Speaking Dutch can be way more troublesome than reading or writing. During my time as a native speaker at the tables of the Dutch Language MeetUp Group, I’ve seen highly educated expats struggle with just that.
WHY IS DUTCH CONVERSATION HARDER THAN READING OR WRITING?
When you read or write you can take your time. During conversation you have no time at all. The words you need have to be immediately at hand. This does not happen when you’ve read or heard them once. At the time you remember the word, the conversation has carried much further already. You are always behind.
It is said that you must use a word at least three times in conversation, to have it in your speaking vocabulary. That means you must practice.
Your knowledge is a burden
Most expats that I’ve seen had extensive knowledge in grammar and a (reading and writing) vocabulary of maybe over 1000 words. This is more knowledge than lots of natives have. Then why is the most basic conversation so hard? The answer is psychological in nature. They are too self aware. While seeing themselves as people who can express themselves fully and have an intelligent conversation, they know they will fail at just that. And you know what? You cannot learn a language without making mistakes. Even intelligent people make mistakes. This is part of the process.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR DUTCH?
Speak Dutch often, but preferably with natives. In classes all around the world teachers tell their students to practice a new language together. I definitely do not encourage that. I’ve seen people at my tables that where very confident about very poor language skills. They impressed other students wrongly with their confidence. Such overconfident people could learn you bad habits and ruin your own language intuition.
Overcome your fear of failure
Get over it. Accept that you cannot speak a language fluently in just a month. Don’t take yourself so seriously. People who don’t make mistakes, are usually people who make nothing at all.
Watch a soap
In a soap you can get abducted twice a month and be over it the day after. Of course that’s just fiction, but you can learn Dutch. They use ordinary language in those series; everyday words and sentences, that you can use right away.
Hire a professional, such as myself. I am a writer and a coach.
Roelien couples an informal style with a fun personality. I was able to improve my conversation skills while having a good time.
TRANCEMISSIE DUTCH LANGUAGE COACHING
In my coaching we work on getting in touch with the Dutch language on an intuitive, subconscious level. This also involves pronunciation. Once you establish the connection with the language, you will be able to have a conversation without having to worry about issues like grammar. All the details of the language will flow naturally to you. I expect you to have a vocabulary of a couple of hundred words. That is enough to start with. From there you will learn more and more words. My ambition is to make you fluently in Dutch. We will not speak English during the sessions, unless you have to communicate something very important that could be otherwise misunderstood. Call me at 06 15457950 or mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.