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How to Start Thinking in Dutch

Learn 4 tools and techniques to stop translating in your head and start thinking in Dutch

Going through Dutch lessons is enough to get by and learn the basics of Dutch, but to truly become fluent you need to be able to think in Dutch. This will allow you to have conversations with ease, read smoothly, and comprehensively understand natives. To do this, you need to go beyond just completing daily or weekly lessons.

We naturally translate in our heads because it’s viewed as the easiest way to learn the definitions needed when learning a language. This way of learning can actually hinder your skills and fluency later on. If your brain has to make neural connections between the word you’re learning, what it means in your native tongue, and the physical object the connection will not be nearly as strong. When you bypass the original translation between Dutch and your native language then there is a more basic and strong connection between just the Dutch vocabulary word and the tangible object.

start thinking in Dutch

In this blog post, you will learn the 4 important techniques to easily and naturally begin to speculate about the daily occurrences in your life. The best part is all of these techniques are supported and can be achieved through DutchPod101.com.

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1. Surround yourself with Dutch

Surround Yourself

By surrounding yourself with Dutch constantly you will completely immerse yourself in the language. Without realizing it you’ll be learning pronunciation, sentence structures, grammar, and new vocabulary. You can play music in the background while you’re cooking or have a Dutch radio station on while you study. Immersion is a key factor with this learning process because it is one of the easiest things to do, but very effective. Even if you are not giving the program your full attention you will be learning.

One great feature of DutchPod101.com is the endless podcasts that are available to you. You can even download and listen to them on the go. These podcasts are interesting and are perfect for the intention of immersion, they are easy to listen to as background noise and are interesting enough to give your full attention. Many of them contain stories that you follow as you go through the lessons which push you to keep going.

2. Learn through observation
learn through observation

Learning through observation is the most natural way to learn. Observation is how we all learned our native languages as infants and it’s a wonder why we stop learning this way. If you have patience and learn through observation then Dutch words will have their own meanings rather than meanings in reference to your native language. Ideally, you should skip the bilingual dictionary and just buy a dictionary in Dutch.

DutchPod101.com also offers the materials to learn this way. We have numerous video lessons which present situational usage of each word or phrase instead of just a direct translation. This holds true for many of our videos and how we teach Dutch.

3. Speak out loud to yourself
talk to yourself

Speaking to yourself in Dutch not only gets you in the mindset of Dutch, but also makes you listen to how you speak. It forces you to correct any errors with pronunciation and makes it easy to spot grammar mistakes. When you speak out loud talk about what you did that day and what you plan to do the next day. Your goal is to be the most comfortable speaking out loud and to easily create sentences. Once you feel comfortable talking to yourself start consciously thinking in your head about your daily activities and what is going on around you throughout the day.

With DutchPod101.com you start speaking right away, not only this, but they have you repeat words and conversations after a native Dutch speaker. This makes your pronunciation very accurate! With this help, you are on the fast path to making clear and complex sentences and then actively thinking about your day.

4. Practice daily

If you don’t practice daily then your progress will be greatly slowed. Many people are tempted to take the 20-30 minutes they should be practicing a day and practice 120 in one day and skip the other days. This isn’t nearly as effective because everyday you practice you are reinforcing the skills and knowledge you have learned. If you practice all in one day you don’t retain the information because the brain can realistically only focus for 30 minutes at most. If you’re studying for 120 minutes on the same subject little of the information will be absorbed. Studying everyday allows you to review material that you went over previous days and absorb a small amount of information at a time.

It’s tough to find motivation to study everyday, but DutchPod101.com can help. It’s easy to stay motivated with DutchPod101.com because we give you a set learning path, with this path we show how much progress you’ve made. This makes you stick to your goals and keep going!

Conclusion

Following the steps and having patience is the hardest part to achieving your goals, it’s not easy learning a new language. You are essentially teaching your brain to categorize the world in a completely new way. Stick with it and you can do it just remember the 4 tools I taught you today! With them, conversations, reading, and understanding will become much easier. The most important thing to remember is to use the tools that DutchPod101.com provides and you will be on your way to being fluent!

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4 Reasons Why Dutch Slang Words Will Make You Fluent

Learn 4 honest reasons you need Dutch slang words and why they are so vital to truly learning and mastering the language.

