https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

Why learn Dutch?

If you were to advertise Dutch to someone, how would you do it? I hope for a lot more people to take up the course, and for that to happen, people need to see reasons for learning Dutch.

4 years ago

47 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/DXLi
DXLi
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Dutch girls.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ccf63
ccf63
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Dutch guys. Whew.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Damien4
Damien4
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Best reason I've seen so far

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JudithL1
JudithL1
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It sound weird in my own ear, but yeah, you are right. Dutch women are among the most beautiful in the world. Nederlandse vrouwen zijn leuk! (I'm level 5, don't kill me for that sentence.)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PopTartTastic

Because stroopwafels.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/soedori
soedori
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Exactly, and bitterballen with mustard too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bfoshizzle
bfoshizzle
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Dutch, along with Afrikaans, are the closest major languages to English. Written French is easier to read than Dutch, but spoken French is hard to understand for English speakers (or at least for me). Norman French, Low German, and Frisian aren't common languages, and so Dutch and Afrikaans are perhaps the easiest major languages for English speakers to learn.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HeavenlyYaksha

I don't want to be bold, but honestly Dutch is much easier to read than french.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
Samsta
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French is a lot easier to understand for me. Although I do know Spanish, and I have been studying a bit of French, but even before I started studying I was still halfway able to read labels and such.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HeavenlyYaksha

Understanding is a bit different from actually being able to read. The thing is, French has special rules on how to pronounce certain words that makes a bit hard to make sense of it. But then again, if you and others think differently, then cheers to you all :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IG88
IG88
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Don't know if anyone's mentioned this before or if it would be very much of a motivator, but Dutch was the first language of the only U.S. president in history who didn't speak English as his first language, Martin Van Buren.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Valdern

I'm actually distantly related to Martin Van Buren. Being from upstate New York, I notice a lot of Dutch names for towns and places like Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Stuyvesant and Ten Eyck because it was once a Dutch colony. It's really cool to keep that history in mind and I'm definitely thinking of picking it up in the future.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
LICA98
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Dutch is like German-lite: a lot of the words are similar, but the grammar is way easier

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KansasBurri

How is the grammar easier? I'm not questioning what you're saying just curious.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Turtle492
Turtle492
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I haven't gotten that far with Dutch yet, but I can assure you that German grammar gets pretty tough. Take the simple sentence 'I sit on the blue chair'. In order to translate this, you need to know:

1) the (irregular) conjugation of 'to sit'

2) the gender of chair (you've got 3 to choose from)

3) whether you're already sitting on the chair (in which case it will be dative) or are in the act of sitting down (accusative) and the way that the case affects the article (dem, den, der, etc)

4) the adjective ending that comes from this combination of gender, case, and weak/strong/mixed adjective (4 cases, 3 genders + plural, 3 adjective types gives 48 different combinations)

Basically, it's not easy. I've been learning German for years and if I wanted to be sure of my translation, I would still have to look some of those things up. Dutch, so far, seems to be a lot simpler! I would guess it would be 'ik zit aan de blauwe stoel'. Then again, I haven't finished the prepositions lesson yet so this could be wrong. Hope that answers your question! (Also hope I haven't put you off German, it's a great language!)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Goim
Goim
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Regarding 1) and 3):

'sitzen' (to sit) and 'sich setzen' (to sit down) are two different verbs and both are regular.

sitzen gets irregular in its past forms though, very much like english.

I sit - I sat (not: I sitted) Ich sitze - Ich saß (not: Ich sitzte)

sich setzen is regular even in its past forms in german

I sit down - I sat down (not: I sitted down) Ich setze mich - Ich setzte mich

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jjd1123
jjd1123
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Your number 2) isn't quite accurate, if I'm understanding you correctly. "Der Stuhl" (if that's what you're referring to) is always masculine. There are other words where different genders are possible (e.g. "Band"), but that usually corresponds to either different meanings (and often different origins as well) or sometimes different regional or other preferences, and these cases are few and far between anyway.

