Dutch: hard?? Nooooooo! (Written by a Dutch)

800px-Beschilderde_miniatuurklompjesIf you speak English (which I bet you do), it is incredibly easy to learn Dutch. English and Dutch are like language sisters, they have the same genes, just differences in appearance. Both are Germanic languages and if you would look at the Dutch language very closely it is most similar to English, which is quite surprising, because everyone always assumes that it is most similar to German. Why do you think 87% of the Dutch speak English, as opposed to the 70% that speak German?

In the use of the languages on a daily basis you see many similarities. ‘Ik eet soep’, what do you think this would be in English? Also if you then want to say that you already ate soup, you see that the grammar is rather easy; Ik eet, ik at, ik heb gegeten – I eat, I ate, I have eaten.

The thing that people struggle most with, the pronunciation, is hard.. I’ll admit that. It is hard to master the typical ‘G’ sound, simply because a lot of people don’t have the power in their throats to get produce this sound. This doesn’t have to be a problem though, Dutch people will not blame you for not pronouncing the words correctly, they already appreciate the fact that you try. And usually without all these guttural sounds you are still perfectly understandable. Another thing that makes Dutch so much easier is that the spelling is mostly also the way to go for the pronunciation.

When it comes to grammar a bonus for learning Dutch would be if you know German. The 70% of the population speaking German is not a very surprising number, since the two are still very similar. The advantage here is that the Dutch grammar is usually considered easier than the German one. So, Dutch really isn’t as hard as people claim it to be.

Now try and read the Dutch version of this article and see how much you would actually understand.


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