I'm English just starting to learn Dutch using the free online duolingo and getting confused

Would you like to learn Dutch in exchange for teaching your native language? Are you a native Dutch speaker and are you looking for someone who can help you with studying English? Or Russian? Japanese? Post it here!
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Jacqueline50
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I'm English just starting to learn Dutch using the free online duolingo and getting confused

Post by Jacqueline50 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:55 am

I'm English speaking Canadian and I'm starting to learn dutch using the free online duolingo program. It's good but I have no where to ask "why" . Not sure this forum or set up is any better. Not sure what I'm looking for . Just some suggestions on how to progress and if anyone is familiar with the duolingo program

ngonyama
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Fifth, sixth, seventh, ..., languages: Russisch, Xhosa

Re: I'm English just starting to learn Dutch using the free online duolingo and getting confused

Post by ngonyama » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:18 am

Show us what's bugging you and we'll see what we can do about it.

And no, I am not familiar with the duolingo program, sorry. Pointers? Do something everyday! It is the most important thing I think.

What exactly you do is actually less important than that. Not that it is unimportant, mind you, but people tend to keep looking for that ideal one-and-only way of learning best, while passing up on a lot of learning opportunities on the way... Besides, one item may well compensate for the other items shortcomings. E.g. well recorded video lessons with good actors who act in appropriately selective vocabulary are a great way to quickly start speaking and listening. E.g. the BBC recorded an excellent course in Scottish Gaelic called Speaking our language. It is entertaining enough that I got hooked into learning a dying language... But then: you don't learn spelling or grammar that way and at some point you start needing that too.

Let me teach you a Dutch expression:
Verandering van spijs doet eten - it means something like: "changing dishes whets the appetite". People sometimes ask: what is the best way to learn a language? It is like asking: what is the best food. If I said 'kale', would you only eat that for the rest of your life? Would it be healthy?

IgnatiusReilly
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Re: I'm English just starting to learn Dutch using the free online duolingo and getting confused

Post by IgnatiusReilly » Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:53 pm

I use Duolingo to improve my French. My situation is a bit different from yours, though: I had French classes till I was 18 years old, after that I neglected it. So I know (or rather 'knew') the basics of the language.

I think Duolingo is great when you want to do exercises, but it lacks a grammatical basis. I suggest that you combine Duolingo and this board. Just keep on practicing on Duolingo and check the lessons on this board for things that are unclear to you. And if you can't find a satisfactory answer, just post a question here :)

larry
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Re: I'm English just starting to learn Dutch using the free online duolingo and getting confused

Post by larry » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:45 pm

Hi, I've recently been in a similar position to you so I thought I'd share some of my own experiences with you.

I started with the Duolingo program for Dutch and have gone through to the end of it. I still use it for revision and I like it as one of the things I use. If you currently use the app on a phone or tablet it is also worth using it on your pc as there is some additional information there e.g. a small amount of structured information for some of the topics, and also a link to discuss the current question. You can see where other people have asked questions before you. For some of the questions I have had I found that someone had already asked it. There is also a Duolingo Dutch facebook page which is worth checking out: https://www.facebook.com/groups/344557702394947/

I am also working my way through a pdf of the grammar section of dutchgrammar.com. You can buy it from Bieneke for around 4-5 Euros. I have found it to be excellent and very thorough. Having gone through the Duolingo course I also had lots of questions and this is helping me to answer them. It is not necessary to buy the pdf as the material is also freely available on the website, although I find it very useful to have the pdf.

I also find it helpful to work through some courses. I am near the end of the Michel Thomas advanced course, having previously done the foundation course. This covers a lot of material that Duolingo covers but I have used it to focus on listening to Dutch spoken and to practice speaking it - it also does a lot of repetition. I will soon start working on the Routledge Intensive Dutch Course. The latter is meant to be on a par with level B2 of the European framework. Although I don't think that the latter course would be a good place to start without any Dutch knowledge it might be a good follow on from the Duolingo course.

There are a lot of sites to listen to Dutch and also to read it. I am finding the following, which has a lot of video clips, useful: http://www.schooltv.nl/ It is an educational resource for Dutch school children and it categorises the video according to subject and also to age, so you can choose what level you want to start at depending on your level of competence in Dutch. Many of the clips also have a written transcript or subtitles.

I don't live in the Netherlands so I am also going to spend a month in Amsterdam over the summer taking an immersion type course: http://dutchsummerschool.nl/ I hope by the time I get there to have already covered a lot of the theory so that while it will be revision I can focus on using the course for listening and speaking Dutch.

Lastly it's good to have a chance to practice talking. I'm fortunate to be married to a Dutch woman, hence my reason for learning, but I guess there are many other opportunities out there.

Good luck with learning Dutch.

Lisanne2402
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Re: I'm English just starting to learn Dutch using the free online duolingo and getting confused

Post by Lisanne2402 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:30 pm

Hi Jaqueline,

What exactly are your questions, what do you need?

Greetings,
Lisanne

Lisanne2402
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Gender: Female

Re: I'm English just starting to learn Dutch using the free online duolingo and getting confused

Post by Lisanne2402 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:31 pm

Jacqueline50 wrote:I'm English speaking Canadian and I'm starting to learn dutch using the free online duolingo program. It's good but I have no where to ask "why" . Not sure this forum or set up is any better. Not sure what I'm looking for . Just some suggestions on how to progress and if anyone is familiar with the duolingo program
Hi Jaqueline,

What exactly are your questions, what do you need?

Greetings,
Lisanne

ngonyama
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Re: I'm English just starting to learn Dutch using the free online duolingo and getting confused

Post by ngonyama » Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:47 pm

I have had a quick look at duolingo. It seems to be similar to memrise and quizlet. Such sites are good for expanding your vocabulary and that is an important part of acquiring a language. But there are drawbacks to such sites. They are rather one-sided. An important aspect is that there is no context. Children never learn language out of context. It is always part of a sentence, a story, a situation what they learn.
At some point you also need to master the context of a word: the grammar, the syntax as well as the register. Talking to a director or some boy in the street is not the same.

In fact this is why I have been trying to integrate vocabulary expansion with these other aspects as en.wikibooks.org (the book is called Dutch). The material is taught in the context of conversations, stories etc with grammar and syntax hooked up to it, but also with links to quizlet to do the necessary memorization of vocabulary. Learning is easier in context.

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