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January Dutch Challenge (EVERYONE!)

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Senior Member
Joined 4248 days ago

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

 Message 138 of 172
24 January 2011 at 2:11pm | IP Logged 
Kuikentje wrote:
The use of lol (DU) and LOL (INT ABB) is different also, grammatically I mean, for example:

We hebben veel lol gehad
we have much fun had
(literally translated)

The word lol is a lot more versatile in Dutch than it is in English. A couple of expressions off the top of my head;

Lol trappen = to have fun, to fool around
Doe me een lol = Do me a favour/give me a break
Lollig doen = to act lame/cheeky
Lolbroek = joker, wisecracker
De lol er niet van (in)zien = to not see the fun in it
Lolletje = a prank or joke

Edited by ReneeMona on 24 January 2011 at 2:12pm

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Senior Member
Joined 4899 days ago

533 posts - 1245 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Spanish, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Hindi, Swedish, Portuguese

 Message 139 of 172
25 January 2011 at 9:50pm | IP Logged 
I've been having trouble keeping up my motivation in the past few days. My mind has been clouded by negative thoughts such as "I'll never understand spoken Dutch better than I do now, so there's no point in trying".

It's funny what the mind will come up with in the face of a challenge. I know from my own prior evidence that all I have to do is keep going and I'll get there, but somehow these thoughts start coming up when I can't see immediate progress from the activities I'm doing. I find that at these moments, it's vital for me to have some other pre-defined numerical goals. For instance, I won't stop reading until I've read 1 million words, and I'll do at least 200 hours of study by the time the 6 week period ends.

These sorts of goals are independent of my current skill in the language, so they're immune to any negative thoughts that may arise. As Khatsumoto says, the only way to fail is to stop, so I try to keep this in mind and focus purely on my numbers.

I think one of the major factors in this unfortunate mindset is uncertainty. I'm not sure how much spoken ability I'll have at the end, which makes me want to drop some of my input time and focus on output, but then that makes me then worry that I won't be able to understand spoken Dutch enough. I solve this by throwing out any new plans that interfere with my satisfaction, and to me the primary satisfaction will come from being able to first understand anything said in Dutch, which means I need to stop worrying about my output and just trust that it'll come later after my understanding is increased.

Anyway, I'm over half-way to my stated time goal of 200 hours now. I've clocked 108 hours of Dutch study time so far this month, which is 54% of my goal, accomplished in 59% of the I've still got some work left ahead of me.

How's everyone else doing with their goals? Any problems or new insights?
Is anyone working through Assimil? How's that going?

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Winner TAC 2011
Senior Member
Joined 5055 days ago

2150 posts - 3229 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish, Croatian, Greek, French, Russian, Italian, Portuguese
Studies: Turkish, Mandarin, Japanese, Swedish, Persian

 Message 141 of 172
26 January 2011 at 12:12am | IP Logged 
doviende wrote:
How's everyone else doing with their goals? Any problems or new insights?Is anyone working through Assimil? How's that going?

Everything is going very well for me. I guess the only goals that I set were tentative ones for at least five hours (originally six, but I changed it when I realized that it was unreasonable to expect six) of study per week, which means that I should have been at 15 hours by last Friday. I'm currently only at 14 hours, but that's because my second week was very bad (only about 12 total study hours compared to about 20+ in the first and third weeks), and I still have yet to study Dutch today. And that's also on top of all my other language projects, so...

New insights? Does that I love Dutch again count? I was working on it for a while this summer, but somehow got bored with it and quit. I honestly don't know how I lost interest because I'm enjoying it so much now, but it probably had something to do with the boring materials I was using. I've actually decided to extend my focus period for Dutch through the middle of February to make it into a six-week challenge instead of just for the month of January.

