By Dakota Wang
My full name is Dakota Wang, my nickname is Ada, and this is my first article here. I am from Hunan Province, China and I vow that I will learn Dutch in 3 months starting from 9 January 2021. At the end of my 3-month language challenge, I promise that I will be able to speak and write Dutch. Maybe even earlier. I will study hard every single day to achieve this. I believe it is possible since Dyami is willing to help me. With his help, I can learn Dutch effectively. Since 2020, I have been reading the articles of Operation X. I do appreciate how they save languages with every effort. I hope I can read all of Operation X’s articles without translation someday. In addition, I hope to be able to communicate with all the Dutch followers of Operation X and engage Dutch readers with my own articles written in faultless Dutch. I want to connect with new Dutch bloggers as well and share my thoughts with them.
In the coming three months, I will study Dutch as follows:
a) By watching videos (esp. videos from learndutch.org)
b) By “playing Dutch words game” (Zeer Goed App)
c) by studying Dutch grammar and course books (e.g. “A Practical Dutch Grammar” and 《荷兰语教程》)
d) by watching cartoons 🤡 (if you know any cartoons suitable for learning Dutch as a beginner, please recommend them to me, thank you! I want to practice listening and learn Dutch culture in this way)
e) learn from all of you here who know some Dutch 🤓 (At the same time, if you have any questions regarding Chinese, I will try my best to help you!)
I am still impressed with what I read in one of Dyami Millarson’s articles. He wrote, and please excuse my paraphrasing, that he saves endangered languages for society, not for himself. I held in the past that learning language is for self-improvement. That why I chose to learn English, German and Japanese. However, after reading that article, I changed my mind about learning languages. I took a few hours to reflect on what he had said in that article. I admire people who make charitable contributions to society all the time. I always fancy that I can do something akin to what such kind of people do, but I was always held back by the idea that only giants can engage in charity. After thinking about it carefully for a while, I suddenly came to the realisation that I can make a small contribution like what the members of Operation X do if I work hard to join Operation X. Maybe I cannot make huge contributions to society like them. But I can learn these languages and impart what I learn to people around me. I cannot change the whole world, but maybe I can influence my immediate environment positively. Though I used to believe that charitable causes are something that only giants can do, now I believe that charitable causes can be based on small contributions made by everyone. After learning Dutch, I plan to study Frisian languages. I wish I could contribute to all projects of Operation X as soon as possible and I could one day become one of the core members of Operation X. I want to prove myself worthy of Operation X membership by my own hard work and thereby become part of the core team. In the meantime I expect that an increasing amount of people may join us to save endangered languages and impart these languages to as much people as possible. Everyone can make small contributions. This notion is my article’s take-away message for those who are open to being inspired to contribute to the cause of saving endangered languages and cultures in the same way I was.