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Dutch is so hard! or is it

For new learners that are new to the Dutch course. Just saying it is not that hard if your native langue is English. I don't know what it would feel like for learners that doesn't speak English......but I know that Dutch from English is not very hard so don't worry.

September 21, 2014



Personally I believe although the languages English and Dutch are more similar than French and English, I think French is easier, but that's just me. Mainly due to the pronounciation, and I feel grammar is more similar, it is really hard for an English speaker to read Dutch since:

Sara wil naar Zuid-Afrika gaan. (Sara wants to go to South Africa)

It feels weird for me reading that, since I read it as:

Sara wants to South Africa go. Since that is how it would be translated word-for-word. It's little changes like that in Dutch that logically shouldn't be much, but really are a knockback to learners. Plus all these new idioms and expressions and subordinate clauses!

But I really love Dutch.

Ik Wil Nederlands Spreken <3


I agree. Also the vocabulary is quite different and usually unrecognizable. The romance languages have far more recognizable cognates.


Yep, I find it quite helpful to know English when studying French since the cognates are easy to spot. But I've noticed that it gets easier and easier for me to spot the cognates in German, Dutch and English over time since there are certain patterns. When I compare Dutch and English I find them much more similar in vocabulary. Take for example the dutch daar. Dutch underwent a consonant shift so that th changed into d. If we reverse that we get thaar. In turn in English many vowel sounds changed (e.g. A->E), so we get thaar->theer. From here it's only a small step to the English there. If you pay attention to these things you'll start seeing the cognates.


That's fascinating - however I would like to clarify that by vocabulary I really mean the nouns and verbs. I agree that Dutch is closer to English in every other part of speech.

Once I had mastered the basics and began reading fluently, I found Spanish easier. In Dutch I am often tripped up by unrecognizable words, whereas in Spanish the cognate is usually correct and I can keep reading without looking it up.


What about words like ''vloer''- floor, ''huis''-house, ''licht''-light, ''koel''-chilly/cool?


Goed gedaan! Wil ge Nederlands spreken? Dan ge moet meer Duolingo doen!


Haha, sounds Flemish :D (from Belgium, my country, because of using "ge"... Wel there are some places in The Netherlands where people use it too, but it's still more used in Belgium.)

(I'm curious if people here are known with Flemish??)


Aha, een Nederlander? Leuk! ;)


Nederlanders zeggen "vast en zeker", Vlamingen zeggen "zeker en vast". ;)


Aan uw achternaam te "horen" dacht ik een NL'er. Een Vlaming dus?


haha, dat is juist. Mijn vrouw kom uit Vlaams-Brabant in België, dus ik leer Vlaamse.


Interessant en je doet het heel goed! Nog veel succes!


dank u wel. ik gebruik de michel thomas method en duolingo tegelijker. michel thomas voor praten en duolingo voor schrijven.


This is interesting, I had no idea people would replace je with ge. D:


Well in proper language people don't use it. :)

Nog veel succes! ;) (Good luck!)


It is said to be the easiest language for English speakers, but the whole point is not if the language is hard or not :)


Your "doesn't" on the second line should be "don't", other than that you did pretty good!


I think that it does depend on what languages you speak. I am learning Dutch from scratch but I speak English and Indonesian (both have some similarities to Dutch). So far, I am only having problems with grammar. What's your native language?


the truth my native langue is Chinese but I also know English.


Well if you know English Dutch shouldn't be that hard. But Chinese from English, now that's something hard to learn...


I believe it can be challenging, specially if your native language is a romance language. I´m a spanish speaking person so when I see it and hear it, it´s crazy. But I´m also fluent on German and that makes it soooo much easier! Specially when it comes to grammar, it makes so much sense.


Dutch is not difficult is you know English. There are vocabulary and grammar similarities, no declinations, and the Duolingo dutch course is pretty well structured. Try to find and learn from the similarities of both languages. It is much easier.


However, Dutch is the hardest language to pronounce, except maybe for Portuguese. Look at the many diphthongs: ij/ei, ui, auw/ouw, aai, ooi, oei, ieuw, eeuw, uw. Of these, UI is the hardest to get right. Then there are the guttural consonants: g, ch, and especially SCH- and GR. Het is een grote probleem! How, exactly does one distiguish the G from the CH?


Please, I'm learning Vietnamese... The list of different single vowels is already pretty much endless (a á à ả ã ạ ă ắ ằ ẳ ẵ ặ â ấ ầ ẩ ẫ ậ are just all the different "a" sounds) and then there's the diphthongs!

But, yes, I agree, Dutch isn't a very easy language to pronounce. I do have a British colleague who does the CH sound almost perfectly but then he's Welsh and they have their LL that sounds similar. :D


Their LL is not really like a CH. As a native Dutch speaker with a Welsh partner I struggle with saying 'Machynlleth'. :) They have a CH/G of their own though (similar to the Scottish 'loch'), and a trill to the 'r' which makes it easier to get the pronunciation.


As an Australian English speaker, I did not find ui to be too difficult. It doesn't exist in English, true, but my mouth didn't struggle too much.

What I find difficult is speaking multiple H and G sounds next to each other, such as in "hoe gaat het met ge?" without it devolving into a guttural mess.

And "sch" is practically impossible, so I pretty much do not bother.


I have just begun my journey into foreign language and have to agree, understanding and reading is a different world from correct pronunciation.


Hi rwhubert. Usually G=CH for pronunciation in the middle of a word. It's simply a matter of spelling. E.g. it's always SCH instead and never SG even though they would be pronounced the same. CH at the start of a word is usually =SJ : Chimpansee, Charme, Chef, Chips


Dutch is hard in the way that all languages that are not your own can be difficult. You spend a lifetime thinking automatically within a certain vocabulary and grammatical structure, and suddenly have to think in a different one.

Dutch can be one of the easiest for an English-speaking learner, as it, along with German, is one of the most similar languages to English in the world. However, it's still not trivial!


that could be true because you're on level 11! Things can get hard when you're on that level.


I'm actually not that far in - only at dates & times. I just do a lot of revision.


I think it's hard but I keep trying :)


I'm glad i'm not alone in thinking that, reading all these posts talking about how easy it is, is kind of getting me down.


My native language is English, and I actually found Dutch easier to pick up than Spanish.


This is very understandable. Dutch and English evolved from a common ancestor language, while Spanish had its own separate roots.


true i tried the course and it was so easy it was like english with some adjustments

[deactivated user]

    As a native speaker, it isn´t that hard but, some words can be tedious to pronounce but atleast it isn´t like danish. Here is an example Slechtschrijvend

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