The only thing your Dutch needs is love!
Have you ever wondered why your level of Dutch still isn’t high enough and why you don’t speak it as often as you would like?
If so, then chances are high that you just don’t like Dutch enough. Although it may sound like a strange idea, the fact is you will have much better results if you simply start loving Dutch.
Sure, "loving Dutch" may be easier said than done. Luckily there is one trick that can help. The most common reason for not liking Dutch is that the learning process is slow or you feel you cannot master it.
But guess what? Once you start to learn more quickly, and once you discover that Dutch is actually a very consistent and funny language, then chances are high that you will not find it too difficult to love.
One darling can make a difference!
Believe it or not, boosting your Dutch vocabulary is really easy. Let’s take the word schat, for example.
If you are lucky, you already have someone you love in your life who calls you schat, so you probably know that schat means "darling," right? Now, contrary to what you may believe, your understanding does have to not stop here. With just the word schat, you are immediately able to learn many more words by yourself.
For example, what do you think Dutch people mean by schat? What is it that they are really saying? You might know the word's other meaning, "dear." This is "dear" as in expensive, and therefore a treasure. So now you are literally dear, with the same value as gold, silver and diamonds.
Going even further with my darling
What is the first thing a Dutch person does if he discovers een schat? Just a quick cultural tip: finding the rightful owner is not the correct answer...
Exactly, once a treasure is in the hands of a Dutch person, then he immediately wants to know its value. So he starts to schatten, which in English is for "estimate." If you like, you can also turn it into a noun, schatting, and then you have "estimation."
But why should we stop here? This is what many people do when they think about the difficulty of the Dutch language: they always overschatten it, i.e. they always "overestimate" it.
Unfortunately, when it comes to their own talent for learning, many people like to onderschatten it, and therefore often "underestimate" themselves.
The Dutch concept of vocabulary is almost poetic
Let’s throw in one more bonus. Is it easy for you to see that woorden means "words" in Dutch? Then now it should not be difficult to guess what woordenschat means. Yes, "vocabulary!"
And sure, if you like you can also use the French word vocabulaire while speaking Dutch, but don’t you think that woordenschat is much more beautiful? It is literally a "treasure of words."
Treasure your Dutch
So what do you think? We started with schat, the Dutch word for "darling" and without too much effort we turned it into six words.
Once you really begin to understand the system, it is easy to feel excited. Soon enough you will find that learning new words is simple and then, when you see new words, you will be able to "decode" them.
Now, doesn't speaking Dutch look more like playing a game? The more you do it, the more you will discover and, who knows... soon enough you may even love it!
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