7 tips for saving time while learning Dutch
It’s always a great idea to learn how to speak Dutch when you live in the Netherlands because it will open many doors for you.
Of course, there is one disadvantage... it takes time. Often, too much time. With these 7 handy tips, you will learn Dutch much faster!
1. Always learn when you are mentally alert
Sure, you want to learn Dutch, but you probably also have a job. So, when is the best time to learn a new language?
If you are like most people then you’ll assume that after work is the only time to do it. You’ll have some free time then, right?
Although this makes total sense in your rational mind, the timing is all wrong. Because there is one thing that you may have overlooked, and it is something important. How do you feel after work? Do you still feel awake and eager to learn?
Here is a strange paradox; if you learn whilst not feeling mentally alert, then learning will take a lot longer. Especially if you need to grasp new ideas and concepts, your mind will not process them. And then, surprise surprise, learning is slow and you waste your time. So, things that would usually take you 30 minutes, now take 2 hours. How crazy is that?
Although many people don’t like to hear it, the simple truth is this; if you would like to learn fast and save time, then you need to do it during the daytime. If needed, take a break from work. It will pay off once you realise that it's the only time you can really learn.
2. Repetition is key
What do you need to do if you really want to master a new skill? Would one hour of learning per week do the trick? Of course not! In most cases, one or two hours is not enough to really start understanding new things. But, once you start focussing on one thing for a couple of days, things start to change fast!
The great thing is that if you keep revising language terms for a couple of days, you don’t have time to forget them. Somehow, you’ll be able to get things in your system fast.
If you do things over and over again, you’ll master it quicker. You'll have a sense of achievement, you'll feel better about yourself and then you can learn even faster!
3. Focus on unconscious learning
According to many people, memorisation is the key to speaking a new language. No wonder people try to listen to a boring voice telling them the months of a year while trying to memorise them. What a waste of time!
What you should know is that most learning is unconscious learning. It means that you pick up things while you are not aware of them.
When most people think about learning, they think about studying. However, studying is, in many cases, a very ineffective activity. You’ll learn a lot faster if you literally give your mind a lot of things to play with.
Whilst playing and having fun, your mind will be active all the time, and it will pick up many things, whether you are aware of it, or not.
4. Don’t waste your time on things that are not that important.
So, tien voor half drie is 2.20 in Dutch. Telling the time can be a huge ordeal in Dutch. Many people believe that telling the time is the most important thing you can learn. No wonder that they spend lots and lots of time on it.
But are you sure that telling the time is the most important aspect of the Dutch language? You have probably already guessed the answer. It isn’t. So, instead of wasting your time on things that don’t really matter, why not go for the more useful phrases immediately?
What if you could learn how a language really works? What if you could have a look at the bigger picture first? If you start focussing on the things that really really matter, you’ll immediately notice an enormous difference!
5. Understand what you are trying to learn
For most people, learning means that you look at a certain text in a book that you don’t understand and then you try to memorise it. There is only one problem... You can never learn fast this way.
If you would like to learn a new language fast, then start with all the simple things first. It is also good to know that the order in which you learn is very important. If one step logically leads to the next step, you’ll learn like crazy. Structure can really make a huge difference.
6. Practice as much as you can
If you are learning a new language, then practice as much as you can. Don’t worry about making mistakes when you try to put your new language skills to the test in a shop or a restaurant. Even the biggest "failures" will accelerate your learning.
The great thing is this; if you use it in real life situations, your brain will understand that speaking Dutch is for real. All of a sudden, everything that you were trying to learn, becomes more relevant! You’ll always learn faster once you realise that what you are learning is really relevant to your life.
7. Have fun, fun, fun!
The more involved you are, the faster you’ll learn. Contrary to what many people believe, learning is always slow when it is serious and boring.
It is important to realise why you would like to speak Dutch. It’s about spending a great time with people, right? Having fun while learning a new language can be extremely easy. But, you have to decide that you want to have fun whilst learning.
Basically, it's a decision. It starts with your choice in the way that you want to learn. Then, you can decide to turn it into a great experience, especially if you are learning with other people.
Last but not least, time can also be an illusion. If you say that you don’t have time, then often it only means that you are not in the mood to learn. That is why fun is a key factor here.
Save time, take action!
Talking about time, here's a bonus tip. If you have been thinking about speaking Dutch for some time, then take action now. Why would you wait? The years fly by like crazy. If you feel that you would like to learn something, then do it now. Taking immediate action could be the biggest time-saver ever!
Albert Both is a specialist in learning Dutch fast while having fun. Sign up for his free workshop "Finding Dutch Flow: Opening The Floodgate to Dutch Fluency" on Sunday, April 2, 2017, in Amsterdam.
You can also:
› Download his e-book "3 Steps to Dutch flow"
› Download his e-book "Why You Hate Learning Dutch and 7 Secrets to Change It"
› Visit his website Talencoach.nl
› Check out his Facebook page
› Watch videos on his YouTube channel
All free of charge!