Using your senses to learn Dutch. It just makes sense!
Many, including those who are excited to learn Dutch, often complain that the language is difficult, or at least that the speed of learning is quite slow. And it can be - if you are studying instead of learning.
Studying vs learning
People tend to associate studying and learning as the same thing. They believe that if you study textbooks on Dutch and memorise the words and grammar within them, then eventually you’ll be able to speak the language. Exciting? Not really.
No one - or at least very few people - are really excited about memorising books. Learning is not about memorising boring textbooks. In fact, really productive and enjoyable learning should be fun, exciting and interactive. Plus, the more enthusiastic you are, the more you enjoy the process and the faster you can learn!
So, here’s a secret: use your senses to learn. Transform learning Dutch into a MULTISENSORY adventure!
It just makes sense... literally
The more senses you use to experience and remember the Dutch language, the faster you learn and, let’s admit it, the more fun it will be.
Let me guess, somehow you know quite a few Dutch words for food, right? Do you remember these food words partly thanks to your ability to taste? Try to build a connection between the taste of the food and the Dutch word by saying the food name before you take a bite.
Look and listen
Another example: if you just listen to a conversation in Dutch, do you learn much? What about if you read a conversation?
Now, think how much more the words stick in your memory when you both listen to and read the same conversation. The words enter your mind via both your eyes and ears, giving them a better chance of being retained.
Using more than one of your senses, starts making sense, right?
Using your visual sense
Now, if you are like most people, then probably you are a visual person. This is logical since we process a large proportion of sensory information through vision.
Good for you, Dutch is a very visual language, often combining two separate words to create a third meaning, which you can often picture in your mind.
Let’s take a look at the word tandvlees for instance. Tand is "tooth" and vlees is "meat". Try to visualise the "meat" around your teeth, or chewing meat between your teeth - this association will help you remember the word for "gum"!
Alternatively, you can smile in front of a mirror and make the connection :)
You have to feel it!
Now that you know that combining your senses can accelerate your learning curve, it’s time to start associating Dutch words to things around you: from the receipt at the supermarket to the local beer you ordered.
And what’s more important: try associating these situations with your emotional senses: boredom receiving the bon from the supermarket cashier, bubby excitement when ordering a biertje at a bar. Excitement or anger, hate or love; connecting emotions to Dutch words can also make learning more interesting and fun.
Is it really that difficult to learn a few Dutch words about your hobbies and favorite activities? If anything, it will make it easier to make some small talk with people with who you have the same interests.
Make Dutch a sensory adventure
Studying certainly helps to learn Dutch, but reading textbooks and doing huiswerk for a few hours per week won’t do the trick and, for many people, it never works.
So if you want to learn Dutch fast, make sure that you hear it, see it, feel it, and last but not least, make sure that you do it! Treat Dutch as an adventure of the senses and you will be amazed with how much you can learn within only a few days.
› 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!