First Steps with Dutch

I’ve been working with Assimil’s Dutch with Ease course the past week and a half or so, and I’m now up to lesson 21. I’ve usually been able to do a few lessons each day instead of the recommended 1 per day, due to how similar Dutch is to German. My knowledge of German, coupled with my native English, is making Dutch seem extremely easy. It almost looks like someone took German, removed almost all of the tricky grammar, and then mixed it with English; the result was Dutch. Often when listening to the lessons, it sounds like someone speaking a mix of German and English with a strange accent. 🙂

The thing I’m having the most trouble with at this point is pronunciation. Some of the dipthongs are still puzzling me, and while I understand the pronunciation of g / ch, I’m having some trouble producing it myself. I’m not too worried about it though, as I’m fairly sure more listening and practice will take care of it. I’m also going to have to be careful about nailing down spellings, as many of them are similar to German words, but not exactly the same. I plan on transcribing the lessons by hand, which should help a lot.

All in all, I’m quite happy I started learning Dutch; I think it’s going to be fairly easy to get a good foundation in it (in comparison to say, Russian, which I’m still battling with). I’d like to find some good Dutch-only podcasts, so if you know of some, drop ’em in the comments.

My Prisma Dutch-English Dictionary – Oops

The two Dutch language learning books I ordered arrived today; one’s a success, the other, not so much. The success is Assimil’s Dutch with Ease; I’ve little to say about it at this point, other than it looks as good as all of the other Assimil stuff I’ve used or am using currently.

The not-so-great success – okay, I’ll be honest, the failure – is a Prisma Nederlands-Engels dictionary. It’s for speakers of Dutch, but I figured as long as it gave the Dutch words with English translations, I’d be okay; I primarily wanted it to do word lists.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take one thing into consideration: I never imagined that just because it’s for native speakers of Dutch, that none of the Dutch noun genders would be listed. So while I can look up words while reading with it, I still won’t know whether they’re de or het nouns.

I requested the New Routledge Dutch Dictionary via OhioLINK at my university, and it came in today. It lists the genders of nouns, and seems like a really nice dictionary. Unless I can find something of similar quality with a similar price, I’ll probably be picking up a copy soon.