https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos

As a Dutch (flemish) speaking person, I wonder why you would learn dutch?

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I've been taught English and French in school, two world languages and I'm learning Portuguese and planning to learn Mandarin.

I don't get why so many people on Duolingo take the effort to learn Dutch? Is it such an important language? I'm just genuinely curious?

Edit: What is everyone's native language?

9 months ago

130 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Hermesianax
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Dutch is not that small of a language with 21 mln native speakers. And I have the feeling that we, Dutch and Flemish people, often have too little appreciation for our own language.

In Nederland wordt er zeker in de Randstad steeds meer Engels gesproken, ook door mensen die er voor langere tijd wonen. Op de universiteiten wordt steeds meer Engels gebruikt, ook voor zaken die niet bijster dringend lijken voor internationale studenten. Ik doe bijvoorbeeld een Engelstalige master, en mis het enorm om papers in het Nederlands te schrijven ipv Engels.

Ik was ook tamelijk verbaasd dat Nederlands zo populair is op DL, maar het laat ook meteen zien dat we best wat meer waardering mogen hebben voor onze eigen moedertaal!

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lernejano
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From my perspective as an American I think you guys really do under appreciated your language. That’s yours and yours alone yet it seems you guys are all too willing to let English take over Dutch.

I mean no offense. This is just an observation. I might be wrong.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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That's maybe true, but as matter of fact. I don't see the Dutch language being used anywhere in the world, as opposed to English. But I might be wrong and that's why I asked the question :)

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/XantheWarde

ha, you guys (Dutch people) have spread out across the world! I live in NZ. I'm pretty sure a Dutchman found us first. I frequently meet Dutch people. My partner is Dutch, one of my colleagues is Dutch. Why wouldn't I choose Dutch?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RedFritz

You are right, the Dutch just can't hold on to what they discovered. The English always take it away.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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Ja klopt! Ik vind het best vreemd om dit te zien. Maar aan de reacties op deze post te zien blijkt dat nederlands nog sterk leeft

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose
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May I translate that to the best of my abilty (correct me, please)?
Yes exactly! It's really strange to see it. But based on the comments on this post, it's obvious that Dutch still lives (strongly).

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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1 mistake that I could see: it's really strange to see this. You have a good spirit! Now try to translate the post of Hermesianax! Veel plezier in het leren van talen :)

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose
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OK, thank you! Here goes:
I'm not sure what Randstad means.

In Netherland, English is being spoken more and more, also when poeple live there for longer periods of time. In the universities, increasingly more English is spoken, (I'm unsure about the following) also where the incoming (or lack of a better word) people for(?) international students. I take for example an English-speaking master (?) and miss (?) have undertaken to write papers (newspapers?) in English.

The rest is already done! Is that correct?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hermesianax
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@Pieter :

Note that the writer was using quite a few English loanwords themselves, highlighting the degree of penetration of these in higher education.

I wouldn't say the use of two loanwords ("Master" and "paper") is that heavy in my writing. Or did I miss one?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pieter235124
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"In the Netherlands, especially in the Randstad ['Edge-city', https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randstad], there is for sure more and more English being spoken, also by people that live there for quite a while. At the universities more and more English is being used, also for things that don't look that important for international students. I, for instance, follow a masters degree program where English is the language of instruction [as opposed to a Master where English is the language taught], and I really miss being able to write papers in Dutch instead of English."

Note that the writer was using quite a few English loanwords themselves, highlighting the degree of penetration of these in higher education. Often these words take on a more restricted meaning than they have in English.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/meesie1
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Nederlands is mijn moedertaal, maar je hebt er denk ik meer aan om Spaans of inderdaad mandarijn te leren. Op vakantie praat ik meestal engels omdat iedereen het meestal wel kan of een beetje kan spreken.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose
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Afrikaans is my mother language and it's so close to Dutch I think I understood what you said! Is this translation of mine correct?
Translation: I was also quite surprised that Dutch (Netherlands) is so popular on DL, (I don't know how to translate this bit...) (...something about...) appreciation for our own mother-language!
Was that correct or at least close?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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very close! The part you didn't understood was: Looking at the reactions on this post, I think Dutch still runs strongly :)

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose
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Thank you! This is fun! I love reading Dutch! It's seems so original or ancient compared to Afrikaans, to me! Thanks for making this post pedroduos!

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xjonnax

Het erge is is dat ze zo graag de les engels talig willen maken op de universiteiten dat ze de docenten in het diepe gooien en er zo'n gebrekkig engels uit hun mond komt dat niemand er beter van wordt.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RedFritz

Engels zijn heel verwarrend, dit is eigenlijk Germaans, Latijn en Frans. Ik weet niet of Nederlands ook uit verschillende tallen bestaat.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nadanotacaba
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2 Hermesianax Dutch could be described as a direct language, phonetically as well as gramatically, which makes Dutch a less complex language than for example English. In Dutch you write down what you hear (although "d" and "t" some more memory), e.g. boek, doek, doel, doet, hoed, hoek, koek, moet, poes, roet, voet, zoek, zoet. De "oe" represents only one sound (like "clue"). In English much more memory is required, e.g. book, boot, cook, cool, fool, foot, hook, hoot, mood, , moot, poof, pool, poop, poor. While there are some irregular verbs in Dutch, irregularity in conjugation is less than in some other languages, compare "être" in French, and "zijn" in Dutch. Dutch (German as well) is also a expressive language in its wording, e.g. the meaning of "een vliegtuig" (an airplane), is a tool ("tuig") to fly (vliegen). To fully comprehend the meaning of a word in another language, many times I translate it into Dutch to better grasp its significance, e.g. in the financial market you have bond loans, usually only called bonds, while in Dutch a bond loan is called "een obligatielening" or called "een obligatie". An "obligatie" speaks more to my intuition than a bond. I have always found it easier to learn other languages from a Dutch base. Het is inderdaad zeer jammer dat het Nederlands door culturele penetratie verengelsd wordt, waarschijnlijk amerikaans engels, waar steeds meer gebruik gemaakt wordt van afkortingen en polulaire uitdrukkingen, die niet algemeen bekend zijn. Ik geloof ook niet, dat welke taal dan ook door spell check er beter van is geworden.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RedFritz

