Dutch Study Group

An area with study groups for various languages. Group members help each other, share resources and experience. Study groups are permanent but the members rotate and change.
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Le Baron
Yellow Belt
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:14 pm
Location: Pays-Bas
Languages: English (N). Dutch (C2). French (B2). German (B1). Esperanto (a very worthy language). Studying: Spanish, Swahili, rather slowly, but surely. Also Sranantongo in the past with my wife, but it has lapsed.
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby Le Baron » Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:07 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote:My wife and I were in the Netherlands 10 years ago, learning the language via course materials. Had we not made that effort, we would not have progressed much at all. You are absolutely right - one must make some serious effort to learn the language and then it is a bonus to have people to interact with around you if you are in a country in which the language is spoken.


I read your initial post in this thread and see you have an ancestral link with NL. That's always a good motivator. It motivated me in French and pushed me into Dutch. I'm fairly introverted so going about starting conversations with people has never been my thing, but it got lonely sitting in a park at the height of summer with everyone around you speaking in an unfathomable foreign language.

PeterMollenburg wrote:Furthermore, as many Europeans and other nationalities speak English nowadays and want to practise their English, the risk of having people switch to English to facilitate more efficient/less frustrating communication all the while getting more English language practice is high for beginners. For an advanced learner, even if they switch on you, you ought to have enough language under your belt to be confident in steering the conversation back to the local language, or even going under the 'foreign' radar to some extent depending on your accent.


Absolutely. This is a curse for native English speakers, especially in Scandinavia and here in NL. That thing you mention about speakers switching on you is pretty annoying, sometimes a bit insulting when you've put so much effort into learning. It's also fickle because while people are eager to plunder you for English in the pub or other informal setting, in an official capacity it's the national language all the way, especially if they trying to put you at a disadvantage!
I've also done that thing you mention of 'going foreign'. It's very possible and the more obscure language you choose the better. There's this myth about the Netherlands that a majority of people are multilingual, but it's not true (many are till monolingual, the majority of bilingual people now speak mainly Dutch/English). Some decades ago many more people spoke German (to varying levels) and a lot more French, but this has plummeted as English has barged them out of the way. You don't run into competent French speakers all that often so it's often a good choice to steer back to the local language if someone tries to engage you in English. I once made the mistake of saying I was Polish (since someone at the barber's said I 'looked Polish'!), but it went pear-shaped when someone said 'hey Krysztof, he speaks Polish!'... bad day that one.

As an aside, I've found the older you get the more your original accent starts to return. For a while I'd flattened it out in the effort to be more understood, but now it's coming back with a vengeance. I went for years with people saying 'I can't hear a trace of English in your Dutch', now some people say (to my chagrin) 'are you English?' Anyone else experienced this?
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tungemål
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Posts: 542
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:56 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N)
English, German, Spanish, Japanese, Dutch, Polish
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby tungemål » Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:13 pm

Hi Dutch group!

I intend to study more Dutch at some point. But maybe not this year. I am debating with myself if I need a coursebook at all, or if I should just practice with native material.

I lived in the Netherlands for two years, so I've got a base in the language. Also, Dutch is very close to both German and Norwegian. I can read Dutch pretty comfortably, but need more listening practice, and also speaking practice. My active vocabulary is not large.

I would like a book, but the resources page doesn't list too much of textbooks or grammar books. I see that some of you recommend the Hugo course.

By the way:
Le Baron wrote:Absolutely. This is a curse for native English speakers, especially in Scandinavia and here in NL. That thing you mention about speakers switching on you is pretty annoying, sometimes a bit insulting when you've put so much effort into learning.

This is a problem not only for native English speakers. I also risk that people switch to English when I try to use German or Spanish. And definitely in Holland.
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Le Baron
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Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:14 pm
Location: Pays-Bas
Languages: English (N). Dutch (C2). French (B2). German (B1). Esperanto (a very worthy language). Studying: Spanish, Swahili, rather slowly, but surely. Also Sranantongo in the past with my wife, but it has lapsed.
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby Le Baron » Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:29 pm

tungemål wrote:This is a problem not only for native English speakers. I also risk that people switch to English when I try to use German or Spanish. And definitely in Holland.


Yes, that's a fair point. It does also add fuel to the fire with regard to the argument I made about the mythological view of multilingualism in NL. Only last summer I ran into two German tourists (mid-50s I'd guess) who were looking for the multi-story car park and two Dutch people were trying to assist them in 'steenkolenduits' (:lol:) .

