Speaking a new language can be a huge challenge and it often looks daunting, if not impossible. But… if you like, you can always succeed of course. At the same time, there is something that can really stand in the way and although you notice it, chances are that you may not be really aware of it. It is when you look at it, quite simple… What are your first thoughts when you think about speaking Dutch?
When most people try to learn a new language, the first thing they think of is that you need to learn and study. But… have you noticed that quite often, even when you study a lot, it does not seem that you are moving forward a lot? This can be very frustrating!
So, what is the thing that many people do if they like to break through that wall? Chances are high that you already guessed it. They just try to study harder, but… in many cases just studying harder will not really solve it. There is one important thing that many people overlook. What do you really think and feel when the idea of speaking Dutch comes to your mind?
If you look at people, there is one very simple observation that you can make. People that learn fast and speak like crazy often have positive thoughts, while slow learners have more negative thoughts or – yes it looks like a paradox – they are far too serious about it!
You might think that if you have negative thoughts about speaking Dutch, then the best way to deal with it is to ignore them. But, the problem is that if you really believe these thoughts, it will slow down your progress and nothing can be more disencouraging than slow progress 🙁 The good news, however is that if you can stop believing these negative thoughts, then their impact will be a lot lower. Although you can still hear these disturbing noises in your head, once you just know that it is a bunch of crap, it is a lot easier to move forward.
Once again, people that move forward fast with their Dutch just believe in other things. If you could just change some of your beliefs, then also for you, moving forward will be a lot easier…
Here are some thought to play with. What you do is simply ask yourself if they are really true. Often if you dig deep enough, you’ll discover that in essence all these negative thoughts are merely an illusion.
Do you really believe that you need confidence first?
Let’s start with the frequent thought that you could speak much better Dutch if you had more confidence. It looks like a true statement, right? But.. here it is… why would you not feel confident yet? Maybe because of the fact that you still need to learn more things and that your Dutch is not great yet. So imagine what would happen if you already felt confident right now… What could happen then? Chances are that you would feel satisfied too soon. So in this case, a seeming lack of confidence simply means that you just need a bit more experience and practice. If you understand the true signal of this feeling, then everything changes. So make sure that you go for practice and experience first and then more confidence will automatically follow. Also, remember that the wisest people on this planet have the courage to question everything. Doubt is more a sign of wisdom than of foolishness 🙂
Do you believe that Dutch has more exceptions than rules?
Another popular negative thought is that Dutch does not have any rules. But… how do you know? Do you believe it because you heard it from Dutch people? Do you really believe that Dutch people are a trustworthy source of information? One universal law is that in general most native speakers do not know anything about the structure of their own language! I always laugh my head off when I do my Dutch Brainwash. Many times people from Russia and China outsmart native speakers of English. People from the UK, Canada, Australia and the United States often cannot answer the most basic questions about their language. They are just unconsciously able to speak it, which is the highest level of capability. So if you master something already, why should you be interested in the rules then? If you already know how to do something, it is normal that you never ever question these things.
Take breathing for example. You have been succesful at doing this, but could you really explain how to do it in full detail? Of course not, and with speaking your own language, it is exactly the same thing!
Now here is a shocking thing… Even professional Dutch teachers do not really know the rules and logical system of their language. They just speak it and for them everything looks logical and they often assume that you’ll pick it up if you just listen and read often enough. Although there is some truth in it, very often it is not the case at all… Here is the thing… a great teacher should not only know the rules and structures and logical system of his/her own language, but they also need to know things about your language as well. A great teacher that knows the structure of your language as well can predict what is easy for you to understand, what you’ll learn automatically and the areas where you’ll really need to change your way of thinking profoundly!
Here is a simple truth: Dutch is the closest language to English and it is German light. But… there are some very specific things that you need to understand as well, because some things are different of course. Dutch is Dutch, not English or German.
The beautiful thing however is that if you know other languages, then speaking Dutch will be a lot easier. Dutch has a lot in common with English, German, Spanish, French and has even things in common with other languages such as Turkish and Polish 🙂
Would it take a long time for you to enjoy positive benefits?
Another important thought to investigate is this one: when can you benefit from your Dutch? Many people erroneously believe that it will only have value once they have a certain certificate, but nothing could be further from the truth. Long before you start to speak Dutch fluently, you can enjoy many advantages and… even the learning itself can be a great experience!
People that learn fast really enjoy learning and speaking Dutch from the very first moment. If you have started to dread it somehow, then something is fundamentally wrong! If you can feel excited about it, already from day 1, great things can happen. The most important thing is that you know how to apprecieate all the positive things that can happen. For example, you can make new friends when you take a course, or you simply start to notice that everything around you starts to make much more sense! One thing is certain, the more you understand what is happening around you, the more you’ll feel that you are in the right place and that you really belong….
Right now, we have just been playing with 3 thoughts already. I hope that you can notice a difference already. There are many other thoughts to play with and.. reading about it is one thing. If you discover these things live in a group with likeminded people, you would probably feel even more positive energy. By the way, if you like this idea then a FREE workshop Finding Dutch Flow could be the right thing for you. On a Sunday morning you can experience for yourself how easy it is to unleash your Dutch, once you change your mind… If you like to know more, then click here 🙂