Tips for mastering the Dutch language!

Hello All!

I moved to Belgium from Canada in August 2009 to be with my better half. I love it here. HOWEVER, the only problem I am having is the language. I can somewhat understand some people, but because of the different dialects all I end up getting is a headache trying to concentrate! I have gone to school and am actively trying to learn it; but again my problem is the various different ways in which everyone speaks here. Even from town to town! So, if anyone has any tips for me that would be very much appreciated!


Welcome on board Tay13 ;)

You can also opt for the language exchange - which is a good method to learn & practice a language while sharing your knowledge.

For language exchange session, you can post also an advert on the Classifieds section>Community>Language exchange.

Hope this helps!


Seriously, what's up with pushing classifieds soooo hard?? If I were new on here and just kept being told "Go post a classified ad!!" I would leave and think this was the least helpful site ever!

Tay, you just have to realize that regional accents are the norm. It's the same in any country, including yours. The difference is, when you speak a language natively, you have a lot less trouble understanding the different accents in it. When you're still learning a foreign language, and the entire thing sounds totally foreign to you, regional accents/dialects can throw you a lot. Just work on learning standard Dutch, and once you are relatively fluent in it, you'll find it a lot easier to make out the rest. Besideswhich, some regional dialects are simply hard for *everyone* from out of the area to understand. Like I say, just learn standard Dutch and the rest will follow.

Thanks for the advice Melby! I will continue my studies :D

Hey Tay,
  I have been in Antwerp for 3 years, studying Dutch, and I still can't understand the Antwerpen dialect...and I live with a Flemish man!  I can read it..and understand proper Dutch..but when our friends get together and speak with that heavy Antwerpen dialect, I am lost, it sounds like an entirely different language..still!  I understand your frustration ..:)

Hi Lorieo! Yes, the different dialects can be VERY frustrating. Sadly my boyfriend and his family have the heaviest dialects and are the fastest speakers I have yet to hear (when they talk together). At other times I can have a full conversation with a native Dutch speaker... So yeah, sometimes it is nice to be in a group of English speakers (which I will get for the next 3 weeks as we are back in Canada for a visit).

Its nice to find someone else who can sympathize with me,  lol    I'm also back home in Virginia for a couple more weeks,  happy to be hearing more English than Flemish!

Yeah the Antwerp dialect is apparently one of the hardest I have been learning for a few months now

dutch and flemish differences

cool site

If you have problems understanding a dialect, can you not ask them to speak 'AN (algemeen nederlands)' - standard Dutch instead of their dialect? I understand the dialect of my city but if I go to other cities, I don't understand their dialect and Dutch is my mother tongue. I also need to ask people to speak slower and proper Dutch instead of their dialect :-)

>_> Isn't that akin to asking someone to speak without an accent? 0_o It's simply the manner in which they speak...

I found that it is usually the dialect and not the accent and everyone learns in school at a very young age to speak 'proper' Dutch so I would not feel offended asking it. I would also not feel offended myself if someone asks me to speak 'proper' Dutch instead of my dialect

you should try rosetta stone or livemocha. they're awesome to learn a language and livemocha tells you where to find natives interested in helping you learn a language

livemocha has only one level of dutch, not good enough! but for english is good

Drats, I was on my way to livemoccha as RosettaStone is waaay too expensive until the single level info. Some of my Belge friends say take the university courses offered, but my wife who is Belgian and worked with Coppa says my level is too low to manage a course. The greatest factor is time, which I way more of than money!

you can download rosetta stone, google it.

Yeah Im using rosetta stone its not bad but its not all sinking in however I am dyslexic

Also I have just lent the Routledge intensive dutch course cook and thats pretty cool

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