Road to B1 in Dutch

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Ug_Caveman
Green Belt
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Languages: English (N), Dutch (A2 - July 2021), working towards B1
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Re: Road to B1 in Dutch

Postby Ug_Caveman » Wed Feb 28, 2024 12:24 am

Wasn't able to do my full complement of Dutch study today, but still got through about 60% of my plan.

Was rather happy to realise I'm starting to develop the skill to guess word meanings from context alone.

"Opgravingen" (excavations) and "gotische" (gothic) were two that stood out to me. I was about to Google them before I paused for two seconds and realised what they meant from context.

I really must say Colloquial Dutch 2 is proving to be quite the course, and would thorough recommend it to anyone looking to "beef up" their Dutch skills.
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Languages: English (N), Dutch (passed A2 exam in May 2021, failed B1 in May 2023 - never sit an exam when you have food poisoning!)

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Ug_Caveman
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Posts: 464
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Re: Road to B1 in Dutch

Postby Ug_Caveman » Fri Mar 01, 2024 12:25 am

Another ten or so pages down but hooooooly crap the speaking exercises in Colloquial 2 are absolutely kicking my ass.

I'm trying to do five pages a day (maybe ten on days I don't work) - it's such a rich course for such a small book.

Have also done more reading, and am trying to watch at least one video a day (once without looking at subtitles, then once again with.)

If I could crack speaking I feel like I have a real chance of achieving B2 in two years. Just need to find more opportunities to visit Dutch speaking areas.
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Languages: English (N), Dutch (passed A2 exam in May 2021, failed B1 in May 2023 - never sit an exam when you have food poisoning!)

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Ug_Caveman
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Posts: 464
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Re: Road to B1 in Dutch

Postby Ug_Caveman » Sat Mar 02, 2024 11:26 pm

Had to take a break from today just out of sheer exhaustion from day to day life - but I'm happy with my progress so far. Will do some light reading and maybe a little listening before bed.

And my copy of "Nederlands op Niveau" (A B1-->B2 level textbook entirely in Dutch) has arrived today! Won't be seeing light for a little while, but happy to be prepared for the next steps after CNaVT B1 (take two...)
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Languages: English (N), Dutch (passed A2 exam in May 2021, failed B1 in May 2023 - never sit an exam when you have food poisoning!)

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Ug_Caveman
Green Belt
Posts: 464
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:58 am
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Languages: English (N), Dutch (A2 - July 2021), working towards B1
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Re: Road to B1 in Dutch

Postby Ug_Caveman » Tue Mar 12, 2024 4:18 pm

Have ploughed through Colloquial Dutch 2 pretty fast, am just shy of halfway (despite having to take breaks a few times for various reasons.)

Based on current speed (and the fact I'll have more free time coming up fairly soon) I'd guess I'll be done by the end of the month.

The audio passages are much trickier than any other course I've used (including Hugo Advanced Dutch and Linguaphone Dutch) so I'm hoping this is enough to push me over that B1 threshold (formally.)

When I've finished I think I'll be hitting five-weeks of nothing but native content exposure and vocal revision before the exam.

(Have also been looking into the possibility of an entry-level qualification in Afrikaans (either the IGCSE or possibly the AS-level.) My understanding is much stronger than I thought it would be when I listened to the example exercises, and there's no speaking section for interference to trip me up on... Also, if anyone knows of any qualifications/certificates in West Frisian, please let me know!)
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Languages: English (N), Dutch (passed A2 exam in May 2021, failed B1 in May 2023 - never sit an exam when you have food poisoning!)

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Ug_Caveman
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Posts: 464
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:58 am
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Languages: English (N), Dutch (A2 - July 2021), working towards B1
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Re: Road to B1 in Dutch

Postby Ug_Caveman » Fri Mar 15, 2024 12:03 am

Officially past halfway now, I don't think I've ever worked so fast through a course before...

Have anywhere between six weeks and two months left to finish preparing. I feel like my understanding has exceeded my production by quite some distance these last few weeks. That being said, I suspect that I'll be much happier this time round for the speaking bit.

After looking through a poll I posted a few weeks back in detail, I've decided that I'll spent the next year working hard on my Dutch instead of bringing another language into the fold. Once I reach B2, I'll consider my other choices (likely one of Swedish, Polish, French or West Frisian.) The exception to this might be studying Afrikaans if I exhaust all my Dutch resources and want to widen my passive abilities to understand different accents/similar languages through Dutch.
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Languages: English (N), Dutch (passed A2 exam in May 2021, failed B1 in May 2023 - never sit an exam when you have food poisoning!)

