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  1. You need to ''live'' the language more. Watch & read the news in Dutch/German. Watch YouTube videos, movies with subtitles, get a Dutch/German online friend/penpal. Doing all these things on a regular basis will mean that you're constantly repeating basic grammar and vocabulary. This way you'll get to know the language a lot better, and make it easier to improve your vocabulary and such.
  2. To be able to travel to many popular countries and speak their languages fluently. It would also make my life quite a bit easier on the internet. Then there's the feeling of accomplishment, and being able to show off. My parents are already impressed with the fact that I speak English, so I wonder what they'll think when I take it a couple steps further. I might even learn their language, Arabic. I've always thought of it as an aggressive sounding language, but it is an important one and I'm all about important languages. You won't see me study Afrikaans even though it's pretty much an exaggerated dialect of my native language.
  3. If I had to choose only one, I would go with Spanish. Not because it's the most beautiful language, but the most important out of the bunch. Not only does the entirety of South America excluding Brazil speak it, but it's also pretty much the only language they speak. They don't really seem to care to learn English from my experience, making it even more important to learn Spanish. I would say Italian is the most beautiful language, but not as important as French, which is more widely spoken while still being a nice language.
  4. I'm not very dedicated nor have a schedule, I'm just trying to learn languages bit by bit. Eventually, I'll want to be fluent in a bunch of languages but I'm really not in a hurry. I do grab my chances, though. In school, I took German and French whereas most other kids dropped them as soon as they could. I also watch popular movies with subtitles in English or the other way around.
  5. Yes, but as a second language. And it should obviously be English. It's already being taught in schools around the world, it just needs to be done a little better. For example, schools in The Netherlands only start teaching English in the last year of middle school (age 11-12). They should move that back at least 5 years. This way it's pretty much impossible not to become fluent, and that's a pretty important skill to have in today's society. Also, I have no clue what South American schools are doing in English class but clearly it is not working. The majority of Latinos that I meet on the internet almost always reply in Spanish and don't even know basic English.
  6. The progression. The fact that I'm more and more able to speak and communicate in that language is an awesome feeling. It makes me want to learn more of the important languages so that I'll never have a problem with translating anything or with travelling. Of course, it's also nice to impress people with your knowledge of languages, even though I'm not even close to reaching that point yet.
  7. The closest (useful) language to English would be Dutch. However, it is way easier for a Dutch speaker to learn English than it is for an English speaker to learn Dutch. I would recommend you go for French instead. Not only does 45% of English vocabulary have French origin, French is also much easier to learn, and is obviously more important. It is more widely spoken, and will help you learn other romance languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, etc.
  8. It depends, but they either are or aren't. I find it quite weird how Frisian gets to be a separate language while it's pretty much a ''heavy'' dialect of Dutch, even though the locals will act nationalistic and say it's not. Meanwhile, the Irish have accents that are barely understandable to native English speakers, yet they are still speaking English. Obviously, it still won't matter what you and I think counts as a separate language, no one is going to change their centuries-old languages.
  9. I keep focused on the end result. The thought that I will once be able to speak with anyone in West-Europe and the Americas already gives me goosebumps. I may not be the youngest anymore by then, but I will be the most useful. My dream is to live in all of the countries of which I want to learn the language for at least 2 years each. Deciding on a career will prove very difficult, though. At least I won't ever be short on friends...
  10. For English speakers, I would say, French, as most of the vocabulary is very similar. I found that the grammar is easier and more consistent as well. Dutch, (actually Frisian but nevermind that) is the language that's closest to English, so people would say that Dutch is the easiest language to learn for an English speaker. Not very true, it's the other way around; English is the easiest language to learn for a native Dutch speaker. Easier than German, contrary to popular belief.
  11. I didn't, because it didn't help. The things that were taught in school were things I learned 2 years prior. I could also see that kids don't really learn proper English in school, as they are always lacking in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. You can even see in adults that they almost never properly apply the English alphabet. I would definitely blame schools for this, as kids only start to learn English in high school which is way too late. I did follow French in school and somehow, I found it interesting enough to want to become fluent one day. German, however, not so much. And Latin... Nevermind.
  12. About 5 years, and I think it's worth mentioning that school didn't get me anywhere. I started learning and improving my English solely by using the internet. It started with YouTube comments, LISTENING to YouTube videos obviously, then it got to joining communities and using my microphone in games. My English had always been mediocre (still better than those who rely on school) until I started ''living'' the language more. Every YouTube video I ever watch is in English. Movies, TV shows, and games always have subtitles off (I find that when you are trying to pick up grammar, there's no point in leaving subtitles on). I Skype with American friends I met on the internet. I find that my thoughts are actually in English as well more often than not.
  13. Julian


    Hi, I'm Julian. I live in the Netherlands and I'm 18 years old. Ever since I was young I started learning English simply by using the internet, playing games and (attempting) to talk to people. It wasn't until a couple years ago that I suddenly gained an interest in learning languages. I wanted to learn all the nordic, germanic and romance languages until I realized I should probably just stick to romance languages for now. Gaining interest in learning languages probably started when I figured out that most latinos and middle easterners speak extremely poor English, or no English at all. When I would ask them why, they would almost always reply with ''Why don't you speak Spanish/Arabic''. This angered me at first. I'd simply mark their entire continent as uneducated, and seize contact with them. I then realized I don't accomplish anything through this, so I decided that I'll be the grown up and learn their language instead. Anyways, hope I'll have a bit of fun here interacting with everyone!
  14. Ever since I had access to the internet. Since everything on the internet is in English, you're bound to pick it up sooner or later. I still remember actually learning the language, such as saying ''this is very different!'', and later realising it should be ''difficult''. If I go on my old YouTube account and scroll down I can clearly see how my English gets gradually worse, it's quite funny. In middle school, you could always see which kids actually engage in communities and watch videos, and which kids just play Call of Duty and skip all cutscenes. They say Dutch people speak very good English, but I disagree. Those who don't spend quite a bit of time on the internet only really start to learn English in high school, which I don't think is right. Those who graduate from high school often have mediocre grammar and don't properly implement the English alphabet, which doesn't really help with their Dutch accent. I like how you said that natives have no idea what people mean by ''simple present'', ''past present'', etc. I speak English fluently but still fail tests because I have no idea what they mean by that.
  15. Personally, I find that when I'm writing I've got enough time to consider different word choices, improve sentence structure, etc. But when speaking, it all has to come out all at once, and sometimes this just doesn't work. What worked for me is to simply speak more. When I started speaking more often, I familiarized myself with my word choices in different sentences, and with sentence structures. This way, I would speak more fluently, instead of correcting myself mid-sentence. Because it's not like I don't know the language, it's that I wasn't used to preparing sentences more quickly than I wrote them.
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