https://www.duolingo.com/doctortrax

Why you should learn Dutch

doctortrax
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When telling people I'm learning Dutch, their response has been along the lines of "but why? They all speak English anyway! What's the point?"

As we were driving through the Netherlands, I discovered another reason than "but it's fun!" - it's very useful to be able to read road signs if you're driving. Road signs don't exactly speak English! Plus, being able to read a restaurant menu or the ingredient list on a food item is also very useful. Or instructions.

(Still looked completely blank when being talked to in Dutch, but I've only just hit lvl 9.)

Many are the reasons for learning Dutch, even though "they all speak English anyway". :)

3 years ago

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Languageexperts1
Languageexperts1
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Dutch, the newest addition to the line of Living Language online courses, comes out today! Here are 5 reasons we think learning Dutch is een goed idee (good idea).

  1. Dutch is spoken in more places than you might think. The Dutch language can be heard far beyond the Netherlands and its neighbor Belgium. It has official status in Suriname and the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten. The closely-related (and mutually intelligible) language Afrikaans is spoken in South Africa and Namibia.

  2. Dutch is easy (okay, easier) for English speakers. Dutch is our closest relative, considered even closer than German. So if you speak German and English, learning Dutch should be smooth sailing. And even if you only speak English, you’ll still have an advantage.

  3. Dutch sounds cool! There are a few tricky but fun sounds in Dutch that you’ll get to practice, such as /x/ or the so-called “dorsal fricative” and the trilled /r/ sound. Here’s an example of a Dutch tongue twister (or a tongbreker in Dutch) involving a whole lot of /x/:

Wij smachten naar achtentachtig prachtige nachten bij achtentachtig prachtige grachten. We long for eighty-eight wonderful nights at eighty-eight wonderful canals. (*You can listen to a native speaker show us how it’s done on this page.)

  1. You can be a pleasant surprise! It’s true that with around 86% of the population in the Netherlands able to converse in English, you can easily travel in the Netherlands without speaking Dutch, but that’s precisely what is fun about learning Dutch. If you do speak Dutch, it will come as a surprise! And with an estimated half a million Dutch speakers living in the U.S., Canada and Australia, you may get to show off closer to home.

  2. You can learn the culture as well as the language. In our Dutch course, you’ll find culture notes on a variety of topics, from the importance of punctuality, the color orange, and bicycles in Dutch culture to the relationship and history between the Netherlands and its neighbor Belgium, to holidays and food in Dutch culture and the influence of the Dutch language on English (residents of New York City will find a lot of familiar place names in this section!).

  3. See more at: http://www.livinglanguage.com/blog/2014/10/07/5-reasons-to-go-learn-dutch/#sthash.Hu2Zz87w.dpuf

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/doctortrax
doctortrax
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It's easy(ish) if you know English and a bit of German. It's even easier if you also know a Scandinavian language! Can't speak for Norwegians or Danes, but there are many similarities with Dutch and (my native) Swedish. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kimojima
kimojima
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3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/doctortrax
doctortrax
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Cool! :D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/josephkt

got to stop you there i agree with what you said but i have to point a couple of things however although it has official status in the caribbean islands it's not the first language that is spoken on the street especially by young people and these countries have many expats and foreign workers that have lived there for years that don't speak dutch either just saying don't think you are gonna be immersed in dutch on these islands like in belgium or the netherlands

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/josephkt

how about just learning it because you want to who cares about what people think.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/doctortrax
doctortrax
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That's what I'm doing. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Olga451165
Olga451165
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they speak english with you if needed, but I think they speak dutch among themselves ... and it's nice to understand what's going on around you... IMO

and "it's fun" should be a good enough reason!! lol

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dremwr
dremwr
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I learn languages because it is interesting. Also for practical reasons, but mostly because it is interesting because you learn new concepts, and entirely new and weird ways of expressing yourself. It is fun to learn new languages.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RosieStrawberry

I am Dutch myself, but I think you really shouldn't learn it. Spend your time on Spanish for example. If you want to learn road signs, learn them separately, but I think you do not need to learn the entire language for that.

8 months ago
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