The magic of learning Dutch: the end goal
Learning Dutch. Many people feel excited about it, at least for a short time. In theory it’s a great idea. Finally you’ll be able to speak with everyone, and you’ll never feel like an outsider again.
But the strange thing is that many people who sign up for a Dutch course simply give up sooner than expected. The reasons people cite are often the same: it’s too difficult... or too boring.
The trick to learning Dutch
Fortunately there is one simple thing you can do to increase your chance of success. You’ll learn a lot faster and have loads of fun too.
What do you do in a Dutch course? You learn some grammar and vocabulary, assuming the rest will automatically follow, right? But the question is: what's your goal when you do your lessons?
Have an end goal in mind
If you are like most people, you would have to admit that you probably have no specific aim when studying Dutch. You just want to learn the language, right? Although this sounds reasonable, it also leads to lower results and a lack of inspiration.
If you try to learn Dutch without a specific goal, how can you expect results that really excite you? You already know that if you travel, you need a destination. The same simple principle also works for learning and speaking Dutch!
Does textbook Dutch inspire you?
Let’s assume that in your Dutch class you read some standard textbook conversations between Meneer en Mevrouw de Vries. Sure, it’s handy to learn how to go shopping and talk about the weather, but is this really how you want to use Dutch once you speak it? Does it have anything to do with you?
Or is there something else that you would prefer to talk about when speaking Dutch? Would you like to give presentations, talk about your hobbies or the things that really interest you?
So, here’s a simple thing you can do, but be warned, it’s probably counter intuitive! Just start speaking about all the things that you prefer talking about in the first place! Talk about the things you really love!
Break free from classroom Dutch
The problem is that most people do not understand this motivating factor. They erroneously believe you have to learn the boring textbook dialogues before you can talk about all the things that really interest you. But this is simply not true.
You can start to speak about anything you like in Dutch, right now, and then expand your Dutch fluency, but faster, because you’ll be more motivated, which will lead to more positive results.
Talking about your interests is easier and more fun!
Here’s another great myth. Most people assume that speaking about your personal interests is more difficult than the classic textbook dialogues. This is simply not true. Let’s have a look at these two sentences:
› Mijn passie is fotografie (my passion is photography)
› Ik vind coaching superinteressant (I find coaching really interesting)
Are these sentences so difficult?
Skip the chit chat, focus on your interests
Here’s an interesting point: in Holland you don’t need to speak Dutch to do basic things such as shopping and dining out. Everyone speaks English! (Although the tax office is an exception.)
Therefore it’s a waste of time to constantly learn these basic things. If you really want to connect with Dutch people, and laugh with them, then you must make expressing yourself clearly your main aim. Simply say to yourself: I want to express all my feelings in Dutch and understand Dutch humor too!
Hatch your Dutch plan
Learning works best when you can already imagine a specific future situation that you want to achieve. Do you want to lead a meeting in Dutch? Congratulations! You have a lot of clarity right now.
So now, from day one, you can learn and speak Dutch with that target in mind, knowing that everything you do is useful for the future meeting that you will one day lead in Dutch.
Set your goal and pursue it!
One more important thing: think big! Don’t go for small talk topics such as shopping or the weather.
I personally believe that, in the end, it’s all about freedom. How would it feel if you could speak with anyone, about anything that is on your mind?
Always remember your goal, right from the beginning, and don't forget that your Dutch dreams can only become a reality if you imagine them first!
Albert Both is a specialist in learning Dutch fast while having fun. Download his e-book "3 Steps to Dutch flow" for free!
› Download his e-book "Why You Hate Learning Dutch and 7 Secrets to Change It"
› Join his workshop "Finding Dutch Flow, How to Open The Flood Gate to Dutch Fluency"
› Visit his website Talencoach.nl or simply comment below for inquiries / remarks.
› Check out his videos on his YouTube channel
All free of charge!
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