Watch SHORT Dutch movies to learn Dutch

As an online teacher I spend a lot of time at my computer. But during the summer school and winter school I like to talk to as many students as possible.

I want to hear what their experiences are, and often I learn something from them. For example things to do in the Netherlands

Foreigners have told me things I never knew about my country!

One student informed me that short Dutch movies are worth watching. This was new for me, so I looked into this.

Short movies are great for learning Dutch

In the Netherlands, short movies are known as Korte Films. There is a great variety of these films, and they are usually no longer than 30 minutes.

Why is that great? It is great because of a couple reasons. Let’s start with the first one.

  1. You can focus better on the whole Dutch film

Long movies might be difficult to follow all the way through. When the narrative becomes complicated, it’s more difficult to follow, especially when it’s in Dutch.

It’s easier to focus 20 minutes then almost two hours.

  1. It doesn’t take so much of your time

Learning Dutch is probably only one of the things you do. There are many things happening in people’s lives. And watching a whole movie might take up too much of your time.

  1. They are different compared to regular movies

A lot of regular Dutch movies fall into the same category: romantic comedy, historical movies and movies based on books. There are quite a few good ones, but also a lot of bad ones.

Dutch movies don’t have the best reputation in the Netherlands. Often Dutch people prefer watching Hollywood movies.

It’s different with short movies. Because they are not produced for popular consumption, they are more diverse. So you might be surprised, in a good way or a bad way. Either way it’s different from your usual Dutch movie experience.

Online there are several platforms where you can watch short Dutch movies for free.

  1. Authentic Dutch

In a lot of short films you will see ‘authentic’ Dutch language spoken. Compared to normal movies its less stylized and you will hear a greater variety of accents.

This is of course a great exercise for your listening skills.

The most effective way of learning when watching a short movie              

You can learn most effectively if you follow these steps:

  1. Watch a movie without subtitles.
  2. Write down the words that you don’t understand. The good thing about video and, especially nowadays, if there’s something you don’t understand, you can always rewind and try to listen to it again.
  3. Watch it again, this time with subtitles. Now look at the difficult words and use a dictionary to check the meanings.
  4. You can use the third viewing to watch the whole movie without pausing.
  5. Last try to use the new words. The best way to do this is by watching the movie with someone else.

Of course, I understand you can’t watch all movies like this. But if you have the time you can try to do this. You will see, it helps a lot!

Longer movies

It’s not that it’s all bad with Dutch movies. Watching Dutch movies can greatly improve your Dutch. Here you can read my top 10 Dutch movies that you should watch.

Bart de Pau
online Dutch teacher & founder of the Dutch Summer School & Dutch Winter School