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Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 3:04 pm
by Elsa Maria
PeterMollenburg wrote:
As it turns out, is useful IF I order in bulk. As an example, the shipping charges on one DVD are just over 26 euros. That is exorbitant. However, were I to order multiple items, the price doesn't seem to rise, and eventually becomes free. As an example I could basically by the Peter Pan DVD (with both French and Dutch audio tracks - that's what I'm after for my kids, both language tracks), it would cost 65 Australian dollars to all up to have it in my Australian hands from On the other hand, were I to buy the two separate language versions via iTunes (I can't find them together on one purchase as the language tracks FR and NL are not available from a single iTunes store), the cost is a tad under $50 AUD from memory. However, were I to order 10 DVDs (shipping costs remain 26 euros), each one would be essentially (averaged out) around $32 AUD, which is then more competitive. And if I bought even more, the cost would come down more as the shipping would become free. All in all, I may use in future to place in a blue moon bulk order on DVDs and some books (perhaps xmas would be a good time) then it's better than what I can currently get.

As for, it looks useful too! I tested it out and seemed to have found a used copy of an Assimil course I'd tried to order previously from other locations, but my delay in purchasing cost me - they disappeared (someone else bought them). I found it on and I have ordered, but not paid yet, so I hope it comes through (i'm waiting on the seller to send the payment request).

So, thanks again guys!

(edited to cut out the other large quotations)

Ok, that is interesting that offers free shipping if you buy enough. After your post, I played around with and my loaded cart showed free shipping even after entering my non-EU address. I didn't really believe it, though. I figured that the real shipping cost would get added on at some point if I kept proceding with an order. I hope you will let us know how it works out with I still have two planned trips to the Netherlands over the next 12 months, so I don't plan on ordering online anytime soon. But I would really like to know for future reference. When I order from Denmark, it is definitely best to order multiple items to get the best shipping price per item. But it never becomes free.

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 9:43 pm
by tommus
Dutch is one of the top ten languages that the UK needs in 2017

This is an interesting conclusion in a report by the British Council. Here is an article about Dutch and why it is important to the UK:

Facts about the Dutch language

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 2:23 pm
by tommus
Dutch high school (secondary school) tutorials in many subjects.

If you want to learn Dutch by going to Dutch "middlebare school", then you might want to read through this very extensive website of tutorials for all major subjects (vakken).

These tutorials cover geography, social science, biology, chemistry, physics, math, economics, history, computer science, art, literature, health, etc., plus language learning for Dutch, English, Spanish, German, French, Latin and others.

There is a huge amount of very accessible material that should have something for everyone. One excellent way to improve your Dutch would be to work through all of these subjects. Quite a task but probably well worth the effort.

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 2:35 pm
by tommus
I am quoting myself to provide an interesting update on my experiences with DutchPod101. Here is what I wrote earlier:

tommus wrote:I have been trying DutchPod101 for the last several weeks. It has some useful and well-done aspects, with usually very good audio and interesting material. However, I have been noticing a number of errors and technical issues that is making me lose faith in the quality of the material. They seem to be putting the largest part of their energy into marketing and little into quality assurance. I get several emails daily encouraging me to upgrade my subscription, offering big savings and incentives.

For example, the Free Word of the Day today (4 March) is "zon", and the main example sentence is "De zon is aan het opkomen.", and their English translation is "The sun is setting." That is completely wrong. It is the opposite. The sun is rising. And I see all sorts of other errors in the exercises, etc. The translations are wrong. The audio doesn't match the text. There are gaps and parts missing. They don't seem to care about quality.

I can only conclude that they don't have any native Dutch speakers doing their lessons. Or the lessons are very old and don't get checked or updated. Or they don't care about the quality of the Dutch as long as they send enough emails to get people to subscribe. They shouldn't need anyone to point out these problems. They are very obvious.

The amount of errors sure gives a poor impression. I emailed them with my concerns but so far, no response. Have other LLorg members studying Dutch used DutchPod101? Impressions?

tommus wrote:Despite my concerns about the errors and omissions I found while I was trying DutchPod101, and despite the fact that they did not answer my detailed email to them about these problems, I have signed up for a subscription. Why? Because as they sent me the daily email (or several) about the Word of the Day, they kept increasing the discount they would offer. I recall it being 28% and then 31% off. and finally they offered a huge discount. Their two year price for Premium was $240. which they suddenly reduced to $84 with the option of a complete refund within 60 days if you were not happy. So I now have Premium, and it seems to be very good. What impressed me the most is the huge amount of material there is, generally all with matching text and high quality audio. I am a little concerned if there is enough material at an advanced level, but there seems to be quite a bit. I'll have more info after using it a bit more.

I have now completed 350 of the lessons of DutchPod101. That has taken a considerable amount of time. I have been quite impressed overall. The variety of topics and vocabulary is excellent, which helps to attract and hold my attention. The audio is very high quality.

