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Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:32 pm
by tommus
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?

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:42 pm
by tommus
There are a number of common Dutch words that I just can't seem to remember the meaning of, no matter how hard I try or how often I see them. I decided to try to keep track of which ones give me the most trouble. And I have noticed that many of them are very similar. None seem to have any mnemonics that seem obvious to me. And for this group, they mostly begin with a prefix, usually ver-, and they have lots of v's and w's. Obviously, they look similar. Maybe that is what prevents retention. Does anyone else have common Dutch words that they find hard to learn? Any ideas. Suggestions?

bezwaar - objection
beweren -to assert
verwend - spoiled
verwarrend - confused
verdwaald - lost
verontwaardigd - outrages
vervelen - to bore
trouwens - moreover
verwerving - acquisition
verzwegen - conceal
vergelding - retribution

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:53 pm
by Elsa Maria
I have not tried DutchPod. I have used Russian Pod a bit, and thought it was OK. I imagine that there is a lot of variance between the Pods, though.

I needed something to listen to now that I am done with Pimsleur, and I thought about DutchPod. But I found the Jip en Janneke luisterboek on Spotify and have gone with that for now. I also have some of the stories in print, so it has been a nice choice. I'm not sure what to listen to after that. I still need to do some Pimsleur reviews, but I will also need to move on. Suggestions are welcome. Is there a Slow News type thing for Dutch?

Kat, I love my copy of Beyond The Dictionary in Dutch. Thanks for the recommendation!

I found this visual grammar website. It explained kunnen, mogen, moeten, willen, zullen, and zouden in a way that really clicked for me.

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:58 am
by PeterMollenburg
Elsa Maria wrote:I needed something to listen to now that I am done with Pimsleur, and I thought about DutchPod. But I found the Jip en Janneke luisterboek on Spotify and have gone with that for now. I also have some of the stories in print, so it has been a nice choice. I'm not sure what to listen to after that. I still need to do some Pimsleur reviews, but I will also need to move on. Suggestions are welcome. Is there a Slow News type thing for Dutch?


Hi Elsa Maria,

To me, Pimsleur is a great audio course to begin with, as it's slow, and slow is what I like in the beginning to break down the sounds of the language. I've found Michel Thomas to be a good course to follow with, as now that the basics of the language are established including the phonemes via Pimsleur, MT puts the language to work and gets you thinking more independently about sentence construction and verb tenses within those sentences. It can give you a false sense of confidence however - when you're done with MT, you've still got a long way to go, but it is a really good course to follow with, imo.

My experience comes from completing all the levels available for both Dutch Pimsleur and Michel Thomas Dutch, as well as having completed all available levels for both these courses in French (for which there is a lot more than the shorter Dutch offerings - but they are still useful!).

Kind regards,
Pete over Pete von Petenburg Peterselie, hoor

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:25 pm
by Kat
tommus wrote:Have other LLorg members studying Dutch used DutchPod101? Impressions?


I've tried DutchPod 101 very briefly. I disliked the lack of structure and I'm not a fan of subscription services in general.
I prefer something that I can buy outright instead of paying each month.

tommus wrote:1. Many languages are being spoken.
2. Native Dutch speakers are too busy and too impatient to endure your L2 Dutch.
3. Dutch-language books are very expensive.
4. There is every incentive for Dutch speakers to speak English and very little incentive for L2 Dutch speakers to speak Dutch.
5. Dutch natives are bewildered as to why foreigners would want to learn or speak Dutch.
6. The Dutch have to learn to speak English to prosper at the airport and in the world.
7. Foreigners learn a few Dutch travel phrases but soon forget them outside the airport or the country.
8. Most of the signs and announcements are in English.
9. People assume you can speak English.


While I've never been to Schiphol, I've been to Amsterdam and other Dutch cities. It's true that you see a lot of bilingual signs, however, I've only encountered them in places that cater to tourists. So I assume you're stuck inside that bubble if you live there and don't learn the language. Proper restaurants may have bilingual menus, for example, but so far I've never seen an English advertisement for the 2-euro-breakfast at HEMA.

If that's not incentive enough, the English offerings don't always have the same quality. Once I went to see one of the smaller, less popular museums where they offered tours in Dutch or in English. Since it was an hour before closing time and there weren't enough people for two separate tours, the guides decided to do one bilingual tour instead and I experienced the difference first hand. While the Dutch-speaking visitors got a very engaging tour with great story-telling, the English version was more of a fact-based summary. The difference was striking because the museum was one of those places where you don't actually see very much unless someone tells you what to look for and it's up to the guide to make it all come alive.