Now the observation was that they were floundering in a very closely-related language, but were very willing to go for English. Sadly the Germans declared themselves not competent enough in English. For a language enthusiast this is always a golden moment. However I've lost quite a lot of German vocab, so I was also looking for words, but I filled gaps with Dutch rather than English. The annoying thng was after they'd left, the Dutch couple addressed me in English!! You can't win sometimes.

Okay, with you already having a basis in Dutch, and comfortable reading it, a base course will probably bore you to tears. So you'll probably be better with listening/watching videos; perhaps bolstered with a higher-level grammar guide to consult when necessary. I would add though that everyone benefits from doing some course learning and exercises, there's always something to learn.
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Elsa Maria
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Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:20 am
Location: USA
Languages: English (N), Danish (intermediate).
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=6009
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby Elsa Maria » Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:56 pm

Hello, it is nice to see activity in this study group! Once the pandemic hit, I did very little language study and did not post on the forum. It is great to be back.

I am still working on Dutch, and had to all but start over. And while it is not my top priority at the moment, it is certainly still in the mix. I have a big box of children's literature in Dutch, and I have every intention of working my way through that box. And I don't want to end up being a perpetual false beginner!

In a few days, I will be finished with the first level of the learndutch.org grammar videos. After I learn a grammar topic from the video, I read about it in my Routledge Grammar Workbook (Basic Dutch: A Grammar and a Workbook). The two sources correlate fairly well. Once I complete the grammar video course, I will start the Routledge from the beginning and do all the exercises. I read some Jip and Janneke stories almost every day. And I watch cartoons on YouTube. I have lots of plans for what comes next, and then next, and then next after that - but these are the things that I am currently and consistently doing right now.

I look forward to reading more about your Dutch adventures!
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tungemål
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Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:56 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N)
English, German, Spanish, Japanese, Dutch, Polish
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby tungemål » Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:12 pm

Le Baron wrote:As an aside, I've found the older you get the more your original accent starts to return. For a while I'd flattened it out in the effort to be more understood, but now it's coming back with a vengeance. I went for years with people saying 'I can't hear a trace of English in your Dutch', now some people say (to my chagrin) 'are you English?' Anyone else experienced this?


I don't know if I've experienced that. I wouldn't think so. So, this is probably no secret, but native English speakers need to get rid of 'american R' when speaking a L2. That's the number one give away! It's probably hard though.

However I found that some Dutch have an R that is similar to the American one, so there might be other things that reveal you as English.

That leads me to this musing on the Dutch accent: When I first came to the Netherlands, I was impressed by the level of English, and how good their pronunciation was! Now however, I've changed my mind. The thing that I found out is that Dutch has some of the same characteristics in the pronunciation as English has (i.e. the diphtongs, and maybe the R). But there are also many crucial phonological differences. Now, I can recognise English spoken with a Dutch accent a mile away. :D
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Le Baron
Yellow Belt
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:14 pm
Location: Pays-Bas
Languages: English (N). Dutch (C2). French (B2). German (B1). Esperanto (a very worthy language). Studying: Spanish, Swahili, rather slowly, but surely. Also Sranantongo in the past with my wife, but it has lapsed.
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby Le Baron » Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:40 pm

tungemål wrote:I don't know if I've experienced that. I wouldn't think so. So, this is probably no secret, but native English speakers need to get rid of 'american R' when speaking a L2. That's the number one give away! It's probably hard though.

As a British English speaker (not from the west country) I don't have that sort of 'R'. I also had many years of French/German 'R' pronunciation, so that never was a problem. Originally I did pronounce words like 'fiets' or 'gebied' in a slower way than Dutch people, so it was noticeable, but I had a kindly wife who gently reminded me about it until it went away... For a while people used to say 'are you from Belgium' and at the time I had arrived from Belgium. It's only recently that anyone has assumed I'm English, which is why I think my original accent is showing through. Plus I've been allowing some friends to speak English with me, which is not a good idea.

tungemål wrote:However I found that some Dutch have an R that is similar to the American one, so there might be other things that reveal you as English.

