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Better Dutch profile

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ReneeMona
Diglot
Senior Member
Netherlands
Joined 5122 days ago

864 posts - 1274 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, EnglishC2
Studies: French

 
 Message 9 of 45
06 July 2010 at 5:47pm | IP Logged 
First off, I want to thank you Fasulye, for taking the trouble of writing a new Dutch profile. This one is certainly better informed and less negative than the original one.

I'd like to add Joost van den Vondel to the list of essential Dutch literature. He is considered the most prominent Dutch playwright and poet of the 17th century and some of his plays, such as Gijsbrecht van Aemstel, are still regularly performed.

Under vocabulary it might be useful to mention that Dutch has also borrowed extensively from French and Latin and like in English, there is often a Germanic and a more formal Romance word for the same thing, e.g. verdediging - defensie, stoep - trottoir etc. A common pitfall for speakers of other Germanic languages, especially English, is that they take Germanic cognates to mean the same thing but there is often a subtle or even a big difference between the ways cognates are used in the different languages.

I agree with Crush that the Dutch R is worth mentioning, since it is pronounced so differently in different dialects and it seems to be one of the hardest things for Dutch learners to master, together with the hard g and the diphthongs.

I would also include the syntax as a difficulty. This seems to be especially troublesome for English speakers since that language has a pretty straight forward word order and even a good knowledge of German doesn't completely cut it in this regard. When I read Dutch written by people who claim basic or even advanced fluency, tiny variations in word order that make it sound unnatural are usually what gives them away as non-native speakers.

About Dutch dialects; the Netherlands and the north of Belgium have a remarkable diverse set of dialects and accents. Almost every city and town has it's own dialect and people who are familiar with them can often pinpoint where a person is from quite precisely when hearing them speak. Some rural or Flemish dialects are so hard to understand that speakers are often subtitled when they appear on TV. Some of the most recognizable accents of Dutch in the Netherlands are Amsterdams, Rotterdams, Haags and a general Brabants accent.

Standard Dutch used to be called Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands ('General Civilized Dutch') but these days the Beschaafd part is often left out for the sake of political correctness. It is based on the Hollandic dialect spoken in the Holland region, traditionally the most influential and densely populated region, and there's an urban legend claiming that the 'purest' Dutch is spoken in the city of Haarlem.

The number of Dutch native speakers is around 23 million; 16,5 in the Netherlands, 6,1 in Belgium and an additional hundreds of thousands in Suriname. Somewhere between 4 to 5 million people speak Dutch as a second language, bringing the total number of speakers up to around 27 million. Dutch is an official language of the Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname, Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles, the Benelux, European Union and the Union of South American Nations and significant numbers of speakers exist in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Edited by ReneeMona on 15 June 2011 at 1:58am

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Fasulye
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 Message 10 of 45
06 July 2010 at 5:57pm | IP Logged 
Thanks, ReneeMona, this is indeed very informative knowledge. The task will be to integrate your infos into the "Better Dutch Profile" written by Crush and me. I could do this myself to make ONE profile out of it and check, if everything is complete now, but such work would need a certain amount of time, so I would have to fit such work into my daily schedule. Also the internet links given by Meadowmeal have to be integrated in the profile.

So far, there isn't any profile published for Dutch on our HTLAL forum's website. I have checked that first.

Fasulye



Edited by Fasulye on 07 July 2010 at 1:21pm

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Fasulye
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 Message 11 of 45
07 July 2010 at 1:22pm | IP Logged 
THE COMPLETE DUTCH PROFILE

written by Crush, Meadowmeal, ReneeMona, Hobbema and Fasulye


INTRODUCTION

Dutch is an interesting language of the Germanic language family. It belongs to the smaller European languages and has most similarites with Afrikaans, Frisian, German and English.

