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Sounding Dutch in Dutch: Consonant Aspiration Posted by on Mar 29, 2016

You may have noticed that Dutch sounds kind of weird. It’s full of these sometimes ridiculous-seeming sounds that you’ve never heard before setting foot in the Netherlands, Even once you’ve gotten your hard g and tongue-cramping diphthongs like eu and ui under control, people can still hear you’re foreign, and it’s because of the phonetic details. This is because…

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6 Ways to Read More News in Dutch Posted by on Feb 23, 2016

Especially when learning a small cultural language like Dutch, it’s nearly impossible to separate the language from the culture of the people who speak it. That’s why jezelf op de hoogte houden (keeping yourself up to date) on current events in the Netherlands, Belgium, and other parts of the nederlandstaalgebied is a great way to…

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Dicht op de Muur: The Wall Poems of Leiden Posted by on Jan 5, 2016

muurgedicht leiden

Most tourists settting off to practice their Dutch in the Netherlands have their sights set on the canals and museums of Amsterdam, but there’s much more to see in this tiny country than its cosmopolitan capital. Language learners especially will want to avoid spending too much time in the Netherlands’ largest city, where you’re more likely…

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Dutch Place Names, the ‘Mini-Schengen’, and Travel in Europe Posted by on Dec 8, 2015

dijsselbloem mini schengen

This post will discuss some recent developments in Dutch and European politics that may soon change foreigners’ options for traveling in the Netherlands and Europe. This is a great chance to work on place names in Dutch, which can sometimes differ greatly from their English equivalents. Don’t worry — there’s a vocabulary list at the end!…

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Lockdown in Brussels and Security in the Netherlands Posted by on Nov 24, 2015

After last week’s attacks in Beirut and Paris, Brussels is on lockdown. Brussels is the capital of Belgium, the European Union, and NATO, and is only a two hour train ride from Rotterdam, bringing this international conflict close to home in het nederlandse taalgebied in the Netherlands and Flanders. Many of the Dutch words used to describe security situations and…

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TV on the Web: How to Learn Dutch on TV this Fall Posted by on Oct 8, 2015

Dutch language learners often have a harder life than learners of other languages: Dutch isn’t spoken in many countries, and the people who live in those countries usually want to speak English to you anyways. But when it comes to improving your luistervaardigheid (listening skills), you’re in luck with Dutch: there are thousands of hours of…

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The European Refugee Crisis in the Netherlands: De Vluchtelingencrisis Posted by on Sep 8, 2015

Lately one can’t turn on the news in the Netherlands without encountering a lengthy segment on the vluchtelingencrisis, the refugee crisis gripping Europe. Dutch news programs like the NOS Journaal and Nieuwsuur are devoting extensive coverage to what most sources call the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. Last week the surfacing of one particular…

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