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Saturday, 23 September 2017

15 Essential Dutch Learning Website Resources List to Learn Dutch Online Free and Improve Your Dutch Language

Top Dutch Language Website Review

Which is the best website for learning Dutch online free? How to learn Dutch fast with or without a Dutch language course? It is stimulating to learn Dutch online for free and be spoilt with so many choices of websites but more so for people who have to learn Dutch compulsorily to live and find jobs in the Flanders region in Belgium and Netherlands.

Having a wide variety of Dutch Learning websites out there can dazzle you. Everybody has different needs when it comes to learning a new language, Dutch. Some people are more proficient in certain areas whereas weaker areas require further reading and improvement. Below are examples of what many students want when learning a new language and the need differs from person to person.

  • Knowledge of Dutch grammar rule and more vocabulary
  • English-Dutch dictionary or vice versa
  • Dutch verb conjugation
  • Online test to assess the level of Dutch standard
  • Getting the Dutch pronunciation right
  • Examples of Dutch sentence formation with a particular word and under what kind of context it can be used
  • Watch Dutch video with Dutch subtitles so they can listen and follow the storyline while learning new words at the same time


Learn Dutch Online Free

Whatever needs that you have, not all Dutch Learning websites can offer you a “one-in-all” package. Each has their specialising field. That is what I am here today, to review 15 top Dutch language learning websites to learn Dutch online free and notably, dig out their specialities so that we can zoom onto the Dutch sites that are the most suitable for our individual need.

A quick note about myself. I am a Singaporean living in Antwerp which is the Dutch-speaking community. Accurately speaking, the locals in Flanders speak Flemish which is a Dutch dialect at the Northern part of Belgium. Learning Dutch as the second language is the stepping stone for learning Flemish later.

It is compulsory for all non-EU nationals to learn Dutch up to Level 1.2 for social communication as part of Civic Integration Programme in Belgium. If one wants to find a good job, advancing beyond 1.2 is necessary. It is also the reason why spending effort to learn proper Dutch to a decent level is critical for foreigners residing in Belgium and Netherlands. Hence, the discovery of more Dutch websites for own good.

PS: For those residing in Netherlands, do share what is the mandatory level for learning Dutch there.


Dutch Grammar

Taalhuis

Taalhuis is a website that I have been reading on the use of Dutch grammar religiously. Even before learning Dutch in a CVO (Centrum Volwassenenonderwijs) school, I had already studied the first few lessons by myself a few years ago.

Taalhuis comprises of Dutch grammar theories not just for complete beginners, but also for people who would like to reinforce on what they have learnt in school. Indeed, it is helpful when there is further explanation of what is not taught in school. Moreover, you can learn the Dutch grammar at your own pace.

What I like about Taalhuis is the systematic presentation of the learning curve for beginners to intermediate learners. In every lesson, you get a short test to see how much you have understood for that lesson.


Welk Lidwoord

Welk Lidwoord is a simple indispensable website with a sole function to know if a noun is “De” or “Het” form. For a beginner, guessing the word to be a “De” or Het” is one of the most annoying issues as it will affect the adjective in front of the noun. That is whether to add a “-e” on the adjective if “een” is used. For example, “een mooi huis” (het huis) versus “een mooie hond” (de hond).

Look at more examples below. The “de” and “het” noun will also affect changes in ‘this’ and ‘that’ and the possessive form “your”. The bottom of the welklidwoord.nl site provides an instant answer to the query too.

This house

Dit Huis

This dog

Deze hond

Your house

Jouw huis

Your dog

Jou hond


Dutch Exercises and Test

Taalmenu

Taalmenu is a gem particularly for people who want to do exercises and test themselves for the proficiency of their Dutch level. The Dutch exercises are also written for teachers as printed materials for their students. Taalmenu categorises the learning level from A1, A2, B1 to B2. In each level, you can do the different type of exercises like grammars, reading and listening comprehension. There are also beautiful Dutch songs which you can hear and learn the words. The listener can download a PDF file containing lyrics of all the songs and read the explanations of some Dutch terms. Damn cool!


Je Kan Me Wat

jekanmewat.nl is a fun website for practising and learning Dutch. It is a Dutch project by Taalmenu. However, you can only use the programme on a desktop as it uses Adobe Flash Player which cannot be used on the mobile. jekanmewat.nl has 15 modules. Each module comprises of 11 parts with Dutch phrases, audio and exercises for level A1. As it progresses, you would learn many new words for an A1 level. Tip: If you are doing word-matching exercises, it is important to use only capital letters for the alphabets to execute the command of a line successfully.


Duolingo

Duolingo is a multi-language exercise platform for people to test their skill. It comprises of simple writing test in both Dutch and English, and a listening comprehension to type out the words. The automated voice speaks too fast sometimes and is not very clear. Use the tortoise icon to slow down the speech and hear the words more clearly. Duolingo beginner stage is an easy feat for those who have already taken the basic Dutch language course. In general, it is a lot of fun for people who would like to relax and do some simple exercises instead. There are many levels of the practices and creating a personal profile is necessary.


Learn Practice

Learn Practice offers simple fun quizzes that test the meaning and the spelling of the words in various categories. Some words may look simple but don’t be surprised what you don’t know until you have tried it out. With a sign-up registration, you get additional 100+ quizzes to try. There are also a few tutorials to explain the usage of the Dutch grammars.


