Dutch in Three Months Challenge

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. 

30 comments

    • Thank you for your comments. Learning a language is a long process. As long as you insist on learning Spanish occasionally, you will make great progress over time. Let’s us enjoy learning languages together. Have a nice day~😁😁😁

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Oh I do hope they have better luck than me. I still have the Dutch dictionary and phrase books. Some day. Some day.
    Here’s hoping you achieve it, Dakota Wang.
    And not hurt your throat on those sounds.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you for your blessing. I’ll protect my throat. Although the pronunciation of Dutch R is really difficult. 😂 I have to listen to it many times at once to make this sound. 😅 Did you learn Dutch, too? If you have any learning methods and experiences, please share with me, thank you and wish you a happy life😬😬😬

      Liked by 3 people

      • Ah, no I did not really learn the language. I think of it as an on-going project. As for speaking it, no.
        I had a colleague who learned to speak a language, but because he knew no one to speak it with lost his proficiency.
        Keep on going with it, you can only gain.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. 你好 Dakota. 我学习汉语两年了. 还是会说一点中文. 因为中文很难. 我可以说荷兰语,因为我的父母是荷兰人. 我住在澳大利亚. I wish you luck with your challenge it is difficult to learn a language with a guttural ‘r’ when you home language has almost no ‘r’. 哇我 !

    Liked by 3 people

    • 您好,谢谢您的留言。当我在学习德语的时候,我就发现R是一个很难的发音。🥴您的中文说的很流利哦~🤡没有任何的错误~谢谢您的祝福。Whenever you have difficulties in learning Chinese, you are welcome to make a comment on my articles, I will try my best to answer you~ have a nice day.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow, I am impressed, Dakota! Learning a language in only three months.

    I am curious. If you are from Hunan Province, I assume that your native language is Mandarin or another Chinese language that has tones. Tones are notoriously difficult for people who didn’t grow up speaking a tonal language. Do you think that you find it easier to learn non-tonal languages than Europeans find it to learn Mandarin?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Glad to receive your comments. My mother tongue is a local language of my hometown which has no written words (i.e., it is an unwritten language), so we all learn it by imitating the voice of others. As for Mandarin, we have also learned Mandarin from a young age, but since we live in a Mandarin-speaking environment, I cannot distinguish whether it is easier to learn non-tonal languages. But I have studied Japanese, and every word in Japanese has a different tone, although the tone of Japanese is not as complicated as that of Chinese. I think that after I learn Japanese, I think learning tonal language will be more complicated in terms of pronunciation.🤗🤗🤗

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Good luck with your Dutch. I found it easier to learn while physically working with the public. Having Afrikaans as my Native Language did help me in picking it up earlier than a person that has to learn it all from scratch.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah. You are right. 🤧🤧 However I can’t physically be with Dutch people now because of COVID-19. I may take more efforts to study Dutch. But that’s fine, learning Dutch is kind of my hobby. I am a slow walker, but never walk back. Thanks for your advice. Have a nice day ~🤝🤝

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Go for it! I think you can do it I started trying Dutch a year or two back because I learnt a bit of Afrikaans when I was at school in South Africa 50 odd years ago and have a couple of Dutch friends on Facebook. I was OK with a lot of the vocabulary but never really followed it up, Believe it or not I could speak quite a lot of Mandarin even further back when we lived in Singapore back in the 60s – nothing now, I like dipping into languages and spotting relationships between words and phrases from around the world, but I am lazy. I read packaging and instruction manuals to compare the different languages, and can quite often spot interesting differences in how words are used. I know a bit of French and can swear in Russian (which I am fascinated by – especially the alphabet) but its probably too late for me to ever become fluent in anything! Best of luck!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for your encouragement. Your experience sounds AMAZING. How do you learn vocabulary? If possible, can you share some suggestions with me? 😂 I am like you. I study local language, I learn how to say interesting stuff first. 😂😂 How is your Chinese learning? Looking forward to your reply~ have a nice day.🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗

      Liked by 3 people

      • 你 好 吗 .. and that’s about it! I Remember going to see films in Mandarin in Singapore with my amah, a formidable woman who took no crap from anyone – and I was an annoying little 7 year old! As for very simple ways in which words cross over “Cher” in French means Dear also, expensive, same as English – and then you have the rather silly pun “I like venison, but its little dear (deer) – talking of Dutch though, “aardappel” = potato or literally earth apple which is “pomme de terre” in French. I’m sticking with picking up Russian phrases and am being helped by watching “The Americans” on Amazon -all about two Russian spies in the US during the cold war. All of the dialogue in the Russian embassy is Russian with English subtitles. This is always interesting because sometimes you can see where the subtitles differ from what was actually said (“I see” instead of “I understand”, simple stuff, but it shows the subtleties of language)

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for sharing. There are indeed similarities between different languages. 😬😬😬 by the way,you can say “你好啊” to peer or junior,saying “您好啊” to elder. I want to learn Afrikaans in the future becauese it souds interesting. 😋😋😋

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I admire your tenacity and hard work. I only speak one language and learning another one must be a challenge and take dedication. Another goal of mine is to grow my blog like yours. It may take awhile but I will get it done. I can’t wait to see how your challenge goes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment. I’m learning Dutch every day now. Now I am chiefly memorising vocabulary and studying grammar. Many Dutch words are very similar to English. 🤔 It’s easy to remember. 😄 But some of them are difficult to pronounce. 🤧 For example, the R sound, although it’s easy for me to distinguish it in my hearing, it’s hard for me to pronounce it. 💆‍♂️💆‍♂️ How is your blogging goal going? Looking forward to your reply

      Liked by 2 people

      • My blogging goal is going well. I should learn another language myself as it can open new doors and opportunities for me, as well as networking. I am looking to connect with more like minded people who may like my blog and as well as writing better content for it so other people can see it. As well as improving my SEO and meta descriptions plus an email list. I hope to build my blog as big as yours someday and I won’t stop working, will want to improve each and everyday.

        Liked by 2 people

      • 😋 Thank you for your prompt reply. Your plan sounds very good. What language do you plan on learning? While you keep working hard, sooner or later your blog will become very big. 😁 Let us work hard together to achieve our respective goals as soon as possible. Good luck~ Have a nice day ~

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I speak German and did French though to (UK) A Levels. Over the last 2 years I have been learning Dutch, some Spanish and Hindi on Duolingo. I tried to learn Greek before a holiday and likewise learned some Mandarin before a trip to China. My son was studying in China and I went to spend 3 weeks with him there. I do love the languages themselves, but am very shy to actually use them in conversation. Therefore only my German is fluent as I spent 2 years in Heidelberg. Exposure to the language has to be the best way!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your advice ~ your learning experience is great. I hope I can study as many languages as you did. Practice makes perfect. No matter what kind of languages we learn, the best way is to apply the knowledge. 😬😬 But sadly I can’t be exposed to Dutch-speaking environment now. Anyway, I will try my best to learn Dutch~

      Have a nice day ~hope we can study more and more

      Dakota ~

      Liked by 2 people

      • No, but wouldn’t it be great if we could get to live in each country to learn the language. You have set yourself a tough challenge and made yourself accountably public! Well done.

        Like

  8. Congratulations, I hope your studies have proven useful to you. As part of your Dutch journey pick up a copy of “The Nits”, a Dutch Band. One of the members left and joined Golden Earing, no doubt you’ve heard one of their songs, “Radar Love”. Cheers, Chris P., a.k.a. HotelBastard

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s