Apart from that I found Dutch grammar to be quite close to German grammar, actually, at least closer than to English grammar. The spelling is somewhat different though, as it goes more into the direction of English, but it seems pretty straightforward in general.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Turtle492
Turtle492
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No I just meant that you need to know that Stuhl is masculine. As with any noun, you need to learn the gender to know which article to use.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sandermarijt

Hi Turtle492. For your interest, 'I sit on the blue chair' would be 'Ik zit op de blauwe stoel'. You are probably confused with 'ik zit aan tafel' = 'I am sitting at the table'. Or maybe because 'I turn on the TV' = ' Ik zet de TV aan'. In conlusion: the preposition 'on', is usually 'op' in Dutch, and the English 'on' as in starting/powering something = 'aan' in Dutch, whilst the Dutch preposition 'aan' is usually 'at' in English. Good luck with your studies :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JaneEmily

I agree. Just because a language is not as complex as it is to another, doesn't mean someone else won't find the grammar difficult. It took me quite a while to grasp the concept of the word order and WHY it was structured that way, and how to conjugate some verbs - especially the irregular ones.

It may seem simpler to people because it doesn't have masc/feminine nouns, you don't need to capitalise nouns etc but for me, it's complex in it's own way. I'd rather not compare Dutch to German etc especially as they may be from the same language family but they aren't entirely the same. I think it's a little bit of an insult to the Dutch language for people to say "oh it's easier than German, so I'm giving up German to learn Dutch because it's way easier." It isn't easier. People just think it's easier because they don't want to put the same effort into understanding German as they do Dutch - because they think it's simpler.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Damien4
Damien4
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How do you have a 125 day streak yet no levels in any language? O_o

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JaneEmily

I'm doing the English for Dutch speakers course as well as the Dutch for English. The Dutch speakers badge doesn't show up in English forums, whilst the bade for English speakers learning Dutch is temporamental showing up.

I'm level 12 with English for Dutch.

Level 7 for Dutch for English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Damien4
Damien4
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Ah it's showing up now. Good luck on your language learning endeavors Jane!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JaneEmily

Bedankt Damien! Gave you a lingot for the motivation :)

Good luck on yours too ^_^

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/samuelianadams
samuelianadams
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One example: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_language#Genders_and_cases Dutch has (like English) lost much of its declension system, technically leaving two cases, but modern usage it usually only has one (and when only the one case is used, Dutch behaves like it only has two genders, instead of the three of German).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OlivierGrauss

Because it's interesting! The Dutch language shows similarities with English and German, which are easier to learn after you learned Dutch. Secondly, you'll be understood in the Netherlands, (northern) Belgium, Surinam and on some islands in the Caribbean.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
chilvence
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I want to learn it because I love Dutch people. There is surely something good in the water in the Netherlands because everyone I have met from that country have been fantastic. I think I might want to live there one day and find out. It would definitely be nice to live in a country where cyclists aren't considered an unwelcome nuisance...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/95Shane
95Shane
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Some food for thought (other than it's "easy to learn", etc.)...

"Dutch is the 7th most-spoken language in Europe and about the 30th most-spoken language of the 1000s of languages spoken in the world, but even more important, the Netherlands and Belgium belong to the largest trading partners of both the UK and the US. Belgium is also the seat of many European and transatlantic institutions. Remember, although many Dutch and Belgians speak English, “you buy in your own language but you sell in the foreign language.” - http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dutch/why_dutch

"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 with Dutch! Dutch is in fact the fifth most requested language in UK job adverts, after French, Spanish, German and Italian, but contrary to one would think way ahead of e.g. Chinese and Russian! This is due to the close economic relations of the UK and its neighbours across the Channel." - http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dutch/why_dutch

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JaneEmily

I would say they should give it a try if they would like to educate themselves on such an incredible language, and that they should learn it if they feel it will be useful to them in future usage for their themselves. There's something so intriguing about the way Dutch people pronounce words, to others who don't understand it - it's probably like gibberish but when I hear Dutch I actually find it sort of soothing to the ear.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PedroStas
PedroStas
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Because Dutch is spoken in the Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname, and several islands in the Caribbean (St. Maarten, Saba, St. Eustacius, Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba). Also minorities in Germany, France and Indonesia speak Dutch. And don't forget Afrikaans (which is nearly the same. A Dutch-speaking person will understand an Afrikaans-speaking person and vice-versa), which is spoken in South Africa and Namibia.

And because the Dutch travel a lot, so it'll be very likely that you meet Dutch people in foreign countries (I, as a Dutch person, live in Switzerland, and my Dutch cousins have lived in Egypt and Norway for five and six years respectively).