Teachers may normally cringe at the thought of their students learning Dutch slang words. After all, slang words and phrases are typically defined as being grammatically incorrect. So why would your teacher want you to spend time learning the “wrong way” to speak Dutch? Here are 4 of the top reasons why you should study slang words and expressions when learning Dutch or any new language.

reasons to learn dutch slang words

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1. Native Speakers Use Slang Expressions in Everyday Conversation

If you are going to study a foreign language and plan to use it to speak with native speakers, then you have to learn slang words and expressions. Otherwise, just using formal expressions and grammar may alienate you from native speakers and make it more difficult to establish a real connection. So it is best to at least learn some common slang words and expressions if you’re planning to meet or speak socially with someone.

2. Slang Words Are Used All Throughout Dutch Culture

If you turn on any popular Dutch TV show, listen to any song, or watch any movie, you are quickly going to see the value of learning Dutch slang phrases. Just like everyday conversations between native speakers, Dutch culture is filled with slang phrases and expressions. Without at least some knowledge of the more common slang phrases, popular culture and most conversations will be very confusing and potentially alienating.

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3. Slang Expressions Help You Better Express Your True Thoughts and Feelings

Only relying on formal grammar and vocabulary is very limiting, especially in social situations. Just like in your native language, using the appropriate Dutch slang words can help you express a broader range of emotions, thoughts, and feelings.

4. Proper Use of Slang Makes You Sound More Natural

We’ve all met foreigners who technically used formal language perfectly but still sounded odd and well….foreign. But when you use the right slang words and expressions, you will sound more natural and like a true native speaker. If you notice, even most politicians include a sprinkling of slang expressions and words throughout their speeches to help them sound more natural and to better connect with the audience.

The Dark Side of Slang Expressions

Learning Dutch slang words can indeed help you sound more natural, better understand the people and culture, and make integration much easier. However, there is a dark side: using the wrong slang expressions can also make you look foolish, uneducated, and potentially disrespectful.

But how do you know which slang words or phrases to use and when?

The truth is that you can’t learn the most modern and appropriate slang words in textbooks or formal classroom settings. By the time the information gets incorporated into a formal curriculum, it’s already outdated and no longer in use by actual Dutch people. And while you can learn current slang expressions from Dutch TV shows, movies, songs, and games, you may not understand the context. If that happens, you may use the right Dutch slang words but in the wrong situation and still look like a fool or possibly even offend someone.

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So where can you learn current slang expressions and the right context in which to use them?

At DutchPod101, native speaking instructors create audio and video lessons that can include slang expressions and words. Our instructors provide context and examples for all the Dutch slang words used in any lesson to make sure students understand the right time and place to use them.

Dutch slang words and expressions may be grammatically incorrect but they are vital to truly understanding and immersing yourself in the culture. In fact, it will be very difficult to fully understand any movie, TV show, song, game, or even 1-on-1 conversation without knowing a few of the more common slang expressions.

However, it is important to learn the proper context and use of even popular slang expressions or you may come across as confusing, disrespectful, or uneducated.
At DutchPod101, you’ll learn how to use slang phrases and words to draw the right attention and avoid these problems.

Don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account on DutchPod101.com to access tons of FREE lessons and features to become fluent in Dutch!

How to Learn Dutch in Your Car?

How to Learn Dutch in Your Car? Learn language in car

Stuck in traffic? Losing time in your car? Have you ever felt that in all this wasted time, you could have watched the 750 episodes of One Piece, finished the last Super Mario ten times, or even better…you could have learned Dutch? Between family, friends and work, in addition to this time-consuming commute, it can become difficult to find time to properly learn Dutch.

Fortunately, every problem has a solution, and what could be a better solution than turning that commute time into learning time? Stop passing the time mindlessly listening to the radio and try some of our best tips for mastering Dutch in your car!

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Click Here To Start Learning Dutch Right Now!

You can learn Dutch in your car, hands free
While driving, it’s important that you keep your focus on the road, so this is why our top tips won’t require you to use your hands!

Listening to Dutch audio content in the car is a good way to learn
This is because it is a fun and efficient way to learn. With DutchPod101.com podcasts, you will be able to discover Dutch culture through topics about everyday life. Instead of the radio, listen to a Dutch podcast adapted to your level, from Absolute Beginner to Advanced, and you will make progress sooner that you would expect!

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You can listen to Dutch music in the car
Did you know that you can learn Dutch by singing while driving? Listen to songs from cartoon or drama and try to identify some words you learned.

Challenge yourself! Use the Dutch you’ve studied up to this point and see how much you understand! Making the jump to real-life Dutch is a scary one, but friendly children’s songs are a great place to start!

