Being international does not mean you have an excuse to forget to learn Dutch! Since you live and study in Holland, why not learn the language? Dutch is a fun language, not only to listen to, but to learn as well. Honestly, you don't need to be a native; trying is all it takes! Not convinced? Our 6 best reasons why you should learn Dutch will do the trick.
It is a fact that you can speak English almost anywhere in Holland (around 86% of the population speak English). However, it’s good to know (if not basic) phrases so that you could survive were no one to speak English. What would happen if everyone got brainwashed into forgetting English? What would you do then? While that’s extremely unlikely (or is it), you get the gist. Some people may not be able to fully help you if you were in trouble, or even asking and receiving exactly what you need. Trust us; a little bit of Dutch goes a long way.
In addition to knowing basic phrases to live your new life (somewhat) independently, there are a few practical reasons to it, too. For instance, by knowing some Dutch, it makes reading restaurant menus, road signs, newspapers and ingredient lists much easier. You won’t get lost, and you’ll be able to manoeuvre a supermarket by yourself!
3. 1 language, many countries
Dutch doesn’t just stop in the Netherlands, oh no. By speaking Dutch, you could also make yourself around Belgium, Suriname and the Carribean. Specifically, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Sweet. Plus, Dutch is somewhat like Afrikaans, which is spoken in South Africa and Namibia. 8 birds with 1 stone, as they say.
4. English gives you an advantage
While people may think that Dutch sounds extremely different to English, as a matter of fact it doesn’t. Already knowing English gives you an advantage, since some sentence structure, grammar and certain words are extremely similar (if not the same). Moreover, if you know some German and some Scandinavian languages (Swedish, for instance), it’s the same deal. So, props to you if you speak these languages, because you’ll have an easier time learning Dutch!
5. Get to know the culture
Culture isn’t always what you see. Culture also includes the language, metaphors, humour and even songs of a country. Therefore, by speaking a bit of Dutch or learning to listen to it, you can learn a great deal about Dutch culture. Plus, you can talk to locals! Locals are always a great way to integrate yourself with the culture.
6. Looking for a part-time job
Lastly, though finding an English job is by no means difficult (see here for demonstration), it can be beneficial to show an employer that you understand some Dutch. Even being able to say basic phrases could be helpful in jobs like being a waiter or waitress, or in retail. In jobs where you might be communicating with people, guests or clients, it’s never a bad thing to boast some language skills. Want to know the best jobs for students? Check it out here.
Learn Dutch the easy way
- Apps like Duolingo are super popular. They are easy to use and you can learn a language at home without any cost.
- Talk to your friends! Having Dutch friends is awesome for the reason that they can teach you phrases (other than swear words) and practice with you.
- Take every opportunity to talk, and avoid letting others speak English to you even if you are struggling.
- Take Dutch courses! This one is straightforward; your university may have courses available to students, or they may know of the best places to enrol in one. This method is the best and most reliable, because you are being taught by a language teacher.
- Listening to radio or watching local TV will get you in the mind-set of actively decoding Dutch. This is an easy way to pick up a language, fast.
If you aren’t booking your Dutch course or turning on the radio right now, we haven’t done a good job. In all realness, learning Dutch is really helpful not only for your time as a student, but also if you intend on staying in Holland after graduation to work. Viel geluk!
Any tips on how to learn Dutch? Connect with us!