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on 18 January 2014
This book pushes one to ever higher heights in language learning, and also contains useful amounts of information about Dutch culture.
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VINE VOICEon 30 April 2008
Indeed, this is an intensive course and intensive it is . I m still amazed at all the informations that have been crammed inside that textbook.
the best news is, that, even though the book does not provide the answer keys.. you just have to log onto the routledge website, , do a search for the course and you ve got everything you will ever need to study dutch on your own,
answer keys, transcrips of the audio recordings, teaching guide.. and extra materials that will help you consolidate what you ve learn

if you already have a knowledge of dutch (or like me, speak Afrikaans) and are mainly trying to brush up your Dutch or convert your knowledge of Afrikaans into Dutch.... don t look further. This textbook will deliver what you are looking for as well..
Get yourself the audio recording that comes with .. They are very useful for the oral exercises and the numerous texts that have been recorded, giving you the chance to practice your listening and understanding skills
It is indeed an investment BUT you ll be amazed how pleasant the course is to use.. and dutch is NOT that hard anyway

veel success met Uw studies.
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on 18 November 2010
I'd be interested to know how many beginners have managed to learn Dutch using this course. Having already learned passable French, German, Spanish, and Japanese using the grammatical method, I recently started Dutch using a similar approach in the "Hugo Dutch in Three Months" course.

Seeing the Routledge book in my local library I've now had it by me as a companion to Hugo, but find its approach way inferior to the clear and simple Hugo approach. Unless you have a high IQ and a fantastic memory, you'll find this book hard going since, unlike Hugo, it throws masses of new Dutch at you in a single chapter.

As others here admit, you need an existing knowledge of Dutch to get on with this book. Yet the preface professes to be a course which "starts from scratch" and is "on a par with level B2 of the Common European framework for languages", with a "distinctive approach asking how is language used in particular contexts and why" etc. etc.

Instead of pursuing such lofty goals, a language book needs to ground the student in basics, instead of throwing a mass of new Dutch at the student with each chapter. This may suit the intellectually gifted, but not me, and I do have a gift for languages.

I found the absence of a simple structure, and excessive colloquialism overwhelming, turning with relief to the simplicity & clarity of the Hugo text, which explores a new Dutch structure with each chapter, elaborates on it with a conversational passage & adds several clear and simple DRILLS in order to literally drill it into you.

The drill approach ( "boring", according to its detractors )really does the job well, as I found with Eleanor Harz Jordan's "Beginning Japanese" which set me up well for two years residency in Japan.

The use of repetition & drills of basic elements, is how great tennis players, pianists etc, perfect their art, and it works in language learning also, despite the alternative view that we adults should be "thrown into" in a language like children who are born into the language.

Simplicity and an emphasis on basics have enabled me to pick up four foreign languages, so I'll stick to what works for me - "Hugo Dutch In Three Months" - and use Routledge for picking up useful colloquialisms.

EDIT: Another very useful beginners' text is "Teach Yourself Complete Dutch" which is somewhat unique in that it is less strictly grammatical and more conversational than Hugo Dutch, but strongly emphasises simplicity and repetition too. Very strong, simple approach. Impressive.

Once I've mastered these two, I'll turn to Routledge, as it has a great deal to offer, but only after the basics have been mastered.
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on 17 August 2010
This book is very complete and helpful, yet,I do not recommend it if you are planning on learning dutch by yourself. It is not a book for self-study; you miss half of the book's excercises which are meant to be done with a partner or a group (it is really a textbook). Additionaly, it is quite important to buy the AUDIO CD's that come along, although not included (and more expensive than the book); again without this audio aids you miss doing many of the excercises proposed by the book.
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on 19 May 2013
The authors of the Routledge Intensive Dutch Course advise that it is "designed to be used as a classroom context." At a first glance, it does indeed seem to be a fairly comprehensive introduction to the Dutch language. It is, apparently, on a par with level of B2 of the Common European Framework for Languages. I assume that, when used in a classroom context, level B2 can be achieved within the recommended total 320 hours of study. As a classroom instruction manual, it rates FOUR STARS (****).