Ja ek moet de hele tijd opkijken what is "figure out" nu weer. "Het door krijgen?" I can only remember the English en ek praat van kleins af die Keuken Nederlands.(Afrikaans)

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nadanotacaba
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2 RedFritz "figure out" = begripsmatig uitzoeken, en dat is soms niet "easy"

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RedFritz

Dankjewel! IK heb "Het door krijgen" by Memrise webwerf raak gelopen. Google translate toont weer "erachter te komen". Mense gebruiken het Engels heel dikwels omdat ze niet de term in zijn eigen taal kennen. Mense kyk my snaaks aan as ek zeggen dat ek mijn wisselstroomdynamo laat herstellen hebben, hulle ken net "alternator".

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MykeDeWolf

My reasons for learning Dutch:

  1. I have a Dutch friend online

  2. The language is very similar to English

  3. Learning Dutch will make German so much easier

  4. I’ve always liked the country

  5. I’m potentially going to the Netherlands this summer

  6. It opens your doors to not only Holland but also Belgium, parts of the Caribbean and Suriname (Also South Africa if you count Afrikaans)

  7. It’s a minority language with a lack of interest, (unlike Spanish or French) so I think that it needs some appreciation and people who are willing to learn it

  8. Almost all Dutch people speak English, so it would be cool to surprise them by learning their language instead of vice versa

  9. It’s an excuse to sound productive, and it can be a code language with your Dutch friends in awkward situations :P

Bedankt!

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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I think reason 8 is a cool reason! And reason 9 to sound productive might be right and you'll never know when it comes in handy!

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Schokifrea

My native language is German but I hvae Dutch ancestores and relatives. I just need Duolingo because the border is not far awy from here and I know many dutch words so far. But I dont have much experience with Flemish.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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I dont think Dutch and Flemish are much different apart from the pronounciation and some words.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LunjoTO

My mother immigrated to Canada from Belgium at a young age with her parents. She didn't want her children to sound like "foreigners" so she discouraged our speaking French at home (although we were studying it at school) and learning Flemish. My grandparents spoke it, though, and my grandmother always had these funny one-sided conversations with my mother where my grandmother spoke Flemish and my mother spoke English. My mother's English was flawless Southern Ontario except when she drank a bit too much and then she couldn't pronounce "th". Otherwise, you wouldn't know she hadn't been born in Canada. (She also couldn't speak without waving her hands around in the air and would go mute if we held her hands still!)

Anyway, my reason for learning Dutch is because of this heritage. I studied German in school (not successfully) because I would have preferred to learn Flemish or Dutch but it was not offered.

I love learning Dutch because I inherited a nice pronunciation from my grandparents. I have yet to test it with a native Dutch or Flemish speaker and hope to travel to that part of the world sometime.

Thank you Duolingo for offering Dutch and giving me the chance to finally learn the closest thing to the first language of my mother. It really is a beautiful language to me.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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I love your story. How many years have you been speaking Dutch? From your childhood as I understand?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LunjoTO

I'm glad you liked it.

No, not speaking it because our mother didn't want us to. When they first came to Canada they went to Quebec city and they all spoke French. This was in the early 1920s. When they decided to move to Toronto for more opportunity, they all had to learn English from scratch. My mother was treated very badly at school because of her poor initial English and perfected her English to such an extent that, as I mentioned before, no one could tell she hadn't been born in Canada. She also cultivated a huge vocabulary which us kids benefited from greatly. That's why she wanted us to grow up using only English at home as well. My father was an anglophone Canadian.

I only started to learn Dutch from Duolingo about two years ago and I'm not through the tree yet since I really do want to learn the language properly and completely.

(Because of my school experience of NOT being able to use French after nine years of study and German after four years of study I thought I couldn't learn languages until I learned Esperanto. Now there are no more barriers and I just have to pick a language I want to learn and apply myself. Hooray!)

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LunjoTO

I can see why you would think I already speak Dutch. Bad writing on my part. Take the part in brackets out of the second sentence and it will make sense then. ;-)

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mededogen

I'm a native English speaker, so when I was choosing a language to focus on, I was not so concerned about worldwide usage. I was more concerned about how the language looks, sounds, the people, the countries it's spoken in, etc. I have to say that I wouldn't choose any other language over Dutch at this point. It's my absolute favorite. I have so many great Dutch-speaking friends and the Netherlands is such a nice country. Same with Belgium, and Suriname would be a blast to visit!

Dutch also makes me laugh almost daily with its quirks and ultra-literal words. I don't think native Dutch-speakers realize how cool their language is.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WiskyRock
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I'm a native English speaker. I have a very good English friend who is a fluent Dutch speaker. He's great for practising with. He especially loves it when i say things to him like "De neushoorn eet een boterham", which is the kind of sentence Duolingo is fond of teaching you.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PollyMcCau1

I agree! I have never spent so much time talking about turtles!! (Or schildpadden!)

