“Can I get a double shot of espresso, alsjeblieft?”
You are walking past your favorite Coffee Lovers bar in Amsterdam and decide to stop and order a beverage. In Dutch... It’s your turn, you know what you want - and you order.
And then you remember that your only Dutch was ‘alsjeblieft’.
Using your Dutch consequently can be challenging.
And if that wasn't enough, there are Mario Kart-size banana skins on your learning path.
A famous Dutch proverb says: ‘a warned man counts for two’.
Don't say nobody told you!
Do you know what’s worse? No expectations or unrealistic ones? I honestly don’t dare to say, but I’m going to build a case why unrealistic expectations could kill your Dutch language aspirations.
“I want to be fluent by the end of the year”.
Even if it’s January 1st, that is an unrealistic goal.
I’m not saying it’s impossible; it’s just an unrealistic goal to aim for.
If your expectations are too ambitious, you risk that an initial slow learning curve, a setback, or a dip in your motivation will kill your Dutch darlings.
I don’t want to go for an acadamic S.M.A.R.T.-kind of approach where your goals have to be measurable and relevant, but setting monthly goals that are rewarding will do wonders in the long run.
And a (vegan) stroopwafel - ordered in simple Dutch - might taste even sweeter.
Only one learning method
Textbooks, language apps, or an online tutor. And there are a dozen other fine ways to make Dutch your own. All are good, but relying on just one method is, well, a mistake.
Take for example an online tutor. A tutor helps you to recognize language patterns, and prioritize the material you need. But just like you don’t do only one type of exercise in the gym, your Dutch needs a variety of workouts to get stronger.
Either alternate, or use multiple methods at the same time.
Podcasts, DuoLingo, Dutch Disney+, they can go hand-in-hand.
Forgetting to make it your own
Learning Dutch (or any other language in that case) involves more than just remembering words and mastering the structure.
If you forget to let Dutch be part of your favorite activities, the language will not grow on you.
In order to get a feel for Dutch, you want to incorporate it as much as possible in the things you love. Do you like Twitter? Consider putting Twitter in Dutch. Daar gaan we!
Master Dutch offers online Dutch lessons, designed to let you understand Dutch fast.
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