USEFULNESS
I would recommend learning Dutch to all people who want to have a more than superficial contact with the Dutch speaking countries, which include: the Netherlands, Flanders in Belgium, Surinam in South America and the Dutch Antilles (Aruba and Curaçao). If you speak the language of these countries on a fluent level, you will be better accepted and deepen your friendships with the local people, which is certainly nicer than making just a few short hotel contacts in English. In the Netherlands most people speak English, and in the regions near its eastern border with Germany, many people speak German to at least a certain level, though not always fluently.

CHIC FACTOR

People who want to learn Dutch, should learn the language well to avoid that natives might switch over to answering their Dutch questions in English or even German. Native Dutch speakers will be truly impressed as they are not so used to especially English or German visitors speaking their language and you as a foreign language speaker of Dutch will get the chance to receive a lot of compliments, if you speak the language fluently. People who categorically deny the chic factor of Dutch, are not well informed about Dutch language and culture, but rather rely on stereotypes.   

ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE

Dutch is used as a business language in the border regions of Germany, like Nordrhein-Westfalen and Niedersachsen, in the departements of Northern France, in whole Belgium also in the French and German speaking parts and most likely in Luxembourg as well. There are some business jobs offered requiring fluent Dutch in speaking and writing and if you are qualified to apply for those, you will have only few competitors. Also in the German tourism regions of the Black Forest and Sauerland which are almost overpopulated by Dutch tourists you should speak Dutch fluently, if you want to find a good job in the tourism industry.

TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES

Dutch is useful as a travel language in all countries where Dutch is spoken natively. Learners of Dutch should be prepared that native speakers of Dutch are likely to address tourists in English, but the best way to overcome this is to explain why you have learned the language and to show some preservance when speaking it.

COUNTRIES

Native language in: The Netherlands, Flanders as a part of Belgium, Surinam in South America and the Dutch Antilles (Aruba and Curaçao).

SPEAKERS

The number of Dutch native speakers is around 23 million; 16,5 in the Netherlands, 6,1 in Belgium and an additional hundreds of thousands in Suriname. Somewhere between 4 to 5 million people speak Dutch as a second language, bringing the total number of speakers to around 27 million. Dutch is an official language of the Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname, Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles, the Benelux, European Union and the Union of South American Nations and significant numbers of speakers exist in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

VARIATIONS

In the Netherlands there are Dutch dialects spoken in provinces such as Limburg, Brabant, Groningen and Drenthe. Frisian is regarded as a seperate language, not as a Dutch dialect. Flemish is standard Dutch spoken in Belgium. But there are also Flemish dialects.

The Netherlands and the north of Belgium have a remarkable diverse set of dialects and accents; almost every city and town has it's own dialect. People who are familiar with them can often pinpoint where a person is from quite precisely when hearing them speak and some rural Dutch and Flemish dialects are so hard to understand that speakers are often subtitled when they appear on national TV.

The dialects that deviate most from the standard language are spoken in Limburg, Brabant, Groningen and Drente. Flemish is the collective name for the dialects of Dutch spoken in Belgium. Frisian, spoken in the northern province of Friesland, is not a dialect but an independent language but it is still very similar to Dutch and quite understandable with some practice and effort.

Standard Dutch used to be called Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands ('General Civilized Dutch') but these days the Beschaafd part is often left out for the sake of political correctness or it is just called "Standaard Nederlands". It is based on the Hollandic dialect spoken in the Holland region, traditionally the most influential and densely populated region, and there's an urban legend claiming that the 'purest' Dutch is spoken in the city of Haarlem.

CULTURE

Each of the above mentioned countries, where Dutch is spoken natively, has its own typical culture.

DIFFICULTIES

The Dutch R is worth mentioning, since it is pronounced so differently in different dialects and it seems to be one of the hardest things for Dutch learners to master, together with the hard g and the diphthongs.

The Dutch syntax seems to be especially troublesome for English speakers since that language has a pretty straight forward word order and even a good knowledge of German doesn't completely cut it in this regard. When I read Dutch written by people who claim basic or even advanced fluency, tiny variations in word order that make it sound unnatural are usually what gives them away as non-native speakers.