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.Gregor
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I'm a hobby sailor and from the central western region of Germany that I come from, the Dutch shore and especially the IJsselmeer are the closest place to go for a sailing holiday. German sailing vocabulary has a lot of words from Dutch, so that's another reason for me to also be interested in the language. I've been on holidays in the Netherlands and Flanders quite often as a child (for sailing as well as for the beach), so there's a fair amount of nostalgia there, too. In addition, there might be a chance for me to work in either the Netherlands or Belgium at some point, as each country has at least one well-known university/research institute with research in my field. And finally, I want to read "De ontdekking van de hemel" in its original language one day...

Being a German native speaker, Dutch is one of the easiest languages I could ever learn, so it didn't take too much motivation for me to sit down and actually do it.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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Well, I've been wanting to learn German for a long time. Maybe after I finish the Portuguese tree, I'll start learning German! Nice that you're learning it! And thanks for the reading tip! Good luck on your journey!

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
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Wow, "De ontdekking van de hemel" that's a beautiful mountain to climb. :)

I read it some 3 years ago and as a Dutch native speaker who has read quite a bit, I had to pay attention to keep up. Not so much the language itself or the style used (quite easy to read if I remember correctly), but all the references…phew…but actually understanding most of them was very satisfying I must say. :)

When you approach the level of reading Dutch literature, I would advise to start with something more accessible (and a bit thinner…) if only to get used to it. There definitely are a few writers with a very direct style and short sentences. But then all the subtleties, double meanings…well let's say there is a world for you to explore. I'd say it's worth it. Just ask some Dutch people for advise (or maybe even read some German literature translated into Dutch).

BTW Maybe I'll be able to do something similar in German one day, we'll see I'm not setting a goal like you did. :) My first goal would be reading some book for adolescents, I should manage that with some effort. :)

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/camjoy
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I am an American who would like to be able to read the plays of Joost van den Vondel, and though I have searched for many years, I have only ever found one in English translation (the tragedy "Lucifer," which we produced at my school in 2010, to enthusiastic audiences.) I have found five of his tragedies in French translation, but that is not quite the same, is it? At my age, I may never be good enough in my Dutch studies to read such high and poetic work as Vondel's, but I can dream at least...

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dinnernugget
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Age might make things tricky, but with enough dedication, you can definitely make it to that level! Just keep learning a couple words every day.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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I believe that with enough dedication you can do anything! Just go slowly and take your time :)

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aanaaaa
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I just love learning new languages :D :D :D

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hbogus

Dutch? Why? Even though you may not realise it yourself, Dutch, when spoken, (for me anyways) is a beautiful, strong and just incredible language. I was born in Delft, and as I explore more and more of the country, I just fall in love with the beauty of it. Sure, people there don't get along, to say the least, with other COUNTIES in their own country. Rotterdam vs Daan Haag. Amsterdam vs Rotterdam. I know. Some people, ahem, rephrase, a lot of Dutch people are prejudiced against people living in other parts of their own country. I'm sorry, ( I know your flemish), they think that all Belgium people are dumb, and have a strong dislike for people of those parts.( They also dislike parts of Holland near Belgium, and think they are dumb just because they are close to them), and as much as I disagree with that sort of thinking, I am not going to be put down by Dutch people (from Delft especially) that I can't speak the language, I'm sorry. Unfortunately, they would treat me as a foreigner, and expect me to be worse than them ect... I would like to spare myself such humiliation thank you very much. My native toungue is English, NOT AMERICAN, so yes I can visit Holland frequently. I am a Polish person in terms of family, and I have been all over Europe. But Holland? So amazing. The dutch don't understand how lovely their country is. Kroketje. Cycle paths EVERYWHERE. Albert Heign. HEMA. For goodness sakes, NOTHING can beat HEMA. Kruidvat. Etos. Heaven. Ignoring the TAX situation, ahem, forget I said that, Holland is a beautiful place, full of beautiful people, and great food. You would be missing out not to learn it. Also, PEOPLE DONT USE DUTCH ANYMORE???!!! How about half of Belgium and the whole of Holland!!! Come on, this is still a valid language and there is good reason to learn it, whether to visit or to reconnect with your roots. Please, who wouldn't?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nadanotacaba
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2 hbogus WOW Recht voor z'n raap!, just as Dutch itself. Having lived for six years in the Netherlands (Baarle-Hertog/Baarle Nassau; Roermond; Hilversum; Amsterdam-Noord (internship); Weesp (internship); Geleen (internship) during the years 1959 - 1962, and 1965 - 1968, I very much endorse your comments. I always felt better at home in Noord-Brabant and Limburg than in some of the other provinces. But in general, I was always treated very well, although I had this slight accent and lacking the Dutch "ggg" and "rrrr". As they say in Spanish: "Recordar es vivir"

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas914188
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It's an awesome language that looks super good!

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EmmaH883755
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My mothertongue is German and my main reason for learning Dutch was when I moved to a part of Germany pretty close to the Netherlands. Older people here still speak "Platt" that I didn't understand, but it's easier to talk to them in Dutch than German.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sivi203815

I am German and live near Cologne, not too far from the border to the Netherlands. Whenever I visited your country I had trouble understanding people. ( I don´t seem to have a feeling for it). I was so upset. Therefore I am happy to study it now, even though I think I will never get the possibility to speak it. Everybody answers immediately in English or German. - So what,- I like it, it´s fun! I do it just for myself. And - I practice my English as well....

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/.i.am.smol.bean.

