Dutch Project Notes #3: One Month to Go!

As I’ve written previously, my Dutch project is slated to end on December 31, 2015. This doesn’t mean I’ll toss out Dutch after that! I’m just going to allow myself to start new projects and perhaps place Dutch on the back burner for a bit. I believe that language study provides the most rewards when it’s done long-term.

Anyways, I received Sjakie en de chocoladefabriek literally the same day that I wrote about how it probably was never going to arrive. I finished it in about a week! It was definitely what I needed– the book is easy to understand with plenty of basic vocabulary. I only looked up the words I was dying to know, but I still feel my Dutch is better after reading it. I might read it through again, especially since Dutch books are so hard to come by in the U.S.

Because I was reading Sjakie, I ditched the New Testament language practice. Unfortunately the Bible is just a little too much of a strain for where my language skills are right now, and Sjakie was too addictive and fun to read.

I’m still doing the listening practice from my last blog– Jeugdjournaal and some podcasts. The combination of these sources is really making Dutch feel “natural” to me. My inner monologue (you know, that constant stream of silent chatter your brain provides all day long…) sometimes is in super simple Dutch after I listen to these things.

I might be being too hopeful, but I think I’ve crested a “hump” in my Dutch project. I knew going in that Dutch is a relatively easy language for English speakers to learn– they’re both Germanic and share a lot of basic vocabulary and grammar. However, since I had studied several Romance languages first, I was a bit daunted by the new complex vocabulary and the sudden lack of cognates. But things are looking much easier now, and I think Dutch might be easier to think in/speak sooner than French or Spanish because of the “deeper” grammatical similarities. If that makes sense.

One month to go! I don’t think I met my goal of advanced Dutch by 11/30/15, but maybe I can get to advanced, maybe B2 level by January? Who knows!


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