English article and compare it to the Dutch one. You may even pick up some vocabulary that way. Don't do it just once. Read the same stuff again tomorrow and in a week's time.

Another way of building vocabulary is things like memrise or quizlet. The disadvantage is that loose words are easier to forget than things learned in context. But keep in mind: learning language is cumulative. Just keep doing a bit every day and don't be afraid to be 'lazy' and do that easy page number 23 in Hugo's book again. It's what kids do: again, again! Ever watched teletubbies? Again!

If you like you can try my en.wikibooks course Dutch, but there are many other online possibilities. Just see if there is anything that motivates you.



I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for me, either in the form of a new book or something else. I could practice conversation and gain vocabulary through there by conversing with my father since he is a native Flemish speaker but I dont live with him anymore so its a bit complicated.
There is nothing as good as immersion: to be with Dutch speakers, but that is not always available. You can try to find a skype buddy, but people are often busy. YouTube may help. There are various videos that talk at you. Do now this, then that. Important thing is: just do it, whatever it is.

You can also use this site. Write something and I'll correct it for you.



Thanks!

dominique120
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Re: Reached a bit of a wall and dont know what to do.

Post by dominique120 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:07 pm

Thanks for the advice ngonyama, I'll have a look at your book on wikibooks and keep trying to immerse myself. I've been trying to watch series and movies in dutch both with and without subtitles.

I was reading online forums in Flemish and Dutch but found that I did not understand maybe 60% of the words. I have a few children's books in Flemish that I will check out. The good thing is that I also have CDs for them so I can hear the narration to get the right pronunciation.

estarling
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Re: Reached a bit of a wall and dont know what to do.

Post by estarling » Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:42 am

Hi there,

From this moment on, you have various choices to go on with your study.

For me to get easier out of that maze, was to find a way of ''playing'' with the knowledge I already got.
Thus I could see practically the progress and my level of understanding of the language.
Here below are few hints that might be useful for you too.

1. Take a short text in Dutch ( e.g.: a news article ) and analyze it sentence by sentence:
- underline and translate the new words,
- identify the expressions and the composed words,
- get the meaning of the sentence adapted to the news’ subject,
- make your view over to the article,
- take every sentence and try to identify it’s elements grammatically:
subject, verbs, conjugations, times used in the report, gender of the words and the type (single or plural).

2. Get a short spoken story, or report and listen to it carefully for several times then:
- try to write down word by word the whole story (use the functions: play – stop – rewind )
- compare what you got in writing with the original spoken story text.
– do the corrections and try to listen to it again to see what progress you have achieved.

3. Do your own sentences according the rules you already studied and compare them with the result given by a translator or colleague.

4. Keep on studying in parallel 2 different courses, compare them and put your questions online on a forum, here or wherever you prefer.

5. Make contacts and friends online and share your thoughts and frustrations about the difficulty and fun of the learning process . :-)

After several years you may find that you do not master yet the language and you still call yourself a ‘’student’’ of the Dutch.
Don't forget having fun and joy finding every day something new over it. In the end the ‘’dots’’ they shall join by themselves
in a form of coherent understanding and handling of the language.

Myself? Yah, I still wait for that magic moment to come. :P

Veel succes met je studie!
***** De onderlijning van fouten en de kritiek over deze tekst zijn welkom.

dominique120
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Re: Reached a bit of a wall and dont know what to do.

Post by dominique120 » Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:37 am

Thanks for the great advice guys. I'm going to try to find some people who I can converse with because I feel like this will help me the most. I will also continue to immerse myself in the language as well as following the book I'm using and the wikibook.

brucenator
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Re: Reached a bit of a wall and dont know what to do.

Post by brucenator » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:43 pm

A good site for building vocabulary is:

https://www.learnwitholiver.com/

And a really wonderful vocabulary test from Universiteit Gent can be found here:

http://woordentest.ugent.be/

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