Dutch was the 6th-course Duolingo made and the first one not made by staff. It has so many learners because it's been around for a long time. In comparison, Japanese has only been in beta for about half a year. (Don't quote me on it, though!)

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BenMaor3

My native language is Hebrew, I wanted to learn Dutch because my father's family is from The Netherlands (I also have Dutch nationality) so it is useful and I even consider living in The Netherlands when I will grow up.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lucas120680
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Since I started learning German, I began to realize how similar to other germanic languages it was, specially dutch. As I looked the language closer, I saw how interesting differently to german and english it was, what made me even more interested. After I visited the country I became really interested on learning the language. So, you could say my decision was pretty emotional hahah

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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As long as you love learning it.. It might come in handy one day! That's quite nice!

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lucas120680
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Yeah, I am enjoying it a lot! And how is it going with portuguese? Why did you begin to learn the language?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dutchesse722
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Possibly because many people have Dutch roots or are descendant from Dutch people, and so they want to know more about their background, their ancestors, etc., and one way to do this is through the language.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dismas7
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I am an indonesian student learning law (indonesia law) on college. The indonesian law is based on old-netherland (speaking dutch) so basically if i want to really understand the base/fundamentalism of my country's law then the best to do so is to learn from netherland.. which at the time of the creating our law is speaking dutch. i am aware that most people in the netherland now can speak english fluently, and its more cool you know by speaking dutch when you study law.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rmensink
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I emigrated to the U.S. when I was ten years old. My parents continued to speak Dutch in the home, but after I left home I never had the opportunity to really speak Dutch again. Now DL has given me the chance to relearn it. It's a little like the dream of knowing how to magically play an instrument on stage that you never learned! It comes incredibly easy. I guess you never forget your first language. It's also a pleasure to hear and speak again. I've been learning French from start, and although I'll never be fluent in French, my being fluent in two languages by the time I was eleven has helped my pronunciation of French a great deal.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tigerka
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I've started learning Dutch a few weeks ago because I want to be able to understand what some people, for example, a future co-worker or my future boss say who might not speak English, plus I wanna be able to be employed in a shop for future summer holidays that I will have plenty of when studying in Amsterdam. I am gonna move to Medemblik in 3 days. I've been there a year ago and unfortunately, I found that a lot of older people there do not know English at all and it is essential to know it to have Dutch citizenship, which I wanna have too.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tigerka
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What I am saddened by though is that my mum, who only speaks Polish cannot learn it, because in polish version of the app the only available language to learn is English.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SquireColl

I'm learning Dutch because of my heritage. My entire paternal side, and a large portion of my maternal side are from Brabant, Holland, and Friesland. My Opa always taught us the importance of our blood and our heritage. We celebrate Dutch holidays and we use a lot of Dutch recipes around those times as well. My Oma and Opa took great pains to protect our way of life, and this was passed on to me. My Opa is with the Lord, but my Oma is still here. So, out of love of our history and our heritage, I'm learning Dutch to sort of complete what I've always been taught.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cloneboys
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I'm a native English speaker, and I'm learning for perhaps the most contrived reason in the world: love. My girlfriend is a native Dutch speaker, and although she doesn't like speaking in Dutch and considers it a useless language, it means a lot (to me) to communicate with her in her native tongue.

I've considered the awkwardness of what I'll do if we break up, especially because I've put so much energy into learning it, but to be honest, I love the language for the language's sake now! There's a lot of little grammar and vocabulary details that I find really cute (especially diminuitives and vocab like het zebrapad, de wegpiraat, and het olifantenpad), and it motivates to learn more. I've definitely encountered a wall or two, but I've still kept trucking on. I've come to a point where I'm proud of myself and would continue for the sake of continuing, especially since this is the most progress I've gotten in any language and I did it completely by myself (Duolingo, Memrise, a few Dutch grammar and lesson books, /r/learndutch, etc).

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
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Nice story. If you're not doing this already, definitely try to speak Dutch to your girlfriend, she'll be the best Dutch teacher you can ever get! (If she's not up to it you could even try to just speak Dutch one day a week.)

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WimDuncker

My native language is English (as it is spoken in New Zealand). My father is Dutch but never taught us the language. I'm learning Dutch now because I have a lot of cousins in Holland and it is easy to email and WhatApp with them these days. My wife and I travelled there for 5 weeks last year and plan to go again, maybe even live there for a while. Also I became a Dutch citizen in 2004 so that is also a good reason to learn the language.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chistopher580771

It’s generally recommended easy-ness my have something to do with it. I’ve seen many users recommending it along with Italian and Spanish although I’m not sure how true that is

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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I don't see my language as 'easy', although that begs the question 'what is an easy language?'. The more you learn, the harder it gets. I think the hardest part is pronounciation. Good luck on your journey!

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AmberjackCZ
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Yeah, pronunciation is definitely the hardest part of the Dutch. But that's it! Other than that it is basically simplified and more esthetically beautiful (at least for me) German. I guess Dutch people do not like to hear that, but it is true...:-)

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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It's weird to hear such a comment. I don't see my language as beautiful and old-fashioned instead. I love learning new vocabulary in my language, but I think grammar sucks. Thanks for your insight!

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/1.4142857
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I have been to Holland i found that although I speak no Dutch , only English and a little French, I could, if people spoke slowly, almost understand what people were saying. So I thought I’d give learning it a go so that they would be able to understand me, not that they all didn’t speak almost perfect English. Also my great grandfather was Dutch.

Have a nice day pedroduos

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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How was your learning experience so far? That's nice! Have great day!

