Learning Business Vocabulary Words (example in Dutch)

Today I'm hitting the books again. I've been studying Dutch for a year and a half at this point, and I'm at that weird intermediate level where it's easy to plateau. I just accepted a freelance job where most of the correspondence will be in Dutch, so I made a vocabulary list for the first time in a long time and set out to study it.

I'm going to share my vocabulary list building tips with you, so you can learn things on your own, too!

Other than taking a Beginner's Plus Dutch course that was 12 weeks long, I have learned Dutch on my own. It is more work to design your own learning plan and find learning materials yourself, but you have the added benefit of studying information that is directly relevant to you.

This is very important when learning a language, since even if you have a course, an instructor, or a tutor you'll still need to supplement your learning by seeking out things you need to know that aren't covered in the lessons. Learning stuff you can use immediately based arounds your needs and interests is where successful language learning happens.

So I'll walk you through my vocabulary study for today!

First, I made a list of words I'd need to know in Dutch for the project. It looks like this:

Dutch for Business

conference call
schedule (verb)
schedule (noun)
forward to

I stopped at 23 words because it was starting to take me a long time to come up with new ones, and I want to get going.

I typed each word into Google Translate and wrote the Dutch version next to the English. It's important to make sure you get the right translation for each term. Google's ai can only do so much. For example, I typed in the word "attach", but there are a lot of different settings where it can be used and they may differ in their definition. If you are talking about attaching an email or say, being attached to your mother, those could be two completely different words in another language. 

So as I am translating each word, I'm also looking at the other terms that pop up below it, and if I'm not sure which one fits best for what I'm looking for, I add a few words to the English side and have it translate a phrase that'll accurately use the word. Like, "attach to email" instead of just "attach". By doing that, I found out that it's actually supposed to be said as "attachment added to email".

Another example is when I got to "file"... there were definitions for filing something away, filing your nails, and then the actual noun, a file folder or file attachment, that I was looking for. So as you create your own lists, be conscious of that. You can always ask your language exchange partner, fb learning group, or native friend to double check for you!

Once my full list was translated, I clicked over to Google Forms and created a new Quiz for myself. It took me 20 minutes using my laptop, contains different multiple choice and short answer questions, and is about 25 questions long.

If you want to take my Dutch for Business quiz, click here!

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I took my own quiz right after making it, but it's no surprise that I got all of them correct. I did make the questions challenging by not making them all multiple choice, forcing me to manually type the translation and not only get it right, but spell it right, too, but it was too fresh to be very challenging. This would be more effective if I had a study partner, language exchange partner, or a tutor do this for me - you'll get the advantage of not having written the test yourself! - but I also added a date so I can revisit it again when it's not at the top of my mind and track my progress. 

As the job goes on and I come across words I have to look up, I'll be adding them to the quiz. By the end of the two week contract I'll know a lot more business words and phrases! I'll keep you updated.

Ta ta for now,

Xx Alison


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