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Teaching Dutch; what to look out for?


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Hello everyone,

 

I am new to this board, maybe I can use this opportunity to introduce myself.

I am Maarten, 24 years of age and I live in The Netherlands. Actually I speak Dutch fluently, but my girlfriend doesn't.

She lives in Macedonia, and is eager to learn Dutch. We communicate with eachother in English, and she speaks French and German as well.

Now Dutch is, (to put it very broad) a mix of English and German grammar, with some French vocabulary, so you can imagine Dutch isn't the hardest language for her to learn.

 But what should I look out for when teaching her Dutch? I notice myself that I struggle explain certain sentences, since you can translate a sentence in a literal and a figurative way. 

For example: 

"Ik loop vandaag naar school" means "I am walking to school today.". While in Dutch, it literally says" "I walk today to school", which is incorrect in English,m but correct in Dutch.

How do you explain the difference in sentence structure? I am struggling to find a coherent explanation for it, maybe because it is second nature for me. 

Also, I am eager to learn different methods for me to practice with my girlfriend, to make it more enjoyable and exciting for the both of us.

Note, we do call and videocall, but we cant see eachother in person, which sometimes is a bit of a struggle.

 

I am looking forward to your responses.

 

Greetings, Maarten

 

 

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On 9.4.2018 at 5:59 AM, MaartenE said:

Hello everyone,

 

I am new to this board, maybe I can use this opportunity to introduce myself.

I am Maarten, 24 years of age and I live in The Netherlands. Actually I speak Dutch fluently, but my girlfriend doesn't.

She lives in Macedonia, and is eager to learn Dutch. We communicate with eachother in English, and she speaks French and German as well.

Now Dutch is, (to put it very broad) a mix of English and German grammar, with some French vocabulary, so you can imagine Dutch isn't the hardest language for her to learn.

 But what should I look out for when teaching her Dutch? I notice myself that I struggle explain certain sentences, since you can translate a sentence in a literal and a figurative way. 

For example: 

"Ik loop vandaag naar school" means "I am walking to school today.". While in Dutch, it literally says" "I walk today to school", which is incorrect in English,m but correct in Dutch.

How do you explain the difference in sentence structure? I am struggling to find a coherent explanation for it, maybe because it is second nature for me. 

Also, I am eager to learn different methods for me to practice with my girlfriend, to make it more enjoyable and exciting for the both of us.

Note, we do call and videocall, but we cant see eachother in person, which sometimes is a bit of a struggle.

 

I am looking forward to your responses.

 

Greetings, Maarten

 

 

Hey Maarten

Thank you for this interesting question.

In order to explain these grammatical questions, you would really need to have a closer look at the linguistics of both languages and compare the use of time & aspect forms in both languages. I am sure you can find a comparative linguistics study about English and Dutch and maybe even about Dutch and Macedonian. The latter would probably be easier to understand for your girlfriend, as I guess her first language might be Macedonian?

As for different study methods....I would first like to know...are you also studying Macedonian in return?  

I will try to think about some nice study methods. I have been in similar situations in the past.

 

Best, Lingua

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  • 1 year later...

I would definitely recommend you to also learn her language. This way you go through a similar process and will be able to find similarities and differences in grammar and roots of words and you can motivate each other. 

As for grammar rules you could use websites like https://thedutchonlineacademy.com/ that have explanations in both Dutch and English. Here you can find information about word order https://thedutchonlineacademy.com/en/category/word-order 

You could also invest in a book (examples are De Opmaat or De Sprong) to combine grammar with reading and listening exercises and to have a very structured learning path. 

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