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/1.4142857
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I’m really enjoying ‘playing’ duolingo. when I used to play angry birds or some such while waiting for the train I used to feel it was time wasted. With duolingo I get the same endorphin gaming high but at least I can kid myself that I’m learning a language. It may actually be working. mostly I’m working on French. Just down the road from me is a French patisserie (I’m partial to cakes) the woman who works ther has almost no English I am now able to have almost proper conversations with her about the Tour de France, Paris st Germain football team and the world endurance sports car championship,she’s from Le Mans

Have fun

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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Well, that's true! Thanks for making me think about Duolingo that way! That's how Duolingo is meant to be used in my opinion. Not as a studybook, but as a fun game!

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
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Wow, hang on to your language partner! Sounds like a very enjoyable and no doubt also a very effective way to learn French, plus speaking it often will give you the confidence that will allow you to continue learning/improving/enjoying it!

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ClaudioAgl1
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Italian mother tongue. I started learning Dutch at university. Why? I've always been curious about the Netherlands since I was very young. My good sensations were confirmed when I went there for some weeks as a tourist (and I appreciated a lot Flanders, too). Tolerant, peaceful and friendly people, rich history, original and magnificent culture (van Eyck and Vermeer are between my favorite painters), nice cities... and why not, beautiful girls.

So, I started learning, and I never stopped. :-)

I know that you can get easily by with English when in the Netherlands but what I would like to tell you is just "vergeet niet waarvan jullie komen".

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PollyMcCau1

My native language is English and I am learning Dutch as I hope to move to Bruges in the future. Whilst everyone there speaks English I want to integrate properly! However, I also know that there is a slight difference in the Dutch spoken in Belgium to that which is spoken in the Netherlands!

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
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And then there's a difference between Brugs dialect and standard Flemish. :) But don't worry about it, no doubt people will like it if you speak Flemish and make the effort to understand you and have you understand them.

But if you want to win their harts, best try learning the Flemish pronunciation, not the one used in the Netherlands. It's probably best to start with that as soon as possible. Listening to Netherlands Dutch is fine, as long as you also make sure to also listen to Flemish and try to pronounce in Flemish yourself.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Frickinmuck

I am a native English speaker and am interested in Dutch because my partner has Dutch roots and citizenship and we often talk about moving to Holland or spending some time there.

I haven't started that course yet, but that is why I'm personally interested in the language. Having been to Holland before I know many people speak English there, but it is always nicer to have some of the native language when traveling, and especially when living somewhere.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/33Zkcf3G

I am a native German speaker. Last year I attended a conference in the Netherlands. I thought it was better to know some of the local language. In the end I didn't need it, because I only used English. But 5 years ago I helped at the entrance to the conference and a truck driver only spoke Dutch to me. I had to call a Dutch speaker on the phone and hand the phone over. Of course as a German speaker I can guess a lot without knowing the language, but learning a bit Dutch improves that.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
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And even if you know hardly any Dutch it's nice if you're able to say goedemorgen, alsjeblieft, bedankt, hallo (although not sure how easy it is to replace the German sounding "o" by a Dutch sounding one). :)

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/canadaraised

I am learning dutch because all of my dad's family is from Holland and many of them don't know english all that well. My parents speak dutch to each other all the time, and I don't understand a word, so I get exposed to Dutch all the time without knowing what it actually means

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/torisha-ri

My reason is simple, I fell in love with a Belgian man. Although he speaks perfect english (even better than I do sometimes) parts of his family do not, so I want to be able to communicate with them in Dutch. It'll also be useful if we decide to live in Belgium which I'd quite like to do.

My native language is English however I am from Scotland so depending on who you ask maybe it's "Scots english" and not "Proper english"

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/F1shlegs
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As a native English speaker, I am learning Dutch because I love wielrennen and veldrijden. All the good content is in Dutch :)

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RebeccaBro416255

My boyfriend is Dutch so I'm learning to surprise him.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/XantheWarde

sneaky, i like it.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AmareloTiago
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I started studying Dutch on Duolingo because it is similar to Old English and I am intrigued by Old English and have studied it on and off for the last several years but have not had the discipline to really sit down and learn it. Duo really clicks for me and keeps me motivated enough to keep coming back until I finish a course and until I find something like that for Old English, I will keep coming back to Duo.

I have tried to keep up some familiarity with Dutch because at the farm and ranch store where I work in rural west Texas, I encounter a lot of speakers of languages closely related to Dutch (and infrequently even a Dutchman or two!). Because of my familiarity with Dutch, I can more-or-less follow a conversation in Afrikaans, Plaatduutsch (Mexican Mennoninte low German) or Pennsylvania Dutch (other Mennonite low German). Out all the languages listed on my profile, I use Dutch the second most in my daily life, after Spanish, and I have been a Spanish speaker for the last 20 years, so of all the languages that I have started studying on Duo, Dutch has actually been the most useful for me. They even can understand my response for the most part (with one particular exception jumping to mind) when I respond to statements in my poor Tex-Dutch.

So yes, Dutch is quite surprisingly useful in my daily life.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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I don't mean to offend you, but you seem like a person that is interested in languages in general. And if you can learn a new language, you jump at the opportunity and I think that is great.

But I thought that people didn't use Dutch anymore as a global language. It's weird to hear your story. Is your native language English?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AmareloTiago
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Yes, I am a native English speaker.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AdamNowek
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Since when did people not use Dutch anymore? o_O

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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Ah badly explained, I meant that Dutch wasn't a global language anymore :)

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MentalPinball
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Hi AmareloTiago,

I need to ask this, since I'm interested in Old English as well.... how have you studied it? are the free resources on the internet?

