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January Dutch Challenge (EVERYONE!)

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tommus
Senior Member
CanadaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4373 days ago

979 posts - 1686 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Dutch, French, Esperanto, German, Spanish

 
 Message 113 of 172
2011 12 January at 4:18pm | IP Logged 
noriyuki_nomura wrote:
Does anyone know whether there are any Dutch grammar exercise books out there in the market, where one can buy to practise their grammar? Thanks in advance for your recommendation! :)

There certainly are in the good bookstores in The Netherlands, geared mainly towards students. I have Colloquial Dutch by Bruce Donaldson, and Colloquial Dutch 2 by Gerda Bodegom and Bruce Donaldson. Both are very good, and are more than just grammar. They include a lot of grammar exercises. I also like Essential Dutch Grammar by Henry Stern, but it doesn't have exercises.

An excellent online resource is:

http://www.dutchgrammar.com/


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polyglossia
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205 posts - 255 votes 
Speaks: French*

 
 Message 114 of 172
2011 12 January at 9:35pm | IP Logged 
thistledown wrote:


I am reading The Hobbit in Dutch and have Lord of the Rings on order. I'm anticipating that my Dutch will include useful phrases such as "My people have been waiting since the dawn of the world" and "with my elven-sword I come to seek revenge" which may be of limited use in the real world - unless we get bad service in a restaurant of course .....


Ha! ha !! so funny !!!
I guess it's a bit like when French used to learn "my tailor is rich" in English!! No use in a conversation or a small talk unless your tailor is... really rich !!

Edited by polyglossia on 2011 12 January at 9:36pm

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schoenewaelder
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4067 days ago

759 posts - 1197 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: German, Spanish, Dutch

 
 Message 115 of 172
2011 15 January at 4:03pm | IP Logged 
ik ben nu met Michel Thomas klaar, en heb met Assimil begonnen. Ik heb MT heel goed gevonden.

Although the MT only had about 180 vocab items in it, I feel like I've got a pretty good dutch voice in my head, and I was able to whizz through the first 7 chapters of Assimil last night (helped by the German, French, English cognates). The audio quality of the Assimil is a bit crappy, but the dialogues are quite enjoyable. Looking at the vocablist, there seem to be about 2400 items, so I dont think I'll be able to get through it all.
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doviende
Diglot
Senior Member
Canada
languagefixatio
Joined 4493 days ago

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

 
 Message 116 of 172
2011 15 January at 7:20pm | IP Logged 
Two week update

I'm at 46 hours of Dutch study time total, and I've finished reading the first two Harry Potter books while listening to the audiobooks (using Dutch-English parallel text format, constructed from ebooks using hunalign). In the past 7 days I've averaged about 5 hours of study time per day.

At the start, I had a lot of trouble with the listening, and found it difficult to figure out which word currently matched up with the audio. Whenever I glanced over at the English translation, I'd lose my place easily in the Dutch. I didn't understand anything if I just listened to the Dutch, except maybe the occasional word that was really close to either English or German.

Currently, I find it quite easy to follow along with the audio, and it's quite easy to scan through the Dutch to find my place again after I look away. If I only look at the Dutch and no English, then I understand enough to follow the story, although I miss a lot of details still. I've got a moderate sense for Dutch spelling now, but there's room to improve. I still accidentally spell words in more of a German way sometimes.

To test myself, I just opened up an adult novel (by Dean Koontz) and did a quick word comprehension test on a random page. There were 11 words that I didn't know out of a section of 296 words, giving 96% word comprehension when reading (I'm sure listening would be much lower). This is just the individual words that I know, not necessarily their full meaning in that context. To confirm, I tried another book, this time by Tad Williams, and flipped to a random page in the middle. I missed 13 words out of 212, which is 94%.

I'm rather amazed at these numbers, but I guess it makes sense after starting with excellent vocab in both English and German. I think I recognized most of those words as Dutch words though, not through guessing from a German word. It appears that I've actually learned a lot from reading a total of 170000 words of Dutch in the two Harry Potter books so far.

From here on, I guess it means I should focus more on an Extensive style rather than the slower Intensive style of reading. I need Extensive to continue to develop my intuitive sense for the language by seeing large quantities of content, rather than focusing on every minute detail. I also need to pay much closer attention to the audio to train my listening abilities, which are still lagging far behind my raw scores for visual word comprehension.

To test listening comprehension, I listened to 3.5 minutes of Harry Potter that I hadn't looked at or heard yet, and counted unknown words with my clicker. I counted 79 unknown words, and the total word count for that section was 592, so 86% word comprehension approximately. I'm rather surprised that it was this high already, so this is rather encouraging.

My plan is to continue with input only, until I'm past 100 hours of study time. After that, depending on how I feel, I may start to blend in some output exercises.

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tommus
Senior Member
CanadaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4373 days ago

979 posts - 1686 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Dutch, French, Esperanto, German, Spanish

 
 Message 117 of 172
2011 15 January at 8:47pm | IP Logged 
doviende wrote:
(using Dutch-English parallel text format, constructed from ebooks using hunalign).

Are you using the original hunalign? I came across these two links describing an "improved" version but have not used either. Comments? Recommendations?

http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/2176/1/Ali gning-texts-with-Hunalign

http://sourceforge.net/projects/aligner/


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doviende
Diglot
Senior Member
Canada
languagefixatio
Joined 4493 days ago

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

 
 Message 118 of 172
2011 15 January at 9:20pm | IP Logged 
tommus wrote:
doviende wrote:
(using Dutch-English parallel text format, constructed from ebooks using hunalign).

Are you using the original hunalign? I came across these two links describing an "improved" version but have not used either. Comments? Recommendations?

http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/2176/1/Ali gning-texts-with-Hunalign

http://sourceforge.net/projects/aligner/



I believe I got it from here: http://mokk.bme.hu/resources/hunalign which is the original hunalign. I also use a short script that converts the text output of hunalign into a nicer html table, in which every second line alternates the background colour for easier reading.

Thanks for the links, I'll take a look at those other aligners at some later point :)


Edited by doviende on 2011 15 January at 9:21pm

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Hobbema
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4248 days ago

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

 
 Message 119 of 172
2011 16 January at 5:43am | IP Logged 
Thank you for the encouraging and helpful comments thistledown, doviende, and tommus. Having Dutch feel natural seems like a long way away, but I may need to rethink my methods a bit.

My dedication to Assimil has fallen off with my travel schedule in the last week or so, but my study will continue after the 6 week challenge is over. And there is an advantage to participating in a challenge for me...with my own Dutch Calvinist upbringing, never underestimate the motivating power of guilt in getting back on track!
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doviende
Diglot
Senior Member
Canada
languagefixatio
Joined 4493 days ago

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

 
 Message 120 of 172
2011 16 January at 6:06am | IP Logged 
In this context, wouldn't a Dutch Calvinist believe in the unconditional election of Dutch speakers? That those who can speak Dutch have been chosen already, regardless of their own actions and merits? ;)

This might be a useful sort of humourous term, actually. I've met many "language calvinists" who told me that I'm just "naturally good at languages", like it was magically predetermined, and not at all caused by my thousands of hours of hard work. I'm not part of the linguistic elect!


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