A Journey through Dutch and German (and Hebrew?)

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aokoye
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A Journey through Dutch and German (and Hebrew?)

Postby aokoye » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:01 pm

So after a bit of a hiatus from this forum, for no real reason, I'm back. I've also decided to start a new log as my goals are a bit different for the next six plus months. I'm going to be applying to grad schools in the Netherlands and thus Dutch is at the top of my language studying pile. None of the programs are in Dutch but it would behoove me to come in knowing at least some Dutch for a few reasons. A. My current first pick has an optional internship and most of the placements require knowledge of Dutch. B. I'm going to probably apply for a Fulbright and studying Dutch will likely win me points figuratively speaking.

German is not off the table and I'm probably going to take TestDaF in the Fall, it's just having to share the spotlight. Hebrew...my goals with Hebrew are to be able to easily make my way through the Torah. I have zero timeline for this as of now. There will probably be some smaller goals here and there, but nothing major.

Plans
Dutch: I am going to complete the Future Learn Dutch course, as recommended to me by one of the faculty members who works closely with the MA program that which is my top pic. I am currently half way through the three week course. I'm also going to take the online Dutch courses offered by the University of Groningen. My goal is to test into the A1>A2 course by early next week (I need to register by next Friday) but I won't be heartbroken if I can't learn enough vocab and grammar by then and have to take the the A0>A1 course. The whole point is showing Fulbright that I'm dedicated enough to learning Dutch that I'm willing to take a course. I don't exactly like the idea of spending money on the easier course but if it gets me the fellowship then that's thousands of dollars saved. Right now I'm working on vocab from chapter 5 of the book that they use and my goal is to get through chapter 8. I also need to go through all of the lessons for grammar and such (so actually do the exercises not just work on learning the words).

German: For now I need to read and watch TV in German. I also need to work on my writing but everyone who has read my old log knows that if I overwhelm myself I won't do anything. Additionally I go to a German speaking group twice a month and I'm writing an 8,000 word paper that involves analyzing data of people speaking German. Plus I have a research assistantship that consists almost solely of transcribing German data.

Hebrew: I have this Hebrew textbook that I like so far. It focuses on modern hebrew but it will help either way. I have plans for a next textbook after I finish this but I'll leave that for later.
Last edited by aokoye on Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: A Journey through Dutch and German (and Hebrew?)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:33 pm

Welcome back! I really enjoyed your previous log and will follow this one with interest!
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Re: A Journey through Dutch and German (and Hebrew?)

Postby Elenia » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:49 pm

Great to have you back, I've been missing you (although I haven't been very present myself. Our absences seem to match up fairly often). Good luck with Dutch. As I've said, I think you'll get the hang of it with ease. Aside from your German helping you, you know how to study and what works for you. When (not if ;) ) you get to the Netherlands, I am sure you'll be in a pretty good place to make good use of having Dutch all around you.
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Re: A Journey through Dutch and German (and Hebrew?)

Postby Systematiker » Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:23 am

Hey, glad you’re back.

Dutch after German (for a native English speaker), easier than the other way round (I guess, I’ve only done it the one way, others have had more trouble going the other way).

I also applaud that goal for Torah - and at my pace you’ll be there while I’m still using a dictionary half the time.
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Re: A Journey through Dutch and German (and Hebrew?)

Postby schlaraffenland » Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:31 am

I'm really glad to see that you're back! I wish you lots of luck with Dutch, and I look forward to following your progress.
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Re: A Journey through Dutch and German (and Hebrew?)

Postby Xenops » Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:07 am

Welcome back! :D You might have posted on your previous log, but why Hebrew? All I can remember is that your linguistics degree needed a Semantic language (if I'm not confusing you with someone else?)
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aokoye
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Re: A Journey through Dutch and German (and Hebrew?)

Postby aokoye » Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:12 am

Elenia wrote:Great to have you back, I've been missing you (although I haven't been very present myself. Our absences seem to match up fairly often). Good luck with Dutch. As I've said, I think you'll get the hang of it with ease. Aside from your German helping you, you know how to study and what works for you. When (not if ;) ) you get to the Netherlands, I am sure you'll be in a pretty good place to make good use of having Dutch all around you.

Our absences do seem to match up don't they! Also I am eternally owing you PMs ;) I really hope that I'm able to go to grad school in the Netherlands but, as I know you can relate to, it's one of those situations where it isn't totally in my hands. You're right about me studying Dutch though - as long as I stick with it it should go well. German helps loads and I know what works for me in terms of language study. It's really just a matter of consistency.
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aokoye
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Re: A Journey through Dutch and German (and Hebrew?)

