Why Study Dutch?

1. Neighbour language

Map of the Benelux countries in Europe

Dutch is a Germanic language spoken by more than 23 million native speakers in the Netherlands and in Belgium, as well as in Suriname in South America. It is also widely understood in former colonies such as the Dutch Caribbean and Indonesia. Moreover Afrikaans which is spoken by millions in South Africa and Namibia, is to a large extent intelligible if you know Dutch

2. Cultural Significance

Famous read and blue chair by Gerrit Rietveld (1917)

You gain a thorough knowledge – which is fairly uncommon – of a European region which, despite its modest size, has made an enormous contribution in many different fields, from literature and the visual arts, architecture and interior design to popular music and sport, the modern welfare state etc.

3. Economic Relevance

Logos of some Dutch multinational companies

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.”

4. Excellent employment prospects

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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.

5. Easy to learn

Dutch Language Taster

It may not be obvious from how Dutch sounds, but apart from Frisian (which is spoken in the Dutch province of Friesland), it is the modern language closest to English and thus the easiest language to learn for native speakers of English! You will have quick success! Interested? Why not try our Online Dutch Language Taster Course?

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Page last modified on 12 sep 11 16:10 by Els Braeken