I am 3 months in to my Dutch learning, well its 3 months in to actually taking it seriously! It does feel like it has been much much longer than that but I think that is mainly due to the focus I have put around it. Trying to do 2hrs a day really does take it’s toll on timekeeping! I’ve had 3 weeks of night school and aside from my little moans about them (I do like to moan!) I am steadily growing my Dutch vocabulary and the verbs aren’t upsetting my too much just yet. Everything I’m writing or doing in Dutch seems to involve a million and one different tables and rules and you name it. Lets face it Dutch is one of the hardest languages to learn! I have a new level of respect to people who can speak it when its not their mother tongue. My college course runs up until christmas and should, in theory, make me able to understand the basics, read simple passages and understand conversation whilst being confident to respond. By christmas I want to reevaluate the extent of which i want to learn Dutch. I have no plans to move over there in the near future so perhaps wishing to speak it fluently is a long shot to be able to communicate with my friends and get about town comfortably shouldn’t be too much to ask.
The main problems I’ve had…
I’ve talked about these in other posts but after 3 months I’ve got a handle now on what works for me and most importantly what doesn’t. My verbal communication is pretty poor, I know this, its hard to practice it with yourself as you can’t critic it or correct it. My plans to over come this: a) Watch more Dutch TV and films (I already listen to a lot of radio), b) practice more in class, whenever possible, c)use Skype or FaceTime to practice with my Dutch friend because I haven’t really done that.
Another problem I’ve had is remembering all of the rules. I think I am going to put a page of the rules together so when I’m writing sentences I don’t need to carry my huge folder around and have all of these pieces of paper everywhere simply confusing me even more!
What I have enjoyed the most…
I’m starting to understand some Dutch. And by that I mean understand it confidently. The longer I’m around it the more I believe I can understand but by actually studying it i can confidently say “yeah i know what your saying” and that feels pretty cool. Have you seen the Facebook advert for that t-shirt? It feels good.
I have enjoyed the learning process too. I’ve been out of education for over a year and my brain misses learning something new. This has really helped to occupy some of my spare time. I can’t wait to got over to Holland and try out what I have used.
What I have enjoyed surprisingly is writing this blog. I’ve enjoyed it for a few reasons. Firstly, i genuinely thought i was mad enough to be on my own learning Dutch. I had my Dutch friends but they obviously lived in The Netherlands and i felt a bit alone with it all. Finding the amazing bloggers on here has opened up literally a whole to community I never even imagined! So this is a shout out to all of the blogs I follow to say keep up the handwork, we are in it together and you are all superstars! Secondly, this blog has helped me to keep the learning up. People are following my ramblings and that feels really great! When you’re doing something on your own its easy to give up, by documenting it like this i can look back easy and can be inspired to carry on too.
So there we have it. My little update three months in. There are 2 months left of 2015 and i think we all know what my new years resolutions are going to be!