The errors and mistakes: Yes, there are a lot of problems that should not be there. They detract from concentration. Not too serious but missing audio, wrong translation, wrong words and generally typos. In an attempt to encourage the DutchPod101 folks to set a higher standard of proofreading as they develop future lessons (which they say they are doing all the time), I have commented in the Comments section of every lesson where I found problems. There were a few acknowledgements but only a few corrections. Then DutchPod101 asked me to send them the corrections by e-mail rather than posting them with the lessons for all users to see. So I did that. A couple of days ago, I sent them the 4th set of issues.

Then SURPRISE: I got an email announcing that the full amount of my Premium membership fee had been refunded to me. My initial reaction was that they had cancelled my membership to stop the incessant flow of corrections. But much to my surprise, I received an email from one of the co-founders of Innovative Language Learning, the parent company of DutchPod101. He thanked me profusely for all my corrections and suggestions, and he vowed that the problems would be fixed, and that they would institute much higher quality control going forward. As a thank you, he said he had arranged to refund my subscription but that it would remain in place for the full two more years, until March of 2021. And he wants me to continue to send him corrections. Wow. I was impressed with this promise to make DutchPod101 even better.

So I am really looking forward to two years of an improved DutchPod101. As I said above, it is a very good tool to learn and improve Dutch. It has a huge amount of quality material. I'm hopeful that the new material being added will be even better and even higher quality. So I will provide another update sometime in the future as I continue with a lot more DutchPod101 lessons.

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 8:03 pm
by Elsa Maria
Tommus, what a pleasant surprise for you! I'm glad that the management at DutchPod seems to really want to improve the product. You have definitely made me want to take a close look at it. Do you think that the Premium membership is necessary? I gather that the videos, which seem to be one of the best aspects, are only available with Premium.

Have you checked to see if any of your corrections have been incorporated into the lessons?

It is really great that your efforts were recognized.

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 8:57 pm
by tommus
Elsa Maria wrote:Do you think that the Premium membership is necessary? I gather that the videos, which seem to be one of the best aspects, are only available with Premium.

DutchPod101 has a free unlimited-time membership which gives you a good opportunity to see if it is suitable to your way of learning or to see if you find it interesting. The main reason for a Premium membership to get access to the extensive text/audio in the regular lessons, and access to the example sentences and audio in the vocabulary section. For example, in this Vocabulary Lesson on Winter, for free you have access to the words, the English translation and the audio for the words, but for me the valuable part is the example context sentences and the audio for them.


There is no significant video. The bit of video is a "talking head" with subtitles. The subject material is interesting but I haven't seen any actual video apart from a person speaking. The whole site is a bit difficult to find out what is available, where it is, and if you have seen it before. So there are many parts I have not seen yet.

So my advice would be to do what I did; sign up for a free membership and spend quite a bit of time on what is available at that level. In my case, they kept offering me increasingly attractive discounts from $244 US down to $84 US for a two-year Premium membership which I believe is well worth it. For me, it became addictive, and I am doing it every day.

Elsa Maria wrote:Have you checked to see if any of your corrections have been incorporated into the lessons?.

Bits and pieces were corrected quite a while ago but very little so far. I am hoping for a lot more.

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:27 pm
by tommus
Nice source of Dutch "language islands" called Cultural Dictionary.

This web site has a wealth of nice short descriptions of many common subjects arranged by categories such as Earth Weather and Climate, History, Literature, Science and Mathematics, Language, etc. Everything is nicely arranged alphabetically.

Cultureel Woordenboek

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:48 pm
by tommus
Add a little humour to your Dutch lessons and maybe improve your pronunciation of the difficult Dutch sounds:

Trump Learns Dutch

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:53 am
by tommus
Do you have any trouble hearing the stress or emphasis on words or syllables? I have never even thought of it as an issue but apparently quite a few people cannot hear this emphasis. Here is an article in Dutch by a language teacher who often has students who can't find accented syllables in a word.

Hoe vind je de klemtoon in een woord?

Do you use text-to-speech (TTS) software such as Google Translate to listen to text in your L2? Even if the software has excellent pronunciation of the individual words, do you find it harder to understand the complete sentences than similar audio from a native speaker? Do you also find that TTS is boring? I think a large part of the reason for this is that TTS usually does not put any emphasis on important words, or extra stress or accent on important syllables within words. It is all a monotone. I think some of the most advanced TTS software is now trying to add such emphasis using artificial intelligence (AI), and some TTS software allows you to add this kind of emphasis in customised text, but it is very time consuming. So generally, TTS cannot add the enthusiasm and excitement in its reading that a real person can, even if its pronunciation is excellent..

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:44 am
by tommus
The Dutch (and of course the Germans) like to put small words all together to make much longer words. Such a compound word is made via a process called compounding (een samengesteld woord of samenstelling). Here is an interesting article in Dutch about some of the rules for compounding verbs and other words, plus some funny DIY (doe-het-zelfzaak) word combinations in regional dialects.

Een neem-meepakket voor een meeneemprijs