Dutch is also a language that can help you learning German and other Germanic languages. As it is not very hard to learn, it won't be too time-consuming either.

And also, Dutch beer tastes much better when you can speak Dutch.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/soedori
soedori
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Good country, great food, and just simply a beautiful language! Easy too!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dinnernugget
dinnernugget
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As mentioned, it's one of the closest major languages to English! Arguably the closest ignoring small, local languages. There's also the degree of mutual intelligibility with German, which is fantastic for someone who isn't too keen on dealing with cases, but still wants to get the hang of what Germans are saying. It's similar with Spanish and Italian/Portuguese, expect in Dutch/German, one is significantly easier than the other. Also, the Netherlands is a great country with fantastic people! Ik hoop dat ik daar weer naartoe kan gaan!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Naylor1993
Naylor1993
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I would say to someone who has always wanted to learn a language but is put off by how difficult it might be to learn Dutch. It's so similar to English that some sentences are mutually intelligible. E.g, "Is het koud in November?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/feanarosurion

Cause it's awesome.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mihacrni
mihacrni
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It's suprisingly one of the most spoken language in Europe.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/languagesgorm
languagesgorm
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Amsterdam looks beautiful;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/samulili
samulili
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If you need it, learn it (besides, it's quite easy). If you don't, then don't.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/95Shane
95Shane
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This is probably one of the most "right" answers here. I do disagree with the last sentence. However, I think learning something because you need it is probably the ideal scenario.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/samulili
samulili
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I knew my answer wouldn't popular :) But hey, just the other day I was talking to my new neighbour about learning languages and I said to her that, outside Finland, Finnish is a totally useless language. The same really goes with Dutch and the Netherlands+Flanders. (Aruba? Come on!)

The number one reasons for learning a language is that you need it and this reason can be divided to three sub-reasons: 1a: You need it in your everyday life (you live in a country where the language is spoken) 1b: You are very likely to need it at some point in your life (English) or there is a rather big chance you will need it (eg. Spanish, French, Chinese - depending on where you live) 1c: You are going to make yourself need it (if you love Italy and you are going to visit it often, then learn Italian)

The second reason to learn a language is that you love it, you love the language. A lot of people love Finnish and want to learn it which is cute and I like to help them. But the thing is, nobody can tell you why you should love a language or that you will love a language.

To summarize: If a person needs to ask you why they should learn a language, the only meaningful answer is that they need it. If they love the language, they wouldn't have to ask you.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/95Shane
95Shane
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This is basically true. The harsh, yet real reality.

Although it's entirely possible that some of these people already love the language, but are just looking for a few practical reasons to give them that extra bit of motivation.

Nevertheless, you're spot on (I believe). I have to admit, though, that I'm learning Dutch just because I can (hey, it's fun). However, I'm more seriously learning Norwegian and German because I could see myself actually using them.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gonzalezcaa

This isn't necessarily helpful to everyone, but a major scene in John Green's bestseller The Fault In Our Stars takes place in Amsterdam. For big fans of this book (believe me, there are many) the possibility of reliving Hazel and Gus' experience there is enough to want to learn at least a little bit.

Nerds, man. We're weird, but our fandoms love us.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Johnlecitron

So you can get a Job in the interperting bissniss. sorry I am not good at spelling.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/buunny
buunny
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Audrey Hepburn spoke Dutch. So, I suppose it is part of the reason I am learning.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carolind
Carolind
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Wonderful Dutch and Flemish culture, esp. 15th-17th century.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lugh412

I'm moving to the Netherlands in about a month now and one of the most common thought about learning dutch is "oh, you won't really need it. people in the netherlands can speak really good english." (...) so far I'm really motivated to learn it because I think it'll be easier to really adapt to this new country (even though I'm gonna spend only one year there) and have nice conversations with dutch natives. I hope it'll be worth it and learning dutch will open new opportunities, whether it's on my return to Brazil or career prospects to come back someday to Europe.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/95Shane
95Shane
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Here's an interesting article regarding the "they speak English" situation: http://www.fluentin3months.com/north-europe-myth/

I believe that it will be worth it for you to learn Dutch. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lugh412

perfect point, shane! ;) i'm trying my best to learn it. #GoGo

4 years ago
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