My website has
four approaches to elementary vocabulary, four types of pages:
The 'Pictures Dictionary' pages are the most attractive way to
learn words. See below
The 'Basic Dutch' pages offer the most useful selection of
words, but it may be the least exciting.
- See below
The 'By Subject' pages don't have many pictures but try to give
a useful vocabulary for a large number of subjects, often with some
additional information. Choose the pages for the fields that
interest you. - See below
The 'Easy Dutch'
pages 'explore' the similarities between English and Dutch. There
you'll find words that look or sound similar to the English words
of the same meaning and verbs that follow similar patterns - easy
to memorize (I hope.) The diffences in how the words are said and
written will help you better understand Dutch spelling and
pronunciation. - See below
The Smartphone has a different set of pictures
dictionary pages: start
In the 1920s, English philosophers C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards were
working on a new kind of dictionary, when they noticed that in the
definitions the same words kept turning up, which led them to
English,' a list of about 850 very carefully chosen words that would
be sufficient for everyday and scientific communication.
I have translated and slightly updated and adapted the list as a
'Basic Dutch' vocabulary. Originally I had organized the material
mostly by subject in 15 shortish pages - but later I have
re-organized the material in four long pages.
a series of pages with 1-column lists:
Adjectives and Adverbs
I strongly recommend a Dutch-Dutch dictionary, where the words are
explained/described in Dutch - this will force you to learn more Dutch and it
will put you more in a Dutch mindset, focus you on Dutch, and take you away
from the intermediary language. A small, basic one is probably better for you
than a large one, so you don't get confused by uncommon words.
Basic Dutch Phrases Useful words and phrases for when you're
visiting Holland. Many people in Holland speak some English,
but it's a nice courtesy to say a few Dutch words.
Fun Phrases an entertaining page, and maybe it'll be
useful to you someday.
My other Phrases pages
offer the kind of lines you will need in certain
situations or when talking about certain subjects. These pages also
have words lists or links to other vocabulary pages to adapt the lines
to your personal situation and preferences.
These phrases pages started out as a single page:
'Conversations Template' (with also
sample lines for letters and email) but many of the chapters grew out
to separate pages with hundreds of lines:
Time - a Dutch
Thesaurus page with almost all the words and phrasses
about time you'll ever need,
with many examples of usage.
Other Thesaurus' pages:
The Sayings page has about
250 Dutch standard phrases - probably not for immediate use, but fun to
read through and listen to, and maybe you can someday impress your Dutch
friends with an appropriate quote ...
Not all words have a simple, straightforward
equivalent in other languages and many common words have a double or triple
meaning that is often not shared across languages.
These pages have many examples of usage.
Problems' page is mostly about words that don't have a
clear one-on-one translation in English, and may be problematic to
translate from other languages too.
- a bar of soap, a head of lettuce -
and other common combinations
Words in (Some) Depth:
- where to find an explanation of possibly problematic words, with
examples of usage
Next to the formal learning
there are also many interesting, entertaining and/or beautiful
pages on my website for relaxed reading.
On these pages you'll come across many Dutch words (with pronuciation) -
a more pleasant way of building vocabulary than the rote
learning of words and verbs.
The essays, mostly in
about a wide variety of Dutch things, and if you are so inclined,
several of the recipes also
have Dutch words.
'False Friends' are words
that look the same in different languages but don't have the same
meaning. They may make you think you know them but they're not what
they look like. I hope my list of identical Dutch and English words
provides an entertaining if unusual way to get to
know some words - short
version. Like on the 'Easy Dutch' pages (similar
words with about the same meaning) you'll also quickly learn the
differences between how letters are pronounced in English and Dutch.
Other 'Sideways Learning' pages:
Cognates - words from the same root, how they
developed in English, Dutch and German (an old page.)