Lingua Critic - Dutch

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Dutch is a West Germanic language spoken by over 22 million people as a native language, and over 5 million people as a second language. Most native speakers live in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, with smaller groups of speakers in parts of France, Germany and several former Dutch colonies. It is closely related to other West Germanic languages (e.g., English, West Frisian and German) and somewhat more remotely to the North Germanic languages.

Dutch is the parent language of several creole languages as well as of Afrikaans, one of the official languages of South Africa and the most widely understood in Namibia. Dutch and Afrikaans are to a very large extent mutually intelligible, although they have separate spelling standards and dictionaries and have separate language regulators. The Dutch Language Union coordinates actions of the Dutch, Flemish and Surinamese authorities in linguistic issues, language policy, language teaching and literature

Michel Thomas ( by Michel Thomas)  No memorizing, no text books, no drills, no homework!
Michel Thomas Dutch was produced after his passing and is a very good course. The format is still the same in that two novice students are used in the teaching program. The course gradually builds up the language for you so you can say longer sentences and devise your own sentences all within a few hours. My reviewer thoroughly enjoyed the Dutch course. There is now an Advanced course.

Assimil Dutch With Ease ( by Assimil) 
Assimil has a glowing reputation for language learning based on their simple two fold approach. The first stage is known as "Passive Learning" which requires you to listen to the lesson, say it aloud (or to yourself) so you get pronunciation right and then to follow it again using the translation conveniently written directly opposite. The second stage is called "Active Phase" and starts approximately half way thorough the book. At this time you carry on doing the Passive phase (daily) then you revert back to the first lesson and translate it yourself without looking at the translation. It is more effective if you approach this as a written exercise rather than trying to recall it in your mind only. Then you do your next passive lesson and go to the second lesson of the book to translate and so on.... Don't worry, though, the instructions are clear and you won't go wrong. You need to do one lesson a day (also a translation when you reach that second stage which adds another half an hour). The dialogues are expertly written and played out by professional voice actors of the country. They are lively and humorous and keep your interest. The lessons are ordered so you build gradually on what you have learnt. Don't be tempted to do more than one lesson a day, there is a reason why it's "little and often" so to maximise your learning capability. This is an approach that will take at least 6 months to complete and by then you will acquire a level of understanding comparable to B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.  The lessons/stories are different for each language.

Complete Dutch( by Gerdi Quist) 
The latest edition from the Teach Yourself range. This course is in colour and is essential material for learning the Dutch Language. There is also a great section on the features of the language with comparisons to English and the way its spoken. Each chapter is based upon a theme and associated conversations. The chapters progress at a good pace to ensure that, by the end of the course you have a reasonable fluency in the language. For those who do not have the time to study for too long there are quick introductions and a summary of the key principles involved in the lesson, but we strongly recommend you work through no more than one full chapter a week, so you understand fully before moving on. This course needs to be followed chapter by chapter. Complete Dutch focuses mainly on conversation and is designed to take you to B2 Level of the Common European Framework for Languages

Transparent Dutch ( by Transparent Language) 
This is a great affordable package that doesn't skimp on anything. You will learn 15,000+ Dutch words through interactive videos, exercises, vocabulary tests and role playing. The interface is simple and there are some very good fun parts, including dictations, crosswords and their own vocab learning system Vocabulous! Tracking progress is done automatically. You have the ability to learn on the move from its extensive files which can be downloaded very quickly and easily to your Ipod or MP3 player. This is an excellent value product and well worthy of 5 stars.

Pimsleur ( by Paul Pimsleur) 
Only the first 1-5 lessons of Level 1 are linked here. You should try these as samples to see if it fits your learning style. There is only one Level in total for Pimsleur's Dutch. This is a great course from Pimsleur spoilt only by the fact there isn't a Level 2 or Level 3 to go on with! However I'm sure they will release them at some stage. Pimsleur languages, despite the price, have always been good for conversational practice right from the start. No tedious grammar rules and verb drills, just chatting along with native Dutch speakers and a few words of clarity form the American host. Pimsleur use the timed repetition method which locks words into your long-term memory. Highly recommended. Download more detailed information on course content here (PDF)

Dutch for Dummies (Margreet Kwakernaa) 
The "Dummies" book series has always provided a useful and light-hearted way to understand subjects often seen as difficult. This is generally done in a humorous and simplistic way to essentially demystify the subject. The Dutch language is presented in this way and it gives useful techniques and methods for pronunciation and verb conjugation. This is your fun and friendly guide for the Dutch language and well recommended as a supplement to other courses.
Vocabulearn ( Penton Overseas Inc) 
These are similar to the Learn in Your Car series by Henry Raymond. At first glance these seem like rather ineffective ways of learning as they generally comprise of an English speaker saying a word or phrase which is followed up by a Dutch lady translating it all to a backdrop of light music. You are essentially learning by rote. As such you play them until you scream! Yes you will learn hundreds of words and phrases but really for beginners this is not a good way because you are not getting an understanding of verb structure of sentence construction. However this is great for testing yourself while commuting or making use of dead time to revise what you know. Vocabulearn is great for clarification of genders which often need reinforcing! There is also a Level 2 if you want more advanced learning/testing.

Talk Now! ( by Euro Talk Ltd) 
This course covers you from beginner to intermediate. The Euro Talk range is a popular choice for language learning. This latest version has 4 levels of quizes and a rather nifty "automatic localisation" which allows you to choose to learn from your own language if English isn't your first.The learning is very enjoyable and you can buy more advanced versions as you gain confidence. Altogether a brilliant program that will leave you with a good grasp of the Dutch language.

Earworms ( by Andrew Lodge) 
Nice way to learn some Dutch if you don't have the time to study. Earworms Dutch has the same format of the others in the range in that you have an English man speaking to a Dutch woman. The Dutch translations of the man's questions are said to the backdrop of rhythmic beats, designed to stay in your mind like a catchy song. We can say that it definitely works but you will only learn the most basic of phrases. Product shown is for both levels of the program.

Rosetta Stone ( by Rosetta Stone) 
Another big interactive package from the Rosetta Stone team. The product uses 'total immersion' techniques by making you match up words to pictures without translating. In this way you build a confidence by knowing the right words to say at any given time, as you do your own language. It is very expensive and it can get a bit boring after a while. Nevertheless you will be a confident speaker with this software.
Recommended Study



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