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Ug_Caveman
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Languages: English (N), Dutch (A2 - July 2021), working towards B1
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Re: Road to B1 in Dutch

Postby Ug_Caveman » Mon Mar 18, 2024 3:44 pm

Didn't have too many chances to speak Dutch on a weekend away in Brussels (although quite a few to listen, and was able to watch Netherlands TV in the hotel!) Got a lot of practice telling people I couldn't speak French though :lol:

Had a small chance to speak Dutch when buying something in a gift shop, and also watched a documentary clip in a science museum on nuclear fusion entirely in Dutch. I was able to understand a lot of it - but I suspect having strong background knowledge of the topic (in English) helped there.

Also caught bits and pieces of conversations in Dutch around me coming back on the train (interestingly, I heard a lot more Dutch coming back. On the way out there were far more people speaking French.)

Back to regular study from tonight, with the usual reading and YouTube videos.
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Languages: English (N), Dutch (passed A2 exam in May 2021, failed B1 in May 2023 - never sit an exam when you have food poisoning!)

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Le Baron
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Re: Road to B1 in Dutch

Postby Le Baron » Mon Mar 18, 2024 4:10 pm

Komt goed jongen!

That's me pretending to be Dutch. Lots of people get called 'jongen' even when they're middle-aged. It's a bit annoying, but ingrained language.

Where was your train out headed towards? It might explain why there was more Dutch on that journey. Perhaps lots of day trippers from the north west.
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Pedantry is properly the over-rating of any kind of knowledge we pretend to.
- Jonathan Swift

Ug_Caveman
Green Belt
Posts: 464
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:58 am
Location: England
Languages: English (N), Dutch (A2 - July 2021), working towards B1
x 1093

Re: Road to B1 in Dutch

Postby Ug_Caveman » Mon Mar 18, 2024 5:09 pm

Le Baron wrote:Where was your train out headed towards? It might explain why there was more Dutch on that journey. Perhaps lots of day trippers from the north west.

St Pancras to Brussels-Midi/Zuid and back again (with a short stop at Lille in the middle.)

One thing I did notice on the Eurostar is my passive French skills are quite a bit stronger than I realised (was able to work out quite a lot of the announcements before I heard the Dutch translation.)

I'll probably make another trip to Belgium soon, really want to visit Ghent, so might ask my friends in Brussels if they fancy some day trips out in the summer. And might make my autumn trip to Amsterdam a regular fixture too - I'm getting quite a bit of a travel bug...
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Languages: English (N), Dutch (passed A2 exam in May 2021, failed B1 in May 2023 - never sit an exam when you have food poisoning!)

Seeking: Linguaphone Polish and Linguaphone Afrikaans

Ug_Caveman
Green Belt
Posts: 464
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:58 am
Location: England
Languages: English (N), Dutch (A2 - July 2021), working towards B1
x 1093

Re: Road to B1 in Dutch

Postby Ug_Caveman » Wed Mar 20, 2024 7:56 am

Back on track with studying - up to page 100 of Colloquial Dutch 2. That leaves about 90 to go - my ideal pace is 55 pages per week, so shouldn't be long before I'm done. I'm also reviewing earlier chapters to reinforce what I've already covered.

As many as seven weeks left (hoping the exam is a late date so I get more time to cram...)
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Languages: English (N), Dutch (passed A2 exam in May 2021, failed B1 in May 2023 - never sit an exam when you have food poisoning!)

Seeking: Linguaphone Polish and Linguaphone Afrikaans

Ug_Caveman
Green Belt
Posts: 464
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:58 am
Location: England
Languages: English (N), Dutch (A2 - July 2021), working towards B1
x 1093

Re: Road to B1 in Dutch

Postby Ug_Caveman » Sat Mar 23, 2024 1:27 am

Had to take a short break from active studying today as our house was too busy for me to find space to work/speak out loud.

Did some extra reading to make up for it.

(Also was told from one of my colleagues (a native language French speaker) that my ability to say:
"Je ne parle pas français"
Is genuinely quite convincing in terms of accent. Which sort of paradoxically makes it unconvincing as a statement at the same time.)
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Languages: English (N), Dutch (passed A2 exam in May 2021, failed B1 in May 2023 - never sit an exam when you have food poisoning!)

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