HOWEVER, the authors also advise that the "key and the explanations on grammar do make it POSSIBLE for SELF-STUDY, even though occasional assistance from a teacher is advisable." I STRONGLY DISAGREE. This is DEFINITELY NOT a self-study course! Even if used with the two CD's, which are sold separately, I believe that the dialogues are MUCH too challenging for the absolute beginner. Furthermore, the explanations of Dutch grammar are unnecessarily skeletal and even obtuse! As a self-study course, Routledge Intensive Dutch merits TWO STARS (**)... at best.

My recommended course of SELF-STUDY for learning Dutch would be as follows:

Step 1: Start with the PIMSLEUR DUTCH COMPREHENSIVE course. It is excellent for getting a feel for the target language and is great for building confidence. However, since it is an all audio course, and contains no meaningful written material, you will need a DICTIONARY and book of Dutch VERBS if you want to create your own written notes, which you should, indeed, do. Note that, although there are 16 CDs with this course, there is actually not very much vocabulary. However, you will have a solid grasp of the basics.

Step 2: Continue with LIVING LANGUAGE'S SPOKEN WORLD DUTCH. This is a truly excellent course that takes a traditional grammar-based approach. It is accompanied by 6 CDs. If you work hard, you'll have a thorough knowledge of how the language is structured and you will have acquired sufficient vocabulary to deal with most situations that a traveller to the Netherlands would face.

Step 3: If you want to expand your vocabulary, you might consider the LINGUAPHONE COMPLETE DUTCH COURSE (BEGINNER - INTERMEDIATE). Although the teaching method can seem a little quirky at times, the dialogues, exercises, and the 8 CDs worth of audio make it worthy of consideration.

Step 4. To push yourself to new heights, you could try the DLI (Defense Language Institute) DUTCH REFRESHER COURSE. It is an intermediate course and it is FREE as a pdf download with an accompanying set of mp3 audio files that would be the equivalent of 50 CDs or more! You can find it on the internet. Since Amazon seems to automatically delete website addresses from reviews, I have listed it as SEPARATE COMPONENTS in the hopes that you can RECOMBINE it. By the way, the source for this is the DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, JOINT LANGUAGE UNIVERSITY (JLU). Here goes:


Step 5. After you have completed steps 1 through 4, and if you can still afford it, purchase the ROUTLEDGE INTENSIVE DUTCH COURSE along with the two CDs and make your own evaluation of it as a SELF-STUDY course. You'll see what I mean!

Step 6.
If you're looking to expand your vocabulary beyond all of the material listed above, you might consider working with the FREE TEXTS and AUDIO FILES that are available at the internet sites listed below. Note that these texts are drawn from literary "classics" and, in some cases, the language might seem a little stilted. However, since there isn't a great deal of material available for learning Dutch, these FREE files provide an excellent opportunity for both ear-training and vocabulary-building. Here are the NAMES of the sites:

Contains the text of numerous literary classics as downloadable files.

Contains the text of numerous literary classics as downloadable E-files and mp3 files.

Contains the AUDIO of numerous literary classics as downloadable mp3 files.

You might have to work with two of, or with all three of, the sites in order to collect the texts and the audio files.
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on 12 December 2009
Having learned a little Dutch before, I think this is a great course. The language style used and the subjects covered are bang up to date (unlike some other courses I have seen).

You do need to buy both the book (not included here) and the CDs, but I feel the cost is worthwhile: it is important to hear a native speaker, particularly if you have little experience of the language. And Dutch has sounds that are completely different from anything in English!

The course, as it says in the title, is intense, and primarily designed for adults on a course at night school, for example. If you have no experience at all and are trying to learn the language at home on your own, you might prefer to start with something more basic. But if you have learned some Dutch before and want to bring yourself up to speed, this course is brilliant.
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on 7 September 2015
A good course that moves at a fast pace.
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on 11 April 2012
I used this book when on a Dutch course. I already spoke beginners Dutch but found this book very very heavy going and so did my fellow students. The following year the tutors changed to a differrent book.
This book may suit natural linguists but is definately not for beginners. The topics are quite highbrow also. For example having a debate about Muslim women wearing headscarves, I probably wouldn't do that in English. Most other books have more everyday scenarios such as shopping or making friends or in the workplace.
I didn't find it explained things clearly, such as grammar.
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