Dutch (or Nederlands) is the official language of The Netherlands, and over 23 million people speak it worldwide. Another four million people speak Dutch as a second language. As an Indo-European language, Dutch falls into the Germanic language family. Because of this, it is closely related to English, German and the Scandinavian languages.
If you are interested in starting a Dutch language learning program, check out our DutchPod101 review below!
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DutchPod101 Review: Summary
Upon setting up your free lifetime account, you are granted a free seven-day Premium trial. This is the second-highest subscription tier and offers loads of learning features. There is an extensive library of both videos and podcasts, vocabulary and phrase lists and flashcards.
If you are unsure what expertise level, to begin with, you can take a diagnostic assessment and DutchPod101 will assign you to a level. Levels include absolute beginner, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The following is a quick list of just some of the many features offered with DutchPod101.
- Unlimited access to all audio and video lessons
- Lessons taught by native Dutch speakers
- Access to one-on-one instruction with instructors
- Personal assessments and assignments available
- Self-paced learning
- Accessible on smartphones, tablets, desk- and laptops
Pros of DutchPod101
Pro #1: Most Extensive Lesson Library
DutchPod101 offers one of the most extensive lesson libraries we have seen in a language learning program. You can choose from hundreds of videos or podcasts to begin your lessons. There is also a variety of learning tools like flashcards to make memorizing vocabulary fun and interesting.
Pro #2: Interesting, Modern Content
The lessons are upbeat, interesting and relevant to life as we know it today. You won’t find outdated or obsolete topics. The instructors keep lessons fun and engaging so you want to keep learning. So, if you want to discuss where to find a Wi-Fi hotspot or talk about the latest memes on Facebook, you can.
Pro #3: Native Dutch Speakers
All lessons are taught by native Dutch instructors. This is a great resource because you are able to get proper pronunciation instruction and even some insight into Dutch culture. This will also give you an idea of what to expect from an authentic conversation in Dutch.
Cons of DutchPod101
Con #1: Lack of Community
There is not a large community of people learning to speak Dutch, so it can be tricky to find conversation practice. You may need to venture to other sites to communicate with others trying to learn Dutch.
Con #2: Lack of Feedback
One-on-one instruction is only available with the top-tier monthly subscription plan, the PremiumPLUS level. The other plans do offer assessments, so you will have a general idea of how well you are progressing, but there is little in the way of what to improve upon.
Features of DutchPod101
Upon logging into your account, you will be taken to your dashboard. Here, you will find the latest news, can update your expertise level, and add learning pathways. This is where you will find access to all your lessons and keep track of your progress.
There is a large selection of learning pathways available. If you are a serious student wanting to become fluent in Dutch, try the curated and structured pathway for the fastest route. You could also try out All About Dutch Culture and Society or Essential Dutch for Emergencies to prepare yourself for upcoming trips or other events. You can add as many learning pathways to your dashboard as you see fit and work on them at your own pace.
Audio and Video Library
There are hundreds of videos and audio lessons to complete. Each lesson is followed by a detailed transcript in order to fully explain grammatical or cultural norms associated with said lesson. Videos offer words onscreen so you can follow along and see what you are pronouncing.
Flashcards and Other Learning Tools
Spaced repetition flashcards are a fun and interactive way to practice vocabulary. You will also find long lists of common phrases and words to memorize. There is also some voice recording technology that allows you to compare your pronunciation to the instructor’s to make sure you’re saying things correctly.
Each lesson comes with printable PDF notes to help you review what you just learned. They explain why certain words are used over others and any other grammatical differences you may face. You will also find cultural references sprinkled throughout.
Who Should Buy DutchPod101?
Language learning programs are a great investment for anyone who is serious about learning a second language. Those who will benefit most from DutchPod101 include those who:
- thrive on independent study
- want to speak fluent Dutch for business or personal reasons
- are self-motivated and have time to learn
- want to learn enough Dutch for traveling purposes
Who Should Not Buy DutchPod101?
On the other hand, there are those who will not benefit from DutchPod101 including those who:
- prefer learning in a classroom setting
- require one-on-one instruction
- do not have the motivation or time to study
DutchPod101 vs. Competitors
Admittedly DutchPod101 is not the only language learning program that claims to teach you to speak Dutch. Let’s take a look at some other options.
DutchPod101 vs. LearnDutch.org
LearnDutch.org is packed with video lessons and allows the user to test the waters with learning to speak Dutch. There are few, if any, major assessments and moving on to more advanced levels is all decided by the user. There does not appear to be a guided path to learning, rather a “do all these lessons and you’ve got it” approach.
DutchPod101 vs. Babbel
Babbel puts you through its own testing, of sorts, before allowing you to check out the site. You must answer questions like why you are learning Dutch, how much time you can commit to it and how old you are. Babble uses a lot of spaced repetition in its teachings, but its structure is lacking and the content is not as extensive as DutchPod101.
$8/month $2.80/month (using this coupon link)
- Access on iPhone, Android and tablets
- Access to the complete audio library
- PDF lesson transcripts
$25/month $7/month (using this coupon link)
The Premium Subscription includes all the Basic Subscription features plus:
- Interactive lesson assessments
- Spaced repetition flashcards
- Bonus content
- Extensive word lists and word bank
- Audio and video transcripts
Premium PLUS Subscription
$47/month $16/month (using our coupon link)
The Premium PLUS Subscription includes all the Basic and Premium Subscription features plus:
- Personalized learning pathway
- One-on-one instruction with a native speaker
- Professional assessments
DutchPod101 Review Conclusion: Great Program, But Not Without It’s Faults
In our opinion, DutchPod101 is one of the most comprehensive Dutch language learning programs available.
It is easy to access, and the structured learning pathway is one of the best-guided courses. DutchPod101 is an effective learning tool for anyone interested in becoming fluent in the Dutch language.
You can sign up for your free lifetime account here.