A common pitfall for speakers of other Germanic languages, especially English, is that they take Germanic cognates to mean the same thing but there is often a subtle or even a big difference between the ways cognates are used in the different languages.

GRAMMAR

People who don't like learning cases and declensions can be releived: The Dutch cases of the past centuries have been abolished, so learners of Dutch don't have to learn ANY cases! The verb system is very similar to the German one, so pevious knowledge of German would be helpful to learn it. Dutch nouns have two genders: "de" = male and female and "het" = neuter. To give examples it is "de man", "de vrouw" and "het kind".


PRONOUNCIATION

It depends on the native language of the learner, how difficult the pronounciation of Dutch is. Dutch has more the reputation of being diffcult to pronounce than it really is. However, some typical Dutch diphtongs, such as "ui", "oe" "ei" and "ou" may be a bit tricky to ponounce for a beginner.


VOCABULARY

Dutch is a typical Germanic language. There are many English words used in Dutch especially for example in the fields of IT or technology. German words are often very similar to Dutch words, even if the writing looks different. For example "het boek" and "das Buch". Speakers of the Scandinavian languages Danish, Norwegian and Swedisch will find some of their words used in Dutch as well.

Under vocabulary it might be useful to mention that Dutch has also borrowed extensively from French and Latin and like in English, there is often a Germanic and a more formal Romance word for the same thing, e.g. verdediging - defensie, stoep - trottoir etc.


TRANSPARENCY

When reading Dutch texts the language is quite transparent to speakers of other Germanic languages. Understanding the spoken language Dutch will be more difficult. The closest language to Dutch is Afrikaans, so for speakers of this language written and spoken Dutch is very transparent.

SPELLING

The spelling of Dutch is regular and logic, unlike English. You should learn the spelling rules well in the beginning, then spelling will not be a problem. Confusing for everyone including the native speakers of Dutch are the frequent spelling reforms of the Dutch language. However, these bring only minor spelling changes, so foreign learners of Dutch should not worry much about such nitpicking details.


TIME NEEDED

It depends on the native language you have, possible previous knowledge of foreign languages similar to Dutch, motivation, time schedule and other important factors. Native speakers of Afrikaans, Frisian, German and English have an advantage learning Dutch.

BOOKS

The most rewarded editor of Dutch monolingual and bilingual dictionaries in the Netherlands and Belgium is "Van Dale". Especially for making Dutch translations on a professional level you should use the "Van Dale" series. If you are satisfied with cheap pocket dictionaries of various languages, then go for the "Prisma" series.

Literature for learners of Dutch:

"De eilanden" by A.Alberts (1953), Marten Toonder's Het kukel (1963) and the fables-that-aren't-fables of Toon Tellegen.
Gerard Reve, De avonden (1947) [only a good read if you "get" the humour]
W.F. Hermans, Nooit meer slapen (1966)
Herman Gorter, Mei (1889) [greatest Dutch poem ever]
Louis Couperus, Van oude menschen, de dingen die voorbijgaan (1906) [language probably difficult]
Hugo Claus, Het verdriet van België (1983) [essential if you're interested in Belgium]
Nescio, De uitvreter / Titaantjes / Dichtertje (1918) [superb simple Dutch]
Willem Elsschot, Lijmen (1924) / Het been (1938) / Kaas (1933) [ditto]
F. Bordewijk, Karakter (1938) [Oscar-winning film] / Bint (1934)
Frederik van Eeden, De kleine Johannes (1885-1906)
Theo Thijssen, Kees de jongen (1923)
Simon Vestdijk, Terug tot Ina Damman (1934) / De kellner en de levenden (1949) [compelling vision of the end of times]
Harry Mulisch, De aanslag (1982) [Oscar-winning film]
Martinus Nijhoff, Awater (1934) / Nieuwe gedichten (1934) / Het uur U (1936) [powerful poetry in "normal" Dutch]
Jan Wolkers, Terug naar Oegstgeest (1965) [Recommended if you're "well-versed" in the Bible]
Anne Frank, Het achterhuis (postuum, 1947) [even if you've already read a translation]
Hella Haasse, Oeroeg (1948)
Joost van den Vondel, 17. eeuw, Gijsbrecht van Aemstel

SCHOOLS

Dutch can be studied as a foreign language at universites all over the world. There are commercial language schools offering courses in Dutch. In Germany for example it is possible to choose Dutch as an official school language besides English, French and Latin in the border region of this country.

