Top positive review
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Dutch in 3 months, Hugo
on 20 January 2013
I bought the 2003 version of 'Hugo Dutch in 3 months', with CDs, some years back (around 2008) as I wanted to learn Dutch. This was my first Dutch learning material. I have now moved to the Netherlands (last 6 months), and have also completed a further course at a Dutch university language centre.
I would recommend the 'Hugo' course to anyone. The order of subject matter within course is devised to introduce Dutch pronunciation and then grammar a bit at a time - this does mean that the order of material is a little strange at times (do not expect to have mastered useful holiday phrases after the first few chapters!), but by the end of the course I did have a solid grounding in most (if not all) of the Dutch grammatical constructions, and able to understand most of simple Dutch texts (Metro newspaper etc) with the aid of a dictionary.
I did not devote nearly as much time as recommended per week, hence it took me nearly 18 months to work through. (Then again I tend to work thoroughly and slowly).
On my (far more recent) language course run by a Dutch university I was surprised how much of the grammar considered 'higher level' or 'complex' I already knew through this book (for instance coordinating/subordinating conjunctions, and the resulting word order in the sentence).
My next step after this course was to read the popular Dutch children's book 'Pluk van de Petteflet' by Annie MG Schmidt (with the Routledge Dutch dictionary, and audio CD set for the book). This is also highly recommended and a fun way to learn!