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You can learn alone in your car
When you’re driving alone, you can be as loud as you want – there is nothing better for remembering your Dutch lessons than repeating loudly, again and again. Next time you see a driver who seems to be talking alone, you will know he or she is just learning Dutch!

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You can learn through repetition with your passengers
If there are passengers in the car, it can be more stimulating to learn together. You can set a role play with Dutch dialogues. With DutchPod101.com, you can download all the lessons transcript including the dialogues, as a PDF. Print it out and have some fun speaking in Dutch!

One of the passengers can answer the quiz available on each of our lessons, while another can correct that person. Listening to someone at a more advanced level of Dutch or a better accent is positive and helps you improve.

You can learn Dutch offline
Do you have a poor connection or are unable to use the Internet? It’s not a problem for learning Dutch! Before you start your commute, use our App to download the lessons you want to study and the podcast you want to listen to in your car, and you will be able to enjoy your lessons offline. Entering a tunnel won’t be a problem anymore. What a pleasure to listen to audio content without having the host freezing every 5 seconds!

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Click here to download the App and learn offline!

You can learn every day at your own pace
One of the best approaches for learning a language is little by little and often. It’s not efficient to take in a huge amount of information at one time. What you need is to study on a regular basis – a little bit of Dutch every day. You commute several days a week, and that is all time you can take advantage of!

You have the freedom to choose the lessons and podcasts you want to focus on, at your own rhythm. You may want to do a little revision or discover how to talk about a new topic. And if you’re wondering what to learn next, you can use the new Learning Paths, which is our customized pathway feature that gives you a step-by-step way to learn Dutch without getting lost!

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Click here to access Learning Paths at DutchPod101!

If you don’t have a car and commute by another method, these tips are still valid! Learning Dutch is no longer limited to the classroom or your house; there are so many benefits to learning in your car or elsewhere. Reaching a conversational level will take you less time than you could ever have imagined! Don’t forget to sign up for your Free Lifetime Account and enjoy our content!

10 Monthly Goals to become fluent in Dutch

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Hey Dutch Learner!

Shortcuts for learning and tips to remember Dutch words are useful but it’s even also important to fix objectives to reach every month! What Is Your Language Learning Goal for the Month?
In your journey to become fluent and conversational here are 10 monthly goals you can go after!

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1) I’ll finish Survival Phrases series on DutchPod101.com by listening to two lesson a day.

2) I’ll give a 3 minute introductory speech in Dutch to my Dutch friends.

3) I’ll finish reading one Dutch book by reading 10 pages a day.

4) I’ll pass my Dutch test.

5) I’ll write 10 postcards in Dutch to my Dutch friends.

6) I’ll memorize 5 Dutch songs.

7) I’ll finish memorizing 350 words with Flashcards on DutchPod101.com.

8 ) I’ll fully understand one Dutch movie by watching it every day.

9) I’ll learn how to talk about past, present and future events.

10) I’ll master 150 words by memorizing 5 words a day.

No money, no credit card required, just you and the ton of lessons!

If you follow those monthly goals, you will be sure to make some amazing progress. And remember, if you’re really interested in getting on the fast-track to fluency, sign up for a FREE lifetime account at DutchPod101.com!

Word of the Day Widget Update! iPhone and iPad Users Rejoice!

Hello Listener,

Learning a Dutch word a day is effortless, free, and takes less than a minute!

So it’s no wonder the Word of The Day at DutchPod101.com is one of our users’ most loved free features. And when our users started mailing in with feedback, we just couldn’t leave it alone.

The biggest issue? iOS incompatibility. The original Word of the Day Flash Widget didn’t work with the iPhone or the iPad.

After much tinkering, the new Word of the Day Widget is here.

The New Word of the Day Widget

Here’s what’s new!

  • Completely redesigned and customizable
  • Built with HTML5. Works on the iPhone, iPad, etc
  • Copy and paste words directly from the Widget
  • Can be embedded into mobile apps and sites
  • Will work on any browser
  • Turn transliteration and romanization on and off
  • Access the Word of the Day widget on any browser, from any smartphone, or computer. Want to save a word or sample sentences for your own use? Just copy and paste it directly from the widget!

    Add the widget to your blog or website!

    Choose from 38 languages and customize the widget as you see fit! The Word of the Day widget comes in two sizes, small (160 x 190px) and large (540 x 450px) and 8 different designs. Once you’ve chosen the language, size, and design, grab the embed code and add it to your site!

    If you have questions or feedback for us, send us an email here.

    Click Here to Visit the New Dutch Word of the Day Widget!