LINKS

www.rnw.nl – Radio Nederland Wereldomroep (Radio Netherlands Worldwide) – news from Europe in English and Dutch. Also audio and podcasts, too.
www.dutchgrammar.com – good site for grammar reference
www.dutchtoday.com – exercises and vocabulary
www.lauraspeaksdutch.info – fun podcasts that are targeted for new dutch learners and that explain things about the Netherlands and Dutch culture


Edited by Fasulye on 06 October 2010 at 5:33pm

4 persons have voted this message useful





Fasulye
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Germany
fasulyespolyglotblog
Joined 5634 days ago

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 Message 12 of 45
07 July 2010 at 1:30pm | IP Logged 
Asking the students of Dutch for help:

NL: Kunnen jullie graag wat links hier posten die nuttig zijn voor het leren van de Nederlandse taal?
EN: Could you please post some links here which are useful for learners of Dutch?

I would like to integrate such links in our complete Dutch profile!

ReneeMona and others, could you please proofread my "Complete Dutch Profile", to make sure that it is written without typos?

If other people would like to add some infos about Dutch, please post it here in this thread and I will integrate relevant details into the profile.

What could be of interest are for example cultural infos or textbooks and audios for the study of the Dutch language on a beginner level. I am not familiar with such material, so if others would list up useful resources, this would pep up the profile.

Fasulye

Edited by Fasulye on 07 July 2010 at 6:59pm

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ReneeMona
Diglot
Senior Member
Netherlands
Joined 5122 days ago

864 posts - 1274 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, EnglishC2
Studies: French

 
 Message 13 of 45
29 August 2010 at 9:22pm | IP Logged 
Well, since our the profile looks pretty good to me, I think we should make some final adjustments and get this thing published. It would be a shame to let our hard work go to waste!

Fasuyle, maybe we could mention under usefulness that Dutch is still very similar to and mutually intelligible with it’s daughter language Afrikaans so a good command of Dutch will come in handy in South Africa or Namibia, where Afrikaans is spoken by somewhere between 15 to 23 million people, of whom about 6 million are native speakers.

I thought the variations piece was a bit incoherent so I copy-pasted it into this:

"The Netherlands and the north of Belgium have a remarkable diverse set of dialects and accents; almost every city and town has it's own dialect. People who are familiar with them can often pinpoint where a person is from quite precisely when hearing them speak and some rural Dutch and Flemish dialects are so hard to understand that speakers are often subtitled when they appear on national TV.

The dialects that deviate most from the standard language are spoken in Limburg, Brabant, Groningen and Drente. Flemish is the collective name for the dialects of Dutch spoken in Belgium. Frisian, spoken in the northern province of Friesland, is not a dialect but an independent language but it is still very similar to Dutch and quite understandable with some practice and effort.

Standard Dutch used to be called Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands ('General Civilized Dutch') but these days the Beschaafd part is often left out for the sake of political correctness. It is based on the Hollandic dialect spoken in the Holland region, traditionally the most influential and densely populated region, and there's an urban legend claiming that the 'purest' Dutch is spoken in the city of Haarlem."

I think the sentence “A common pitfall for speakers of other Germanic languages, especially English, is that they take Germanic cognates to mean the same thing but there is often a subtle or even a big difference between the ways cognates are used in the different languages.” should be removed from the vocabulary section and incorporated into the difficulties part.

