Easy to learn and could help you find a job
Finding a professional Dutch tutor is easy with Talk Languages.
It may not be obvious from how Dutch sounds, but apart from Frisian (which is spoken in the Dutch province of Friesland), it is the modern language closest to English. It is therefore the easiest language to learn for native speakers of English. You can have speedy success!
There are excellent employment prospects with Dutch. As recent labour market intelligence by the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML) points out, UK industry demand by far exceeds the supply of graduates who have studied Dutch.
It is in fact the fifth most requested language in UK job advertisements, after French, Spanish, German and Italian. Contrary to what one would think it is some way ahead of Chinese and Russian. This is due to the close economic relations of the UK and its neighbours across the Channel.
Dutch is a Germanic language spoken by more than 23 million native speakers in the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as in Suriname in South America. It is also widely understood in former colonies, such as the Dutch Caribbean and Indonesia.
In addition, Afrikaans, which is spoken in South Africa and Namibia, shares many of the same tonal intonations and grammatical structures as Dutch, and they are mutually intelligible. Dutch is the seventh most spoken language in Europe and the 30th most spoken language in the world.
The Netherlands and Belgium belong to the largest trading partners of both the UK and the US, making Dutch an important language in import/export. With the majority of Dutch speakers being fluent in English, there may seem little reason to learn Dutch. But remember that everyone likes to think that their own language is worth a little trouble.
It is a fact that you can speak English almost anywhere in the Netherlands (around 86% of the population speak English). However, it’s good to know some basic phrases so that you can navigate your way around places where no one speaks English. Away from the tourist areas of Holland, there are many people who do not know English. Especially in small bed and breakfast properties and local shops. Some people may not be able to understand you or ask you what you need should you need help. Even a little bit of Dutch goes a long way.
In addition to knowing basic phrases, there are a few practical reasons too. For instance, knowing some Dutch makes reading restaurant menus, road signs, newspapers, and ingredient lists much easier. You will not get lost and will be able to make your way through a supermarket without wondering if they sell fresh milk. It also makes administrative procedures like filling out forms much easier. You will not need a third-party translator and will have the satisfaction of being one step closer to being a fully-fledged linguist.
Dutch is not only spoken in the Netherlands. It is not as global a language as Spanish, for example. But by speaking Dutch, you can confidently visit Belgium, Suriname and the Caribbean, specifically Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, armed with your extra knowledge. As we said, Dutch is something like Afrikaans, which is spoken in South Africa and Namibia. It’s not confined to the Netherlands.
Culture isn’t always visible. The culture of a place also includes its language, sayings, humour, songs, cuisine, art, and so on. Therefore, by speaking a bit of Dutch or learning to understand it, you can learn a great deal about Dutch culture. Plus, you can talk to locals! Locals are always a great way to integrate yourself and improve your travel experiences.
English and Dutch are closely related languages even though they sound quite different. They would be right next to each other on the Indo-European family tree, because they are both directly descended from a common Germanic language. This means that knowing English gives you an advantage when learning Dutch. Also, if you know a little German, you have another advantage. There are many similarities between the two languages, except that the Dutch grammar is less complicated. English students frequently say that Dutch is the easiest language to learn – why not find out if that’s true!
Maybe you didn’t realise it but you probably speak a little Dutch already. A lot of English words were first used in the Netherlands. The Dutch colonists were amongst the first settlers to set foot in America in the 17th century and of course they brought with them every day Dutch words and terms. For example, Yankee, boss, booze, Santa Claus, cookie, spooky, coleslaw, skate, quack, cruise!
Today you can find more than 150 Dutch words in an English dictionary, and it’s not confined to English words. You can also find words in French, German and Spanish that have their origin in Dutch.
Finding an English job in Holland is not difficult, as the language is spoken by most Dutch people. But it can be beneficial to show an employer that you understand some Dutch when applying for a job. Even being able to say basic phrases could be helpful for jobs in shops and restaurants. In jobs where you might be communicating with people, guests or clients, it’s never a bad thing to boast some language skills.
Dutch is not the most well-known language in the world. We all know that. This is one of the reasons why Dutch people like it when foreigners try to learn their language. You can just say `Wilt u Nederlands spreken, want ik leer Nederlands` (Would you speak Dutch, I want to learn to speak Dutch) and most people are glad to speak Dutch with you.
Not only do you find Dutch in other languages, it also works the other way around. The Dutch culture, and therefore the Dutch language, is not afraid to accept foreign words or expressions. French, German and especially English words often find their way into daily Dutch conversation.
We at Talk Languages have excellent native Dutch teachers who can teach you online, at home, at work, or in a quiet public space, like a café. With the basic vocabulary, grammar and key phrases you can start a basic conversation, and your tutor will help you gain confidence. Of course, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Pick up the phone, or email us today!
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My first Dutch lesson with Vera went really well. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to my next lesson.