My experiences learning Dutch - and some thoughts

Being inspired by Steve, Deca glossai and others, I want to learn several languages. Being from Norway, I am of course able to read and listen to Swedish and Danish, and also use special words and constructs in those languages that we don’t have in Norwegian. I learned English thirty years ago, and estimate that in a normal day, more than 75% of my input is in English. I learned German in school for four years, and after a 25 year hiatus, I bought several books in German this summer and started to read them without major difficulties.

Last year I started learning Russian because I have always had an interest from our great neighbour to the east. Also, here in the High Arctic we have close contact with the Russians, both in our small village and in the neighbouring Russian settlement of Barentsburg.

Anyway, September 1st I started learning Dutch. I only listen and read using LingQ. After a few days, I was able to listen to the delightful podcast of Fasulye and Silvia. Now, I listen to and read one episode each day. I generally have absolutely no problems following along. In fact, I am convinced that if I had to move to the Netherlands, I would be able to speak Dutch myself within a month.

I have no use for Dutch what so ever. And there is nothing I need to read in Dutch that I can’t get in English or German. Nevertheless, it is quite satisfying and interesting to follow Fasulye and Silvias podcast as they discuss several topics related to the Netherlands.

And it is interesting (but in no way surprising) that for every word and every construct in Russian I need to study hard. I guess I study two to five hours each day. But for Dutch, it just flows effortlessly in.

OK - no real point to this. Just wanted to share my experiences.


I make a similar experience with my study of Norwegian: Working with my textbook “Einstieg Norwegisch” the lessons just flow effordlessly, while my whole years of Turkish studies were hard work all the time. I could never relax with Turkish and I couldn’t express myself in writing so clearly that I could avoid misunderstandings after three years of studies. With Norwegian and my background of Danish knowledge I can listen to lessons on my audio CDs which I haven’t studied before and do already understand 90 % of what is spoken. It’s a relaxed way of learning for me and I make rapid progress in writing which is enhanced by my Norwegian tutor Snorre. So it’s a world of a difference, whether I study Turkish or Norwegian. And it’s more fun, I must say! It was only by chance that I chose to start learning Norwegian besides Danish after dabbling in a VHS crash course in May 2013, but I am very happy with this target language choice.


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Why did you try to speak French with Dutch speaking people in Belgium? You probably speak French better than most of them.