I also spotted two little mistakes. Norvegian in the vocabulary section should be Norwegian and I think the ‘inclusive’ under spelling should be ‘including’. I would really appreciate it if a native English speaker could look over our final work and take out some mistakes or unnatural sounding constructions we might have missed. After that I think we're ready to send it to the administrator! :)

1 person has voted this message useful





Fasulye
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2012
Moderator
Germany
fasulyespolyglotblog
Joined 5634 days ago

5460 posts - 6006 votes 
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 Message 14 of 45
31 August 2010 at 8:19am | IP Logged 
ReneeMona wrote:
Well, since our the profile looks pretty good to me, I think we should make some final adjustments and get this thing published. It would be a shame to let our hard work go to waste!

Fasuyle, maybe we could mention under usefulness that Dutch is still very similar to and mutually intelligible with it’s daughter language Afrikaans so a good command of Dutch will come in handy in South Africa or Namibia, where Afrikaans is spoken by somewhere between 15 to 23 million people, of whom about 6 million are native speakers.

I thought the variations piece was a bit incoherent so I copy-pasted it into this:

"The Netherlands and the north of Belgium have a remarkable diverse set of dialects and accents; almost every city and town has it's own dialect. People who are familiar with them can often pinpoint where a person is from quite precisely when hearing them speak and some rural Dutch and Flemish dialects are so hard to understand that speakers are often subtitled when they appear on national TV.

The dialects that deviate most from the standard language are spoken in Limburg, Brabant, Groningen and Drente. Flemish is the collective name for the dialects of Dutch spoken in Belgium. Frisian, spoken in the northern province of Friesland, is not a dialect but an independent language but it is still very similar to Dutch and quite understandable with some practice and effort.

Standard Dutch used to be called Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands ('General Civilized Dutch') but these days the Beschaafd part is often left out for the sake of political correctness. It is based on the Hollandic dialect spoken in the Holland region, traditionally the most influential and densely populated region, and there's an urban legend claiming that the 'purest' Dutch is spoken in the city of Haarlem."

I think the sentence “A common pitfall for speakers of other Germanic languages, especially English, is that they take Germanic cognates to mean the same thing but there is often a subtle or even a big difference between the ways cognates are used in the different languages.” should be removed from the vocabulary section and incorporated into the difficulties part.

I also spotted two little mistakes. Norvegian in the vocabulary section should be Norwegian and I think the ‘inclusive’ under spelling should be ‘including’. I would really appreciate it if a native English speaker could look over our final work and take out some mistakes or unnatural sounding constructions we might have missed. After that I think we're ready to send it to the administrator! :)


Thanks, ReneeMona, for these corrections and for your content amendment. I have now incorporated all these changes in my complete version of the Dutch Profile.

Fasulye

Edited by Fasulye on 31 August 2010 at 8:21am

1 person has voted this message useful



ReneeMona
Diglot
Senior Member
Netherlands
Joined 5122 days ago

864 posts - 1274 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, EnglishC2
Studies: French

 
 Message 15 of 45
05 October 2010 at 2:07pm | IP Logged 
Hey Fasulye, since it's been over a month since we completed our Dutch profile I was wondering how you're doing with trying to get it published?
1 person has voted this message useful





Fasulye
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2012
Moderator
Germany
fasulyespolyglotblog
Joined 5634 days ago

5460 posts - 6006 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: German*, DutchC1, EnglishB2, French, Italian, Spanish, Esperanto
Studies: Latin, Danish, Norwegian, Turkish
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 16 of 45
05 October 2010 at 9:27pm | IP Logged 
ReneeMona wrote:
Hey Fasulye, since it's been over a month since we completed our Dutch profile I was wondering how you're doing with trying to get it published?


Our Dutch profile is not yet complete, as we need to collect some internet links for people who want to learn the Dutch language. I have no ideas about this, as I learned Dutch 28 years ago, perhaps somebody as tommus, Vos or Hobbema could help us here to collect some useful links for the learning of the Dutch language.

Fasulye


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