Started watching a Flemish (Dutch language) comedy series to practice Dutch

Once you are at the intermediate level, you should start using (especially for listening and watching) easy native material in order for you to familiarize yourself with the language. Good easy native materials that you can include for this purpose are children’s shows, news, or series with multiple episodes (such as comedy series, or telenovelas). Of course the choice of what you watch will depend on what your interests are. You will need to choose something that actually interests you or is entertaining, otherwise you will never be able to sit through it or use it properly.

The best strategy is to watch and listen to each episode multiple times. The best thing is to also have subtitles in the target language (or at least transcripts) also available. So for example watch the episode first with subtitles without stopping, watch it again with subtitles and note down and look up all the words that you don’t understand, then watch it again without subtitles. You can watch each episode as many times as you want until you master it and use it for many things. For example you can even break it down into small bits and repeat after each character, trying to imitate the accent.

For example, recently I bought a DVD of the first season of “FC De Kampionen”, a Flemish (Dutch-language) comedy series, in order to practice my Dutch. It’s still a bit hard to understand the entire episodes, but I am trying. I bought the DVD in order to be able to use the subtitles, but you can find all the episodes of the series on Youtube as well, but without subtitles. This is a real Flemish comedy series made for Flemish audiences and so is not a series that was made for language learners. However I find the language there easy enough, so that even intermediate learners of Dutch can use it to improve their level. This is actually one of the longest running Flemish television series. It ran for 21 seasons from 1990 to 2011.

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