What is 'Smooth Dutch'?

  • Smooth Dutch is an immersive and highly intuitive method aimed at addressing each of the little problems that keep your Dutch from sounding 'native', particularly difficulties surrounding 'de' and 'het' words.
  • Flexible
    You can follow the course once, twice or even three times per week.
  • For which levels?
    If you have at least a basic knowledge of Dutch (A1 level), then you may join the course. However, it is especially useful too for higher levels (up to B2-C1) to get the last bits just perfect.
  • What is it not?
    There is no in-depth discussion of grammar, that is what regular courses are for. It should be seen as a valuable - perhaps essential - supplement to a normal class.

Background

Some call it the Tragedy of the Dutch Language, others call it an intentional ongoing practical joke maintained over the centuries by the designers of Dutch.

Ardent students of Dutch will find that they can blow away most native speakers with their thorough in-depth grammatical knowledge. Yet, when even a single “de” or “het” mistake is made or the wrong syllable is stressed, one will immediately be “unmasked” as non-native. In the meantime, a Dutch person whose linguistic errors induce almost physical pain in language purists, will still be grudgingly accepted as an obvious native speaker. Ouch, not fair.

There are of course some rules and guidelines (e.g. diminutives are always “het” words and plurals always “de”), but it pretty much down to practicing a lot and hoping some of it will stick.

The unfortunate reality is that friends and colleagues will be too polite to correct you and most courses just skip the topic entirely, so you will never get enough feedback to properly train your brain. Many become so self-conscious about their Dutch that they stick to safe constructs with lots of diminutives. It does sound more friendly – adorable even – but not quite native.

This ongoing problem has not gone unnoticed at TaalTaal's Advanced Applied Linguistics department (T.A.A.L.) Already having launched the successful program “All-You-Can-Talk” in which students focus exclusively on talking, a new program has been created: “Smooth Dutch: an intuitive approach”.

“Smooth Dutch” is the first course program of its kind that focuses entirely and exclusively on making your Dutch sound significantly more native. A collection of carefully researched methods, unique in both style and execution, are simultaneously being applied to “brainwash” you into finding the right words and the right inflection when you need it and where you need it.

The course takes 5 weeks and can be taken once, twice or three times per week and is suitable for all students with CEFR levels A1 to B2 (novices to advanced students). “Smooth Dutch” is meant to be the perfect supplement to regular Dutch courses but may also be taken as a standalone course. You can expect to speak Dutch in a much more intuitive way.