Cheers!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pentaan
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The course "Dutch for English speakers" is an excellent course for Dutch people (like me) to brush up their school English. Especially the new version 2.0 teaches more difficult grammar, words and sentences than the course "English for Dutch speakers".

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lutheraquino
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Interesting thread. I'm in the exact opposite situation to the one you described: I decided not to learn Dutch, even though I currently have a significant exposure to it living in Brussels. My native languages are Filipino and English, and I speak French and German well, and so naturally I can get by fine in Brussels without Dutch. I also spend most of my time in Wallonia (Louvain-la-Neuve) so that's one less reason to learn Dutch. But I do wonder all the time, especially when I overhear Flemish people in Brussels, whether I'm missing out on what could have been a much richer experience in Belgium by not being able to speak half the population's language.

It's always fun comparing German and Dutch, though. I find that I can guess the meaning of, let's say, 50-70% of a block of Dutch text, given the lexical similarities between Dutch and German.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pepe26Julio

I am moving to the Netherlands this summer and knowing the local language is very important for my business.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KnightsPawn

I literally had no reason. I just decided to learn Dutch, and at day 50 my sole motivation was "well I spent 50 days on this, I'm not breaking my streak."

However, by learning Dutch, I've learned so many things about my own family that I didn't even know. My family is Indonesian, so it was a pleasant surprise that some of the older members of my family speak Dutch, albeit most of them speak Indonesian, which I will eventually get to.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedroduos
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Everyone has a reason and you don't! You never know when it might come in handy

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RedFritz

I am used to ride the motorcycle(Afrikaans), so I was interested in finding out how the car(Nederlands) drives. Heelwat moeilijker.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
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LOL

Just remember that Afrikaans it a beautiful language in its own right! It's definitely not less valuable even though it originated from Dutch and is simpler than Dutch. (Don't listen to Dutch people who say Afrikaans is a kiddy language. I guess usually they only hear the simple grammar and similarities to Dutch and it reminds them of Dutch kids, they didn't think it through.)

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marozols

My reason is purely practical -- I moved to Netherlands recently. I work at a university and in a few years time I have to know enough Dutch so eventually I can teach in Dutch. But I find that it is also helpful for integrating in society. A simple example is going to movies. By default foreign films have Dutch subtitles, so if I don't understand Dutch, I would have to miss out on them (if not for Cine Expat who have special screenings for expats). In general, things that have to do with culture are in Dutch and I would like to be able to enjoy them without having to feel like I'm left out.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AutumnBrun1

I'm only learning dutch bc I know a cute dutch boy lol

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/canadaraised

Haha sounds like a legit enough reason for me xD

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mojofrodo

Because: A. The language is cool and I find the similarities fascinating between it and English and how the words fit together.

B. Because the Dutch ask " Why do you want to learn Dutch?

C. I have a friend who is Dutch and although he speaks English better than I do, I don't want him to have to all the time.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/canadaraised

Reason C is so much the same for me!! Especially when it comes to my extended family (They all live in Holland from my dad's side-he immigrated here about 40 years ago, and was the only one from his family that did so)

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RomanovaLana

People don't simply learn languages because they're "important". Some of us are simply interested in learning other languages for its own sake. My first language is French and my second is Dutch (Flemish). But I am relearning it because I lost it while learning how to speak English (my third language).

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tomlingner
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I started learning Dutch with Duo because I visited the Netherlands about ten years ago and really fell in love with it. I just got back a few days ago from a visit to Utrecht, and after three years with Duo, I was able to use the Dutch I have learned in real situations, and I found that most people really seemed to appreciate that I had made some effort to learn it. I have found this to be true wherever I have gone, even if you just learn "hello, goodbye, please, and thank you," you are less likely to be seen as an ignorant American yelling in English. And yes, I am an American and my native language is English.

To turn the question back on you, why wouldn't you want to learn another language?

9 months ago

[deactivated user]

    In my case I learn Dutch for two reasons: 1- I live in a country that does speak Dutch. 2- It annoys me when people keep saying to me that Dutch is a difficult language like almost saying: You too stupid to learn it! But I agree with you that Dutch is a small language if you compare with languages as English, Portuguese, Spanish, etc. To finish my reasoning: As a matter of fact, I like Dutch! My native language is Portuguese by the way

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/KatelynVB

    For me, it's more of an interest than a need for the language on a daily basis. My native language is English, but my dad is 100% Dutch, although his family has lived in America for several generations. I feel like learning Dutch is one way to connect to my heritage, being 50% Dutch, even though as far as I know nobody has known/spoken Dutch in my father's family for a few generations.
    I don't know how many people use Dutch worldwide, but I don't believe it is a common international language, not like English, Spanish, and French, which as far as I know are all commonly used internationally, and not just in the native countries.

    I'm aware that there are many many different dialects used in the Netherlands and that only learning basic Dutch probably would only work for a few dialects, but since I'm not planning on visiting the Netherlands anytime soon, I figured that there's no point in learning all the different dialects. So that's why I'm learning Dutch - am I correct in assuming that you are a native Dutch speaker?

