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.
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.
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.
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
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...
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.
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.
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!
Good country, great food, and just simply a beautiful language! Easy too!
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.
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.
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.
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.