I've been using Assimil as my main resource this time around, but I was also reviewing some other materials that I had used before (Michel Thomas, Teach Yourself, etc.). Right now I'm at lesson 41 in Assimil's Dutch With Ease and I really like it. I think it's helped me especially with seeing more natural phrasings and expressions, as well as improving my accent and intonation. I'm at almost the same spot in Assimil's Swedish course, and I've noticed that the Dutch one is using much simpler language still, and I can get through the Dutch lessons much more quickly than the Swedish ones because I understand almost everything in them already besides a couple words or expressions. I suspect that part of the reason it is going more slowly is because of the strange word order for English speakers... Although other factors for its perceived simplicity could just be a mix of it being closer to German and English than Swedish, and that I'm studying it from an English base versus a French base for Swedish.

Edited by ellasevia on 26 January 2011 at 12:17am

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Senior Member
United States
Joined 5299 days ago

110 posts - 115 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Latin, Russian

 Message 142 of 172
26 January 2011 at 3:26am | IP Logged 
I actually started a little before January 3, but haven't put in nearly as much
studying as I would have liked to. Some days I can only get 1/2-1 hour in. Other days
5 hours is easily achievable. Unfortunately, the 1 hour days are the majority.

I have completed Michel Thomas foundation and am almost complete with the advanced
course. I am on lesson 32 of Assimil Dutch. I have slowed quite a bit.

Last night I went to my first Dutch meetup here. The group consisted of mostly
natives, although it was much too big for me to actually talk to every one. The people
I met were highly impressed that I was hoping to achieve such a high level in only 6
weeks. However, being only to lesson 32 I am not so sure that I am acquiring quickly
enough to meet my original goal. Besides, I am certainly nothing special. I guess
Dutch is also not that common of a language for Americans to learn, so they were a
little confused at my actual motivation for learning the language. My response: "I
just really love learning languages and joined in as part of a challenge on a language
learning web site."

This was highly motivating, and something I look forward to returning to greatly.
Unfortunately they only meet once a month for conversation.

I have also started reading my copy of Harry Potter in dutch, and comparing it with the
English. I have been listening to the aforementioned dutch news from that has
subtitles and have picked up a ton of practical vocab from there.

How is everyone else doing?
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Senior Member
United States
Joined 4654 days ago

541 posts - 575 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Portuguese, French, Dutch

 Message 143 of 172
26 January 2011 at 12:20pm | IP Logged 
I as well have reviewed Michel Thomas and am working through Assimil. The daily discipline for me hss been difficult to maintain, but I have to say I'm enjoying Assimil and am on Les 23. It is going slow but progress for me is measured in small moves, and when I go back and look at the DLI Intermediate materials they make more sense to me now.

I downloaded a flash card app onto my iPhone and unfamiliar words in the lessons I load into that. And the drills I have been writing down into my planner and trying to internalize during the day.

There are some days where a lot of my time is spent in meetings. 4 hours yesterday. My participation is not needed at all times, so there's a lot of dead time and yesterday I did drills in my head, and flash cards on my phone.

So I struggle with discouragement as well, but as doviende said that Khatsumoto said above, the only way to fail is to stop. And I haven't stopped yet...I'll just keep poking along, hopefully staying in the right direction!
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Senior Member
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759 posts - 1197 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: German, Spanish, Dutch

 Message 144 of 172
27 January 2011 at 1:33pm | IP Logged 
doviende wrote:
I've been having trouble keeping up my motivation in the past few days. My mind has been clouded by negative thoughts such as "I'll never understand spoken Dutch better than I do now, so there's no point in trying".


How's everyone else doing with their goals? Any problems or new insights?
Is anyone working through Assimil? How's that going?

I'm just enjoying the process of learning. Sometimes I'm thinking it's going brilliantly and it's so easy, and then suddenly realise it will probably be several years before I really understand or speak it, and get briefly depressed. But then I just look forward to my next lesson. Enjoy the moment.

My only serious complaint about the Assimil is the audio. The recording quality is a bit poor, but more seriously, it is spoken in a very unnatural stilted way, not just slowed down, but sort of stuttered out with exaggerated gaps between the words, and an unnatural rythm. I was hoping it would get better as the book progressed, but it hasn't yet. Most other modern courses seem to use a more natural style of speaking, even for beginners.

I will (almost certainly) try to get a copy of "La pratique du neerlandais" when I've finished.

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