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.