LearnDutchwith Us!Start Learning!
According to Statista.com, in 2017, people spent an average of 135 minutes per day on social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. With over 2 billion social media users worldwide, websites like these are not only connecting us to our friends and family but are shaping the way we get news, ads and more.
For those of us learning languages, social media is a great tool to bring a target language to our homes and our daily lives. In this post, I want to go over some of the most useful accounts I have found to practice Dutch. These cover a variety of topics and audiences providing language learners with a good scope.
Mark Rutte, the Dutch Prime Minister, has a Facebook page where he posts the most recent accomplishments and news related to the Dutch government. He also hosts Q&A sessions every now and then, and important announcements are usually streamed Live over his Facebook page. His posts are usually in Dutch and have a very formal vocabulary, but are easy to understand and are useful in knowing the direction the government is taking.
Another great way to add some new vocabulary is to follow the regional police Twitter account. I live in Limburg and follow Politie Limburg, but if you live outside the Netherlands, you can opt to follow the national one Politie Nederland or some of the most known regions like Politie Amsterdam. While it isn’t the happiest of social media accounts, you will be reading short messages in Dutch, and you can get an idea of the cultural differences between your country and the Netherlands.
Another great way to find news is to follow the Dutch or Belgium Embassy in your country. This is quite useful because some of these post are in Dutch and the country the embassy is in, helping you understand better the language. The Dutch Embassy in Mexico posts in both languages and I really like that. Some other Dutch embassy accounts that might interest you are the ones in the US, Australia, and the UK.
Keeping up with the news of the Netherlands and Belgium is best done in Dutch. By following a few news sources, you are not only practicing your Dutch, but you can also compare the way news is reported in different sources. I personally read de Volkskrant in the Netherlands, and I really like the cultural insert on Saturdays. Articles in the AD, I have found, are sometimes brief (in comparison to others) making them easier to read and grasp. For news you about Belgium, you can read De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad.
Libraries are a great source of information, and this certainly applies to social media. On the Twitter and Facebook accounts, you can find out which books are popular as well as activities that are happening around the country. For the Netherlands, you can follow de Bibliotheek and KB Nederland, and for Belgium Koninklijke Bibliotheek van België.
I recently found this Twitter account, and, while it isn’t in Dutch, I like it so much I had to include it. The University of Wageningen created a Twitter account for one of their trees. The tree tweets out information about how it’s doing depending on the weather. You might not practice your Dutch with this account, but you will be informed about the tree’s condition and the Dutch weather!
My favorite one is the Twitter account of Dutch from Transparent Language (the nice folks that run this blog). I found this account even before I started taking classes, and I loved it. Every day, I learn or review a new word, and I must say that the majority of these words are actually useful words. You also get links to the blog posts, and to articles about the Netherlands and Belgium written by 3rd parties.
What other social media accounts do you find useful?