Producing Tiny Interlinear Stories To Learn A Language

Learning a new language can be both exciting and challenging. One effective way to start learning Dutch is by reading simple stories that introduce basic vocabulary and grammar in context. You can ask ChatGPT to help you with this. This guide will walk you through creating beginner stories, breaking the example story down word by word in an Excel format to help you understand and memorize the language.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Open Excel: Start by opening a new Excel workbook.
  2. Create Rows: Label Row A as "Dutch" and Row B as "English."
  3. Input the Tiny Story: Enter the Dutch story word by word in Row A, with each word in its own cell, or ask ChatGPT to produce it. In Row B, enter the English translation word by word directly below the corresponding Dutch word. Wrap the rows if necessary.

Sample Story Breakdown

Here’s a simple story about a Dutch girl. Copy the text into your Excel spreadsheet as shown below:


Mijn naam is Imane. Ik ben een meisje
My name is Imane. I am a girl
van zeventien jaar oud. Ik woon in Amsterdam.
from seventeen years old. I live in Amsterdam.
Mijn familie bestaat uit mijn vader, moeder, en
My family consists of my father, mother, and
broer. Ik zit nog op de middelbare school,
brother. I sit (am) still on (in) the middle (high) school,
op het VWO. Mijn leven lijkt op het
on the VWO My life seems at the
eerste gezicht vrij gewoontjes maar dat is niet
first face (glance) rather ordinary but that is not


You can also fill out the story yourself of course, straight into Excel or Sheets or another tool.


Explanation and Practice

  1. Read Aloud: Read the Dutch story aloud multiple times to get familiar with the pronunciation and rhythm. Use a Text to Speak tool to create audio.
  2. Translation Practice: Compare each word with its English translation to understand the meaning. Or rather read the Bold text and only look up the English when you need to.
  3. Memorization: By reading, you will automatically practice memorizing the words of the tiny stories daily.
  4. Repetition: Regularly reread the stories to reinforce your learning.
  5. Use in Sentences: Try creating new tiny stories yourself, using the words you've learned from the story.

Tips for Success

  • Consistency is Key: Spend a few minutes every day reading and practicing the story.
  • Engage with Native Speakers: If possible, practice speaking with native Dutch speakers to improve your fluency.
  • Expand Vocabulary: Use the story as a foundation and gradually add more words and sentences to your repertoire.

By breaking down the story word by word and comparing it to the English translation, you’ll develop a stronger grasp of basic Dutch vocabulary and sentence structure. Happy learning!