Dutch Verb Conjugation

Verbix

Verbix is a fuss free website for your verb conjugation. Conjugation is a variation of a verb form to express different grammatical function or attribute. Enter a Dutch verb in an infinitive form in Verbix that you want to conjugate and a list of conjugated verbs will appear. Please note that for Verbix, you can only key in the infinitive and not the verb variation. For example, enter ‘eten‘ and not ‘eet‘.


Woordenlijst

If you enter a Dutch verb in the infinitive form in Woordenlijst, the list of conjugation will show only the past and present tense which the function is limited. The advantage compared to Verbix above is that if a conjugated form ‘eet’ is entered, the result will show the infinitive verb ‘eten’. If a word has more than a verb, the Woordenlijst will tell you whether it is a noun or adverb and the word form that comes with it. If you input a noun such as ‘jongen‘, Woordenlijst reflects the singular and plural spelling which will help you to know whether the plural form ends with an “en” or an “s“. For example, man versus mannen and jongen versus jongens.


Online Languages

Online-languages.info is a multi-languages platform. It has several categories in which many are links to other websites to facilitate easier learning by offering more resources. The more valuable assets in Online-languages.info is the ‘Picture Dictionary’ which enables one to recognise a Dutch word with the aid of image for beginner level. There is also a ‘Flashcard’ section to reflect back on the words learnt. My favourite is the ‘Example of Use’ where there are many sentence construction to help the students understand the word usage.


Dutch Dictionary, Translation and Example

Bab.la

Bab.la is by far my all-time favourite dictionary because the translation goes both ways. You can input in either a Dutch or an English word. The best part is the example sentences have both Dutch and English translation side-by-side. In this way, you know you have understood the Dutch/English meaning correctly. The bab.la dictionary will also tell you further whether a word is a verb, a noun, an adverb or an adjective and provide examples for all the different category. It will also state if the noun is a “de” or “het” form.


Word Reference

I started WordReference.com with learning French. It is an excellent application which I depended on heavily to get all the various meanings of a word from French to English and vice versa. There are translations for the two languages of the same phrase. One of the most useful section is to allow users to pose questions in a forum regarding a word or phrase in which the community can reply.

WordReference extends its application to the Dutch language recently. Hence, the Dutch example sentences are not as many as what I have seen in the French section. However, the site is helpful for a Dutch word to be explained in English. At the moment, when inputting a Dutch word, many sentence examples are given only in English which allows anglophones to grasp the understanding of the term even better. WordReference is available to download from the phone app.


Dutch Pronunciation and Audio

Forvo

Forvo is the best website for listening to several Dutch pronunciations by native speakers especially if you do not know how to pronounce a word correctly. It is even more helpful for Belgian Dutch student like me to distinguish the pronunciations between Netherlands Dutch, Belgian Dutch and Flemish. Many words have more than one pronunciation by different native speakers indicated by their country of origin. You can click to hear all the accents. Forvo also supports pronunciation in multiple languages.


Encora Logopedia and Uitspreken app

The best way to speak Dutch better and to pronounce correctly is to pay attention to how a word is being articulated. Encora is a Belgian logopedic platform that trains the students phonetically on the consonants, vowels and prosody. There are various exercises to ensure that the students get a group of sounds right. You can also download this phone app – Uitsprekend, from both Google Play and iTunes. The Encora website and the Uitsprekend are recommended by the CVO (Centrum Volwassenenonderwijs) schools and joint projects with VDAB.

The added advantage in the Uitsprekend app makes use of your phone microphone which you can record your pronunciation for each word. Playback immediately to hear the intonation difference between your recorded voice against the automated voice. This exercise is an asset. There are useful diagrams to teach you how to pronounce a sound correctly too. Do note that since this is a Belgian application, some pronunciation may differ between the Netherlands Dutch.


Learn Dutch Watch Video

Learn Dutch Watch Video by 2BDutch.nl has a compilation series of Youtube Video in different genres. Students can listen to the Dutch audio and read the subtitle in Dutch or other languages. Although the website has not been updated for quite some time and a few links are not available anymore, the free resource compilation is still valuable for improving your listening skill. To test your comprehension, just switch the subtitles between Dutch and English to see whether you understand the meaning correctly.


Kijk op Gezond

Time for some relaxation. If you are health-conscious, then you will love this website Kijk op Gezond. It gives tips on how to stay healthy and also teaches you simple exercises which you can follow them in the comfort of your house. Most importantly, there are animations which you can read and listen to the Dutch phrases at the same time while the texts are being read. You learn new Dutch words and also improve your listening ability while achieving a goal of being healthy.


Conclusion

It is not the end of Dutch learning yet. I will add in more useful websites and application for learning Dutch as time goes. If you are curious to know what are the simple Dutch conversation taught by the Belgian CVO school for beginners level 1.1 and 1.2, you can check out the page. The Dutch sentences have the English translation too.


What are your favourite websites for learning Dutch? Any other good Dutch learning website which I have missed out? For those residing in Netherlands, do share what is the mandatory level for learning Dutch there. Please leave a comment below.


About Live in Belgium

Hello, my name is MissSJ. I am a Singaporean. I am living with my Belgian partner since July 2016 in a cosmopolitan city, Antwerp. However, I had been travelling to and fro Belgium since 2011 as a tourist. The creation of this blog is to document my new journey in Belgium which I would like to call 'home'. Join me in discovering the fascinating Belgium from the eyes of an expat.

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