21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Will equip you well for any holiday in the Dutch speaking world,
This review is from: Teach Yourself Dutch (Teach Yourself Complete Courses) (Paperback)
As a keen student of foreign languages, I can say this book was instrumental in me enjoying a holiday in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium, carrying out a range of conversations, from booking restaurants to negotiating the price of an international phone call. I say this because I could not have done this without this book. Very few materials exist on the market for languages like Dutch, meaning finding good quality ones is very tricky. However, TY Dutch is one of the better titles, and one that I genuinely enjoyed studying. The book contains a number of highly interesting, funny and realistic dialogues. The voice actors put tremendous enthusiasm and realism into their dialogues, such as when the male actor sighs through his lines on a shopping trip with his wife, or the way the female actor adopts a nostalgic, dreamy tone when recalling her previous house. This is a refreshing change from the uninspiring monotone of many language audio exercises.
The written segments are also enjoyable, and there are no spelling errors, again something that is refreshing in a language course. Every chapter is logically divided up, and is sprinkled with delightful illustrations and cultural notes, all of which make the text more "human" and friendly, which is important given most language learners are often intimidated by a new language and new, tricky rules and sounds. The chapters also deal with "realistic" dialogues, such as arranging day trips and ordering food, rather than the highly hypothetical scenarios I have seen in other titles. This emphasis on "real", readily usable language is a major plus point.
The book does not have any real negative points, although it has to be said the first dialogue is very pedestrian, and thus the learner will initially be rather startled by the faster and longer dialogues that follow directly in chapter 2. Another slight problem I had, and this seems to be common with TY series titles, is that the vocabulary index is not very detailed, meaning if you want to take your studies further, you will need as good dictionary. However, the TY Dutch dictionary is disappointing, so look elsewhere for a Dutch dictionary.
In conclusion, this book will be very effective for your Dutch studies, but be sure to buy the CD as well as the book, as Dutch has one or two sounds that can only be mastered when you hear them.