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
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    You'll be fine learning standard Dutch. My feeling is that the vast majority of dialect speakers also speak standard Dutch, often only with a regional accent (think UK English vs US English). On top of that a lot of dialects in Holland (where most people live) are quite close to standard Dutch anyway. I wouldn't say the same about the dialects in the rest of the Netherlands BTW. :)

    Also "my dad is 100% Dutch", I've heard Americans say similar things and saying something like that is easily misunderstood. If you say that to someone Dutch, they expect your dad to speak Dutch, have Dutch nationality, etc. A Dutch person would definitely not consider someone Dutch (let alone 100% Dutch) if this person doesn't speak the language, hasn't lived in the Netherlands and only has Dutch ancestry.

    It takes a lot more than ancestry to be 100% Dutch.

    On the other hand if you mention your ancestry and that that's why you're interested in Dutch and the Netherlands, all is fine, Dutch people will definitely like that. Keep this distinction in mind and don't claim "I'm Dutch" if you're not, people may be offended and just think "No, you're not Dutch" and walk away.

    8 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/auliasilmi

    my native language is Bahasa and I am an Indonesian. The historical of colonialism in my country make me interesting to learn dutch. besides i have a lot of dutch friends also from the student exchange. it makes me important to learn dutch.

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/kostasgiot

    I moved from Greece to the Netherlands 9 months ago and while I was very familiar with Dutch as an exchange student in the past, I encountered several problems. I could read and understand almost everything if it was written... but I could not understand any spoken Dutch in the beginning! Duolingo lessons also helped me to extent my vocabulary. Volgens mij heb ik een beetje meer tijd nodig om een vloeiende spreker te worden.

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
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    Gewoon blijven oefenen! Je komt er wel!

    8 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Griff753

    Good question! My first language is English, so I can speak to many people for whom it is not their first language. Not to learn another language would be easy, but I am the loser because I can only think in English.

    There is also something lazy and very arrogant in expecting all other language speakers to learn English so I can speak with them.

    Why Dutch? 1) I have Dutch family and although they speak better English than most English people i still want to share their language. 2) speaking Dutch is an act of solidarity with them as they face discrimination and hostility with the rise of nationalism here in England. 3) we plan to migrate to the Netherlands before Brexit to retain our European rights and support the European project. 4) I have been frustrated by my difficulties with learning French since a schoolboy (a very long time ago). But have found that with Duolingo, even i can learn another language. 5) I've been pleasantly surprised by the pleasure and beauty of Dutch. 6) my ultimate goal is to be able to read a great work of literature in the original Dutch, and also make a joke in Dutch in a bruine kroeg!

    Personally, I believe every language is of equal importance and I am saddened that every day languages die because of the globalisation. On this island alone we have lost Cornish, Cumbrian, and Welsh and Gaelic are threatened. This is as much a loss to us as when any species becomes extinct.

    Dus, Ik dankjewel.

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/NikosSoume

    That is an interesting question! Personally, I started learning Dutch for professional reasons. I am a dentist and since there is a shortage of dentists in the Netherlands, I have found some appealing job opportunities.

    By the way, I am a native speaker of Russian and Greek, currently living in Greece. I quickly got interested by Dutch, since I find it a somewhat challenging language (from the syntactical viewpoint).

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RedFritz

    The Dutch love their sweets, great country to be a dentist.

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/verulinka3

    Hi, I picked up Dutch as I find it easy to learn (I already speak English and German) and as a teacher, I have some Belgian students, so I want to know how their language works. :-) Greetings from the Czech Republic

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RedFritz

    I found out that I'm not too clever. I just can't get the Dutch in my head and I thought it would be easy speaking a daughter language of Nederlands, namely Afrikaans. I find both Dutch and German more difficult than English.

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
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    Don't underestimate exposure, I assume you live in the western part of South Africa, then no doubt you'll continually be exposed to both Afrikaans and English. At the same time exposure to Dutch and German will probably be close to non existent. The only way to really change that is by having native Dutch/German speakers in your direct environment.

    8 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/MV8446
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    My Dad's side of the family is Dutch. When they visited us they would always speak dutch. I want to be able to understand them when they visit.

    8 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/KyaKotoka
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    My native language is English, but I'm the equivalent of a womanizer when it comes to languages. I want to experience them all. Excuse the crude example.

    But I really need little excuse to learn a language, for Dutch it is that I have some friends of Dutch ancestry.

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/H_Butler
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    My reasons for learning Dutch (versus another language)

    1. I have always wanted to learn a second language.

    2. Since Dutch vocab is so similar to English, I figured I already have a small head start

    3. I'm visiting Amsterdam this summer so it's a perfect opportunity to practice learning a second language by trial and error!

    4. I think it is important to keep less-spoken languages going. Also, Dutch is an important component of some creole languages

    5. I think Dutch sounds pretty cool.

    6. I would also like to learn German, which is also has similar vocab to Dutch

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/fatima380670

    Dutch is very similar to English and German so if I can speak Dutch well it is easier to speak English and German. (Dutch is my native language and German is my favorite language that I have books for learning)

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/stlnmyhrt

    All my Dutch friends keep asking me this same question. I play a few worldwide online games and seem to have an extremely high number of Dutch friends online. There must be something about the people and the culture I'm drawn to. I started learning because I was tired of them having conversations in Dutch just so I couldn't understand them.

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Morgan478400

    When I was looking for a new language to study, I was thinking something in the same language tree as English, my native language. I chose Dutch because it fulfilled that requirement, and I have relatives in the Netherlands that I'd like to be able to speak better with!!

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/marco.dc
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    In my case, I want to move in the Netherlands and for now I want just have a little knowledge of the Dutch language.

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Salariman
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    I'm learning Dutch as I'm planning to move to Europe (from Australia) and French and Dutch could thus become useful.

    I'm must admit that I'm hesitant between Dutch and German. I chose to learn Dutch, but I might just switch and do German instead.