I count myself lucky that no one has reacted bewildered to my interest in Dutch yet. A couple of people automatically assumed that I was from Belgium, which really puzzled me. It can't be because of my accent because I've never been exposed to Flemish. So I can only guess that it's more common for German-speaking Belgians to learn Dutch than it is for Germans. Occasionally people got impatient with me and switched to English, mostly in very touristy and busy places. It's understandable. I try to see it as a challenge and "rehearse" these situations beforehand, so that I don't have to search for words. And I try to leave the busy person at the information counter alone, especially if there are other people around who are happy to chat with me in Dutch. ;)

As for Dutch books, their prices don't differ much from German books. What's annoying to me is that shipping usually cost as much as the book itself. Why do I have to pay 2 euros for shipping from Aachen (in Germany) but 6 to 10 euros for shipping from Maastricht (in the Netherlands) when those two places are only 30 kilometers apart? That's why I buy most Dutch books from second-hand shops in Germany.

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:48 pm
by Kat
Elsa Maria wrote:Kat, I love my copy of Beyond The Dictionary in Dutch. Thanks for the recommendation!

I'm glad that you like it.

Meanwhile my copy of Thematische Woordenschat Nederlands Voor Anderstaligen (recommended by Trui) has arrived, too.
It's a lot bigger than I expected! Somehow I had overlooked that it has 600+ pages. :lol:
Even though I already know many of the words, I really like the clear layout. It's perfect to review everything and to make sure that it's in my active vocabulary, not just passive knowledge.

Elsa Maria wrote:I needed something to listen to ... Is there a Slow News type thing for Dutch?


I have no idea, I never used anything like that myself.

You could have a look at schooltv which contains graded content that can be filtered by age groups. The lowest age bracket ist 0-4 years, the highest 16-18 years.
All videos have transcripts.

Lekturama Luistersprookjes, which I've mentioned before, is also very good and allows you to read and listen at the same time.
You could choose a very well-known fairy tale to start with, for example Roodkapje (Little Red Riding Hood). You'll find that on YouTube.

If you want to watch Dutch news, I can recommend the website Net in Nederland. It contains a special learner's version of the NOS Journal. While they don't speak at a slower pace, it's subtitled.

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:24 am
by PeterMollenburg
Kat wrote:You could have a look at schooltv which contains graded content that can be filtered by age groups. The lowest age bracket ist 0-4 years, the highest 16-18 years.
All videos have transcripts.

Lekturama Luistersprookjes, which I've mentioned before, is also very good and allows you to read and listen at the same time.
You could choose a very well-known fairy tale to start with, for example Roodkapje (Little Red Riding Hood). You'll find that on YouTube.

If you want to watch Dutch news, I can recommend the website Net in Nederland. It contains a special learner's version of the NOS Journal. While they don't speak at a slower pace, it's subtitled.


oooh some interesting resources here, Kat. Dank je wel!

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:53 pm
by Kat
tommus wrote:There are a number of common Dutch words that I just can't seem to remember the meaning of... Does anyone else have common Dutch words that they find hard to learn? Any ideas. Suggestions?

My biggest problem are false friends. I didn't know all the words in your list but quite a few of them have German cognates. For example: verwend > verwöhnt, verwarrend > verwirrend or vergelding > Vergeltung. In just as many cases, though, words only sound like a cognate and mean something completely different. :?

And I really need to pay more attention to single and double vowels. Listening is fine because the words sound different but I tend to confuse them when I read. Recently I had an article about tulips and for a moment I was wondering why they suddenly spoke about cheese. They didn't. I'd just misread "kas" (greenhouse) as "kaas" (cheese) . :)

I don't really have any suggestions how to learn difficult words, except maybe to concentrate on one at a time instead of trying to learn them together. After watching 13 seasons of the TV series "Kinderen geen bezwaar" (which I enjoyed and recommend, by the way) I probably won't ever forget the word "bezwaar". While it would be inefficient to watch xxx hours of TV for each difficult word, I think it helps to associate them with a particular topic.

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:06 pm
by tommus
I have just discovered some interesting reading material from Leiden University. They has a nice glossy weekly magazine free online with a large archive of back issues. Start here:

Leids Universiteit Weekblad - Mare

Re: Dutch Study Group

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:39 pm
by tommus
Here is an excellent Dutch <-> Dutch free, online dictionary with a nice simple format. It gives the part-of-speech, the syllables, the meaning, a context sentence, the plural form, etc.

https://www.ensie.nl/muiswerk

Muiswerk often gives additional information, such as the definition(s) from other online dictionaries. For example:

https://www.ensie.nl/betekenis/lopen?q=lopen

https://www.ensie.nl/betekenis/zoeken?q=zoeken