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Podcasts for Dutch Learning

If you follow me on Twitter (please follow me on Twitter) you know I’m struggling through the third course in a series of Dutch for Expats courses offered by Maastricht University. Everyone has their own problems, but for me the biggest hurdle is being able to understand the Dutch that is spoken to me. In the real world, Dutch people speak much faster than the teacher and other people in my class (and the people in my class, like myself, don’t have the proper accents). The shop keepers must be telling all sorts of stories to their families about that weird American girl making funny faces over whether or not she wants a bag.

Of course my lack of vocabulary makes it difficult to respond too (I always want to say something more complex than I’m equipped to); but I don’t like to start a conversation I can’t finish.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been listening to Dutch language podcasts in an effort to build up my ability to understand native speakers better. I can’t say I actually know everything that is being said, but this little exercise is really about hearing the distinction between words and the way they are strung together. Here are a couple that I’ve been enjoying:

  • Laura Speaks Dutch: This is actually a bilingual Dutch/English podcast for teaching you Dutch. The creator teaches your conversational phrases about specific topics. The early episodes are a little easy for me, but the later ones ramp up a lot and its a good way to pick up some vocab and pronunciation training.
  • DeBuren Podcast: An all Dutch podcast with interviews and presentations about culture, politics, and art. These last about 40-60 minutes and are, frankly, much more interesting than the exercises we do in class. [website]
  • Radio Taalblad: Short (8-10 minute) episodes about a variety of subjects, this podcast appears to be part of a larger Dutch learning program online. Comes out of Belgium.

I try to listen to two or so hours of Dutch every day in the hopes that it’ll improve my comprehension. It can be pretty exhausting to actively listen to Dutch right now (reading is tiring also), but I think it’ll be worth the effort. I hope so. Nederlands is moeilijk.

4 Responses to “Podcasts for Dutch Learning”

  1. Dave Hampton says:

    I wish Laura Speaks Dutch had continued, but the program was a good one. Try David On Air! as well (davidbrussee.tk), and the wide selection from Radio Netherlands Worldwide (rnw.nl/nederlands, then look half way down the right side to find Podcasts and Streams for a full list of shows). They also have a range of Dutch perspectives in English (Curious Orange, for example, http://download.omroep.nl/rnw/smac/podcast/xml/en_curiousorange.xml

  2. Amanda says:

    Great suggestions. Thank you. :)

  3. Hello, thanks for mentioning Radio Taalblad. It is part of taalblad.be, a newssite for people who learn dutch: all texts on http://www.taalblad.be are written in Dutch, but difficult or special words are translated into French and English. The non-Dutch speaker can thus understand the text better and expand his vocabulary.

    Veel plezier nog in Nederland en succes met het leren van het Nederlands!
    Koen.

  4. Amanda says:

    Thank you for stopping by and for the extra information.