    Oh, and Swedish is my mother tongue which makes Dutch really easy to learn.

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Susande
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    Speaking German in the Netherlands and Flanders and speaking Dutch in one of the German speaking countries, is basically not useful at all (maybe some exceptions like the tourist industry in both these situations). So if your main motivation of learning the language is because you want to move. You probably should choose depending on the country you want to move to.

    8 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/little-mouse

    I'm learning Dutch because I have several friends in the Netherlands and Belgium. Some of my closest friends. So I like to visit often.

    I also had a boyfriend once who lived in the Netherlands and I decided to live with him for 6 months, and said I'd like to learn Dutch. He told me there was no point because almost all Dutch people know English. I lived for 6 months with him in a small village where him & his mother were the only people I talked to because they were the only English speakers. I couldn't even speak to his dad or brother.

    I've also stayed with other friends whose parents and siblings don't speak English. So I'd like to learn Dutch so that I can be a pleasant guest when I stay with friends, and so that I can talk to my friends in their language sometimes.

    My native language is English, I live in England.

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/FrenchAurelie

    I'm French but my surname is Dutch, so I figured I might as well learn my ancestors' language.

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/aubrey470649

    I also know English and French (I am a native English speaker) and I am studying abroad in the Netherlands next year so I am now trying to get the basics of Dutch. I know most people speak English in the Netherlands as well, but I want to be able to converse with people in markets and at school in Dutch at least a little bit.

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/sarakyr
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    simply! my brother and his two sons leave in Amsterdam and they talk in dutch.. so I visit them often and the children speak a lot of dutch and i don't undestand

    9 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/lil.lou

    My native language is English and my heritage on my father's side is heavily German and I, being curious, wanted to know how different German and Dutch were (since I knew quite a bit of German at the time). Instead of just Googling it, I tried it out for a while. Two years later, I find Dutch way easier and am twenty or so skills away from finishing the tree! I've forgotten most of my German but I'm okay with that since I am not required to speak it often.

    8 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/mlynarova
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    I have several reasons for studying Dutch. The most important one for me is that my grandmother was from the Netherlands (Heerlen) and I learned some basic Dutch from her, that I really want to improve.

    Besides, I love both the Netherlands and Belgium and travel there at least once a year.

    And Dutch is also a really nice and cute language, that I really love.

    I'm Austrian, my mother tongue is German :)

    8 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/gregorioca988528

    I am learning Dutch because I live in the Dutch Antilles. My children are studying in Holland and I hold a Dutch Passport. I speak other languages instead. I would like to communicate in Dutch whenever I have to be in the Netherlands.

    8 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/JohnnieBoy.

    While my native language is English, I am putting in the effort to learn Dutch as I am planning to possibly do a long-stay in the Netherlands during the two years between when I graduate high school and when I plan on going to college.

    Since it is going to be a long-stay I would prefer to know Dutch so I could communicate with natives easier, even though I know a lot of people do speak English there.

    I'm also thinking about moving there full time after college here in the U.S.A. I'm just tired of the boringness that's over here and would love to live in a different country.

    8 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/NL-Love

    I'm American so my native language is English. I have no "real" reason to learn Dutch other than I want to! I really love the language and just love hearing it. I know many people who say Dutch is a harsh and ugly sounding language but I just don't hear it that way. When I hear a native speaker, it sounds very... chipper and happy. My favorite sounds in the language are the G, any vowel combination that uses the letter U, and the rolled R

    I've always wanted to try learning Dutch simply because I like just about everything about the culture too. Obviously, language is a big part of that. I love the country itself (the Netherlands, sorry I don't have much experience with Belgium). It's very beautiful, the architecture, the grassy fields, the tulips, even the windmills. The Netherlands is a very visually appealing country in my eyes.

    I also love the food, how everything in the country works, the people. It's so much different from the US. Some examples would be how much more the country cares for its citizens in comparison to the US. The mindset of most of the population that people are not more important just because they make more money than you. That people don't care about what you do so long as it doesn't effect anyone else. Hell, here people will make you an outcast if you dress oddly. I like the "well its none of my business" attitude of Dutch people. Also, all of the Dutch people I've met are some of the most nice and helpful people I know. I even love the bluntness.

    So no, I have no realistic intentions of moving there (would if I could, trust me). I simply just have a personal love for the language and culture which makes me enjoy learning to speak it. I feel it's important to learn a language because you WANT to. I have people ask me "why not something more useful like German or French?" My response to that is German and French are no more useful to ME than Dutch would be. I have no intentions of moving to either of those countries, I'm not interested in either country's culture. So for me personally, they are just as useless. There's no such thing as a universally useless or useful language. It all depends on your own circumstances.

    8 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Hayley407497

    Native language English. I learn Dutch mostly because my Dutch partners parents English is not great. Dutch is spoken at home there and pretty much everywhere you go in NL (at least until they realise you are not Dutch), I want to be able to follow conversations and not feel isolated there. Also i think it is polite to make a decent effort to learn the language of the country you live in, yes they all speak english too but i can tell many people i know are more relaxed when speaking in dutch.

    8 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Maddox_1998

    My native language is English and I found out about the language through the Diary of Anne Frank. As it is my favourite book, I hope to one day read it (or at least understand most of it) in its mother tongue. Also, I'm currently in university studying English and would like to teach English as a foreign language, hopefully in the Netherlands! I think it's so beautiful and I would like to return the favour almost by learning the language of the country I would love to live in and respect this beautiful language!

    8 months ago
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