Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dutch words of the week

So, I've learned a fair bit of useful Dutch, all present tense, all related to shopping, ordering food, job postings and/or dog walking. Also, the weather.

Het regent. (It rains)
Het waait.  (The wind blows)

and my favorite from last week:

maken ruzie (To fight, make a quarrel)


In addition to my classes, there are some websites that have helped me.

www.dutchgrammar.com
Dutchgrammar.com is the first site I found on my own. It has a wiki structure, very big and detailed with lots of grammar rules and helpful sound files. The organization can seem daunting but navigating the pages is easier after a few tries. The tab 'grammar' on the top leads to the rules of spelling, pronunciation and parts of speech. The alphabet and the vowel sound combinations sound files are the best I have found. I've listened to "eu" almost 50 times. I can almost say it :)
There is a large portion of the site devoted to forums but I haven't used them yet. Perhaps once my questions can no longer be easily answered by the basics, I will use the forums.

http://www.lauraspeaksdutch.info/
I found Laura speaks Dutch because it offers podcasts through itunes. I started listening to the very short, manageable lessons without being able to read the words. Fortunately, the website has all the text from the lessons as well as regular audio files. The combination is very helpful. Some of the lessons are about basics of grammar, but most have common phrases and useful interactions.
The backstory of Laura speaks Dutch is very sweet and I am sad that it doesn't have a perfect ending. I like Brenno very much. I would recognize him on the street (especially if he's talking loudly), and I'd thank him for the great lessons.

http://www.taalklas.nl/
This site was recommended to me. It is excellent! It requires registration but the process isn't too onerous. I think it's produced by a TV station in the Netherlands, but I'm skipping the TV part. The lessons on the website are very practical and they require reading, writing, and speaking. Repetition is key to memorization so this site has had the best impact on my Dutch skills. The visual aspect is similar to the Rosetta stone method but less abstract. For example, Kees en Sanne maken ruzie, is accompanied by a photo of Kees and Sanne trying to pull each other's hair. They have been part of the lessons from the beginning when Sanne luistert naar de radio and Kees valt op de trap.
I hope they make up from their fight.

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