Dutch for Dummies: Or How I am Going to Bump My Dutch Up a Level or Two This Summer

 

My Inburgering classes break for the Summer starting on July 7th, and I have recently learned that despite of being as honest as possible about my intentions to surrender my free time starting in September to be able to take both my degree program classes and inburgering classes, and was told that switching to evening classes would be as easy as saying that I want to switch, I was once again misinformed. Turns out, there is only one evening class offered, and whilst it does move at a much slower pace than my morning class, it is at a completely different level than I am at with my Nederlands. I was told however, that since I would have so many classes between now and then I might maybe be able to switch into it. Ummm, with the summer break I have exactly 7 classes left, two of which are computer labs, they don't count. So basically, because bureaucracies don't talk to each other, I am on my own.

Now, instead of doing my typical American thing of screaming about how UNFAIR it all is, (okay, I did do that for a few hours the day I found this out, let's be honest) I am devising a plan to learn on my own. I am posting it here because I figure the more people who know about it and are there to hold me accountable, the more likely I am to do it. Also, sorry for all the language posts, but it has kind of taken over my life. I promise this is the last one for a week!

So the plan! 

  • I'm going to keep up the class schedule I have right now, plus add Mondays. So from 9 to 12 every weekday will be hitting the books hard. Then another two hours later in the day for additional homework.
  • Complete immersion, besides my Sunday night tv schedule, if I do watch tv, it is going to be in Dutch. This is going to be hard to do, as Dutchies don't dub, and at night it is mostly English programs. So, maybe if The Verlo-and I do watch something I will make a major effort to read the Nederlands subtitles.
  • Find a partner to speak Nederlands to, other than my partner, because we go for about 5 minutes before switching back to our old habits and talking English. 

Jamie Oliver telling all about the dangers of non-free ranged eggs, subtitled in Nederlands.

In all seriousness though, I have probably looked through 50 different books to try and learn Dutch, and Dutch for Dummies is the best for beginners. 

Do you have any tips for going up a level? Also, please, please, please ask me how it is going this summer. I won't lie to my readers and it will help keep me on track. 

 

 

Comments

I have the same book! But it's been ages since I looked at that resource. I had to laugh because Marco got it for me a few years ago (before we decided that I would move there rather than him here) and he covered up the word 'dummies' with 'sweeties' since he didn't want to offend me.

The one resource I keep coming back to is http://www.dutchgrammar.com/. I just wish I could be more focused on one resource, really.

There's also http://www.uitzendinggemist.nl/ but there are no English subtitles, only the occasional Dutch subtitle. I like Het Klokhuis which is a short 15 minute show for teens which also appears on TV.

I was thinking about doing a counter somewhere on the blog where it said '# days straight of studying Dutch', but I couldn't find one that automatically increased the value unless I zero'd it out again because I wasn't able to study that day.

Not sure what other advice to give... but I do understand (a bit) and sympathize.

I've got Dutch for dummies two and I know quite a few expats who have used it too.