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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tungemål
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby tungemål » Sun Aug 15, 2021 12:48 pm

Max Havelaar

A question for Le Baron or others who have read Max Havelaar.

Do you recommend it as an enjoyable book to read, and how difficult is it? I'd like to read it because I'm interested in the subject matter - the Dutch colony in Indonesia. But I couldn't find it in a Norwegian translation. So if I'm going to read it it would feel like a missed opportunity to read it in English since Dutch is one of my languages. My Dutch is not very good, but Dutch is after all really close to both Norwegian and German. I should probably choose an easier book to start with in Dutch, but on the other hand it could skyrocket my Dutch if I did it.
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Le Baron
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby Le Baron » Sun Aug 15, 2021 2:38 pm

Crikey! I read this book early on after about 9 months of studying Dutch and it took me ages, stopping and starting. Chiefly because I had to look up a lot of words and constructions that seemed jumbled to me.

I'll give you my honest view. It has some obstacles like using y instead of ij; gij/ge instead of jij/je; heavy use of the neutral pronoun men; regular use of der/des; and it uses the old spelling in some editions. Also lots of older constructions which are sometimes difficult and perhaps useless for assisting comprehension of general modern Dutch; aside from 'literature' in the high sense. There is more French influence in the prose than is the case for even higher-level modern Dutch literature; which reflects the period in which Max Havelaar was written.

I don't want to dissuade you from reading it, that should be a personal choice. Also your native language and German may well enable better and more educated guesses to help fill-in any gaps. I would however say, as a personal opinion, that there are perhaps better and easier things to read to improve Dutch comprehension. Look at this random sentence I just pulled from my copy of MH:
Ik heb thans de eer, gelyk trouwens reeds in de konferentie van eergister mondeling geschiedde, nogmaals en ten-overvloede te verzekeren: dat ik volkomen eerbiedig de wettigheid van uw gezag, waar het geldt de keuze, al of niet te treden in my voorstellingen; dat de ontvangen bevelen met stiptheid en des-noods met zelfverloochening, zullen woorden nagekomen, als waart gy tegenwoordig by al wat ik doen zeg, of juister: by al wat ik niet doe en niet zeg.

This is what the prose is like, sometimes interspersed with some less-involved passages. Make of that what you will!

Another possibility is Journaal van Bontekoe*. This is much older (1646), but there was a really good 'light' rendering into modern Dutch published by Salamander classics. I enjoyed reading that.

* Not to be confused with De Scheepsjongens van Bontekoe. which is a old children's book (but still not 'simple' by modern children's book standards).
Last edited by Le Baron on Thu Aug 19, 2021 1:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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21 books for 2021: 20 / 21
Beter ten halve gekeerd dan ten hele gedwaald.

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tungemål
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby tungemål » Sun Aug 15, 2021 3:00 pm

Long sentences are the worst. If that is the style of the book, I'm dissuaded.
I've read some older German works, like Der Sandmann. The Germans are famous for long sentences. It was probably in style in the 19th century, but I was hoping that the Dutch weren't that extreme.

I'm not scared by the words or old spelling with "y". The pronoun "men", isn't that like the German "man" and common in the language?
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Le Baron
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby Le Baron » Sun Aug 15, 2021 3:26 pm

tungemål wrote:Long sentences are the worst. If that is the style of the book, I'm dissuaded.
I've read some older German works, like Der Sandmann. The Germans are famous for long sentences. It was probably in style in the 19th century, but I was hoping that the Dutch weren't that extreme.

I'm not scared by the words or old spelling with "y". The pronoun "men", isn't that like the German "man" and common in the language?


Yes indeed, it is like 'man' in German. I also thought the spelling and old pronouns would likely not be a great obstacle for you. Your native language background is probably more intuitively inclined to working out any problems in Dutch than mine would be.
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21 books for 2021: 20 / 21
Beter ten halve gekeerd dan ten hele gedwaald.

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tungemål
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby tungemål » Sun Aug 15, 2021 5:57 pm

I'll put it on the list for later. I think I'll start with a non-fiction book. It would be interesting to read about the Oost-India Compagnie and the Dutch colonial era. However I couldn't find any books on this in Kindle format, only paper books. Kindle makes it so easy to look up words so that is an advantage I don't want to miss out on.
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tommus
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby tommus » Sun Aug 15, 2021 11:32 pm

There is a non-fiction book about the VOC ship the Batavia which sank off Australia. It is an excellent book and is available as both audio and Kindle books in Dutch. Also available in English. It can be a bit of a challenge to get the amazon.nl Kindle edition. You need an account on amazon.nl. I couldn't get it via any other amazon account but I got it with the NL account. Here are two links:

Batavia (NL) Kindle ebook

Batavia (NL) audio book.

CAUTION: Much of the story is about survivors and mutineers on deserted islands, and there is a lot of gory torture and killings.
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Dutch: 01 September -> 31 December 2020
Watch 1000 Dutch TV Series Videos : 40 / 1000

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tungemål
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby tungemål » Mon Aug 16, 2021 3:06 pm

Bedankt.

Looks interesting. I see that the author is Australian, so the Dutch version is a translation, which I don't really mind.

But it's not easy to find Dutch literature in the Kindle store. I suspect it has something to do with publisher rights, and that Dutch publishers prefer to sell physical books. For instance one book I'd like to read: Babel by Gaston Dorren, who's Dutch, is published in several languages. The German version exists as a Kindle book, but not the Dutch version.
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tommus
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby tommus » Sun Aug 29, 2021 1:02 pm

Long gone are the days when there was a lack of good Dutch resources on the Internet. And every now and then, something really good pops up.

Yesterday, a new initiative was announced, targeted at the improvement of reading and writing skills (and general knowledge) of Dutch speaking secondary school students. Starting this coming school year, 125 teachers and 6,000 students will be using this improved approach. And it looks like it will be very good for Dutch-language learners.

Here is the introductory announcement by the creator of this program Michelle van Dijk:

Woordenaars: een nieuwe aanpak in het voortgezet onderwijs

The introduction itself is a great source of useful words and expressions for language learning and conversations in Dutch.

The program itself is here. It is 100% free. There is a very generous copyright statement.

Woordenaars

So far they have only two series of lessons, History with seven lessons and Math with six lessons (but the Math series is not yet about math, but is very interesting).

Assuming the success of this test phase of the program and the website, I expect that Woordenaars will expand rapidly. There is already quite a bit of very good material.
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Dutch: 01 September -> 31 December 2020
Watch 1000 Dutch TV Series Videos : 40 / 1000

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tommus
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby tommus » Sun Aug 29, 2021 1:14 pm

Duolingo Online Events (Zoom)

For those who have not yet discovered the new Duolingo Events on Zoom, you should give them a try. They are free Zoom events of usually an hour with a host and a number of learners. The skill levels are generally Beginners and Intermediate. They are free but it looks like there will also be a paid version coming. The Events are available in many languages. Here is the link for the current Dutch Events. Note that many of them are already fully subscribed so you may have to subscribe a week or so into the future. The Events are very informal, sometimes with some tutorials at the beginning by the host and then breakout rooms with 2-4 people to discuss topics or to chat freely.

Duolingo Events - Dutch
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Dutch: 01 September -> 31 December 2020
Watch 1000 Dutch TV Series Videos : 40 / 1000

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Sonjaconjota
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Re: Dutch Study Group

Postby Sonjaconjota » Thu Sep 02, 2021 8:00 pm

One of the things I struggle with in regard to Dutch is to find nice music.
These are my favourites so far, the list contains a wild mix of silly pop, hinted social criticism and solemn homesickness:








Does anybody have any recommendations?
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