Yes indeed. They tend to be middle-class people or from 'Het Gooi' - or aspiring to that. Sometimes you hear kids with slightly long hair saying 'vaaderrrrr' with that American-style 'R' you mentioned. It sets your teeth on edge.

tungemål wrote:That leads me to this musing on the Dutch accent: When I first came to the Netherlands, I was impressed by the level of English, and how good their pronunciation was! Now however, I've changed my mind. The thing that I found out is that Dutch has some of the same characteristics in the pronunciation as English has (i.e. the diphtongs, and maybe the R). But there are also many crucial phonological differences. Now, I can recognise English spoken with a Dutch accent a mile away. :D

I think you're right. I was initially impressed, but I noticed some were just good mimics (one fellow with a cockney accent, yet never been anywhere near London...and good luck finding it anyway). Some are really good though. I found that coming from the north of England that the sound system is much closer between Dutch and northern English than it is for southern British English. The flatter vowels are less of a problem.
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Le Baron
Yellow Belt
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:14 pm
Location: Pays-Bas
Languages: English (N). Dutch (C2). French (B2). German (B1). Esperanto (a very worthy language). Studying: Spanish, Swahili, rather slowly, but surely. Also Sranantongo in the past with my wife, but it has lapsed.
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby Le Baron » Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:22 pm

A few weeks ago I was in a discussion with a friend and we got onto the subject of Dutch particle words like: toch, nog, eens, even... I was saying that years ago when I was learning Dutch I used to go about asking people what these words really meant because they seemed so slippery and to have multiple uses. I remember asking a librarian what 'toch' actually meant and she had to stop and think about it. Even then the one or two examples given didn't seem cover the ways I heard it being used.

Anyway... I mentioned the word even which is often used to indicate a moment or a little while as in 'wacht even/even wachten' and likewise one of the words to render just (see below) as in 'Ik ga even naar de supermarkt = I'm just going/nipping to the supermarket'. I happened to say that even was often unclear and doesn't always clearly mean "a short time" because people often say things like: 'dit kan even duren' which indicates that whatever is under discussion is actually going to take a fair amount of time.

Since my friend seemed shocked that he hadn't realised it in this sense I decided I would bring it up with other people over the last two weeks and the reaction was always the same. We all have this thing where we know how to use parts of our own language (or another in which we're very comfortable) in many senses, but when learners ask questions you tend to give the standard answers which often lack the nuances you can be blind to when the language is second-nature.

Among other things rendering into Dutch the English 'just' as an adverb baffled me a lot at the very beginning. I fell for wanting to use juist, but no... There are things like:

He has just arrived = Hij is net aangekomen
That is just what I wanted = Dat is precies wat ik wilde (hebben)
That's just not right = Dat klopt gewoon niet (itself subject to nuance because it could be: it's simply not right = Dat is gewoon niet juist/dat klopt juist niet)
(We'll have) just the one beer = We zullen gewoon één biertje hebben/We nemen slechts één biertje/we gaan maar één biertje drinken (I'm sure there are many more renderings.)

I'm not making any argument, just observing how tricky these particles can be. It was some time before I could use them convincingly.
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Snufkin
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Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:23 pm
Location: Belgium
Languages: French (N)
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby Snufkin » Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:48 pm

In Flanders, it's not uncommon to use "just" instead of "net" (pronounced like the French "juste").

Some examples

- Ik heb haar just gezien.
- Ik heb hem just gebeld.

It can also be used like this

- Het is just een kind
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tommus
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Posts: 827
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:59 pm
Location: Kingston, ON, Canada
Languages: English (N), French (B2), Dutch (B2)
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby tommus » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:15 pm

Een grammatica van het Nederlands voor Denen met heel veel voorbeelden
A Dutch grammar for Danes with very many examples

Apparently, this is the first ever Dutch grammar written in Danish. It is available to buy. Here is the first paragraph of a long article about it.

Volgens de auteur Flemming Ravn, die op een middelbare school in Denemarken talen doceert, is zijn boek het eerste Nederlandse grammaticaboek in het Deens. Voor zover ik weet, heeft hij gelijk. Er zijn woordenboeken Deens-Hollands (ze bedoelen waarschijnlijk “Nederlands”), en er zijn een paar boekjes van het type ”Nederlands (maar ze schrijven Hollands) voor op reis” in het Deens, maar er is geen grammatica van het Nederlands in het Deens.

According to the author Flemming Ravn, who teaches languages in a Danish secondary school, his book is the first Dutch grammar book in Danish. As far as I know, he is right. There are vocabulary books Danish-Hollands (they presumably mean "Dutch"), and there are a couple of books of the type "Dutch (but they write Hollands) for travel" in Danish, but there is no Dutch grammar in Danish.

Een grammatica van het Nederlands voor Denen met heel veel voorbeelden
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Ug_Caveman
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Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:58 am
Location: England
Languages: English (N), Dutch (A1-2ish)
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby Ug_Caveman » Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:36 am

Just wanted to ask, has anybody here sat any of the CNaVT exams?

I want to sit the A2 exam this summer (and have been lucky enough to locate an exam centre despite COVID), but I'm very on the fence. I'm probably at about 50% with the practice materials (with around 3 months to become stronger), but don't want to put myself up for an exam I'd be hopeless for :|
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