How to learn Dutch when you lack time
Speaking Dutch is your priority but you are simply too busy. Here are expert tips to improve your studying methods and jump-start your learning in no time. [Contributed by Talencoach / Dutch Flow Now]
You have been living in the Netherlands for quite some time, and for years you have had one specific item on your bucket list: to speak Dutch. Not just normal Dutch but fluent Dutch.
Speaking Dutch is important to you but between work, family, friends and downtime, you genuinely have a time issue. This is completely normal. Life passes by so quickly that it's easy to lose track of priorities. Therefore, if you would truly like to master Dutch, you must consider your time. It is a major factor that determines your success or failure.
The sad truth is this: most people who start learning Dutch waste too much time without even being aware of it.
You have a busy schedule like most people but have decided that you would like to learn Dutch. You try to squeeze it in during the week, on an evening, after work. It seems like a good idea at first but soon, you will see that this is the number one way to waste your time.
First, you will not be alert enough to learn really fast when you are tired from work. Secondly, you can’t get to the core of what’s really important in a language by just studying for one or two hours. You may learn how to say hallo and goede morgen, but memorising superficial greetings won’t do the trick!
What works best is repeating everything you learned immediately, preferably for a couple of days in a row, while having fun. If you use what you learned during real-life situations, then you’ll master it really fast.
So the perfect solution is simple: dedicate seven whole days to learning Dutch. Doing so will save time in the long run and keep you away from frustrations.
Another effective way to learn a language is remembering to break — or unlearn — some of the language habits you have.
‘Unlearning’ is the best way to learn
Do you still order beer in a pub instead of using the Dutch equivalent bier? Then it’s a good idea to stop because ordering a ‘beer’, which sounds like the Dutch word for bear, does not make sense. Do you also always say: “Ik woon in Nederlands”? You must also stop doing so because this statement is wrong — the Netherlands as a country is referred to as Nederland in Dutch.
You may already know the right words but chances are high that you will continue to say Nederlands and bier wrong for a very long time if you don’t take your time to correct it. Therefore, if you would really like to speak a new language, there is one thing that you need to do: stop thinking in English no matter how hard of a habit it is to break.
Learning to think in Dutch
The guaranteed way to stop thinking in English and starting to think in Dutch is practising for a couple of days in a row. The Dutch have a name for this: aanleren.
So once again, if you’d like to speak fluent Dutch, you must first decide whether it is really important to you. If the answer is yes, then make sure that you make it a number one priority for at least seven days in a row. Focus and practise speaking about topics that matter to you as this will quickly bring your Dutch to a whole new level.
Last but not least, always make sure that you learn fast. Because the faster you learn, the better you’ll feel. Soon, you will realise that speaking Dutch was one of your best time investments ever!
To reach a higher level of fluency in Dutch, click here for a free eBook full of great tips from Talencoach.
You can also practise your new language skills in a real-life setting by joining free workshops also hosted by Talencoach. Click here for more information.
Contributed by Talencoach / Dutch Flow Now
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