One of my long-term goals is to get my Dutch up to the C2 CEFR level, so I’m always seeking out podcasts and other affordable resources to help me improve my listening comprehension skills. That’s how I stumbled upon the Say it in Dutch podcast, a Dutch-language podcast series run by a language school based in Groningen.
Each episode runs for an average of 20-25 minutes and covers a wide range of topics, including the Eurovision Song Contest, sports, seasonal traditions, national politics, Dutch art, and the anti-vax movement. What sets this podcast apart is its use of clips from other Dutch-language media (including news reports and TV dramas), its focus on current affairs and culture, and the fact that each episode is entirely in Dutch, albeit delivered at a clearer, slower pace.
All new words, idioms, expressions, and cultural titbits are explained in Dutch, so this podcast is not ideal for beginners but rather is aimed at those who have mastered the language to at least the B1 CEFR level. Episode transcripts exist but these must be purchased from their store, starting from € 3.75 per transcript.
Take your Nederlands to the next level by checking out the Say it in Dutch SoundCloud account, visiting the Say it in Dutch Idioms blog, or following them on Twitter.
Language learning need not be expensive and if you’re looking for free resources for improving your Korean, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive and relevant resource than Easy to Learn Korean.
Easy to Learn Korean was launched back in 2008 and was created by husband and wife team Chad Meyer and Kim Moon-jung for the Korea Times. Each bite-sized, colourfully illustrated lesson introduces several new words, phrases, and expressions and offers fascinating insights into Korean culture and traditions.
(Copyright: Chad Meyer and Kim Moon-jung, Korea Times)
- Lessons make use of colour coding, romanised Korean, and hangul and their supplementary illustrations are a handy feature for language learners who rely on visual aids for memorising new vocabulary.
- This series covers a wide range of subjects, ranging from everyday topics such as Facebook and homework to socio-political issues such as climate change and the Demilitarised Zone.
- New lessons are added on a regular basis and are presented in an easy-to-digest format, which is perfect for commuters and those who have limited time to devote to their language studies.
- This series is essential reading for non-Koreans living, working, and/or studying in South Korea.
- Koreans can also use these lessons to learn new English words and expressions.
- There are no audio files or videos to aid with pronunciation, so you will need to familiarise yourself with Korean pronunciation beforehand.
- These lessons don’t cover the Korean alphabet or basic Korean grammar so they might not be ideal for absolute beginners.
The most recent Easy to Learn Korean lessons can be accessed via The Korea Times but you can find a lot more of Meyer and Kim’s mini-lessons over on the Easy to Learn Korean Tumblr blog and their official Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Easy to Learn Korean is 100% free but if you would like to support its creators, consider purchasing a copy of their bilingual book, An Illustrated Guide to Korean: Essential Words and Phrases, which is packed with Korean language and cultural content and can be ordered via Amazon and Amazon UK.
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