Postby aokoye » Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:28 pm

Thank you so much everyone for your overwhelming support, both in welcoming me back and in terms of my goals. I was going to try to respond to everyone individually, but it makes a bit more sense to just address everything in one post.

I'm interested in Hebrew because I'm Jewish. I have no real desire to go to Israel which is why I'm more interested in learning Biblical Hebrew than Modern Hebrew. Xenops, you remembered correctly about me having to take a non-Indo-European language for my applied linguistics degree. I took (Modern) Hebrew for that and it was a bit miserable - mainly because of the textbook but also because my professor didn't do a very good job augmenting the textbook with written exercises. Honestly had the beginning Japanese classes at my school been better I would have just done that. I think part of the issue is that when my professor was living in Israel he was mainly teaching Hebrew to people in the army, which is a very different context than a university in the US. He's lovely, but our textbook was a mess and he didn't seem to quite know how to deal with that. I like the textbook I am currently using though the language is probably a bit antiquated. That said there's a textbook called Biblical Hebrew for Students of Modern Israeli Hebrew that I want to get after I've made my way through more of book I'm using now. It has good reviews and apparently is a combined textbook and workbook which is important for me because I need workbook exercises. Some people hate them, but I thrive on them.

In terms of Dutch from German, I've also heard from numerous people that it is far easier to learn Dutch having a strong base in German than the other way around. There are actually multiple intensive summer programs in the Netherlands for native speakers of German that taken them to B2 in the span of two to three months. The one at Utrecht University is 5 weeks and takes students whose L1 is German from no Dutch to B2 with the assumption that students will be studying in programs whose language of instruction is Dutch.
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aokoye
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Re: A Journey through Dutch and German (and Hebrew?)

Postby aokoye » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:16 pm

More on Dutch stuff:
I finished the second week of the FutureLearn course the other day and am about a quarter of the way through the third and final week. For a free MOOC it isn't too bad. It's fairly listening heavy which makes a lot of sense. It isn't as good as Deutsche Welle's Deutsch Interaktiv, but I would consider that a fairly high bar and DW has its own platform so they don't need to mold it to fit an existing platform. They introduce over 350 words which they've already put into Quizlet. They also have grammatical constructions and phrases there as well. As I said in my first post, I am not studying those specifically, rather I'm studying the vocab from the book that they use for the first two levels of their paid online course. They also have all of those words entered into Quizlet which is why I'm choosing to use that platform as opposed to Anki (which I dread for the most part) or Memrise (which is going downhill by the day).

I wrote this short paragraph the other day for the course (the topic was weather and we needed to say the day of the week, the time, the weather, and mention if we had siblings):
Hoi! Ik ben Adam uit Amerika. Ik woon in Portland en het is bewolkt. Het is vaak bewolkt en het regent veel in Portland. Ich heb geen broers of zussen. Vandaag is woensdag, vijf voor half twee. Ik weet niet hoeveel Nederlandse woorden ik ken, maar ik spreek ook Duits. Veel Duitse woorden zijn veel soortgelijk.

As of today I'm about halfway through the vocab for the 5th chapter of Nederlands in gang and have done the internet exercises for those five chapters that are on the publisher's website. The goal is to get through the 8th chapter. The next four days for me are really hectic in terms of rehearsals and concerts (I'm performing Daphnis et Chloé with the Oregon Symphony - I'll be in the choir) but I think my goal between now and Monday is to write up summaries of the dialogues and put them either here or on iTalki. I would also like to finish the FutureLearn course by Saturday which is totally doable. I'm also going to try to start Assimil Dutch, which I bought at Powells last year, but we'll have to see about that.

I also ended up taking the cloze placement test on the University of Groningen's website and got 69 out of 140 words correct which, given how little time I've spent on Dutch and how much I hate those sorts of tests in any language, I'm pleased with. I did look up the spelling of some words that I knew how more or less pronounce but just couldn't spell, but otherwise it was a lot of inference and logic. I may take it one more time on Monday or Tuesday but we'll see. They also want you to take "the" Dialang test, as if there's only one test, so I'll do that Monday (or maybe tomorrow evening).
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: A Journey through Dutch and German (and Hebrew?)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:40 pm

Five weeks Dutch immersion in Utrecht sounds delicious. Such a delightful city! I don’t have that kind of free time these days, but I look forward to lots of daydreaming based on this thread. (The Netherlands is one of my absolute favorite places.)
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