If you’re thinking about learning Dutch, you’ll be happy to hear that Dutch is a fairly easy language to learn for English speakers. This is because Dutch and English are both Germanic languages and thus have similar roots.
Of course, if you’re travelling to or moving to the Netherlands, the majority of Dutch people have a great level of English and you can get by without speaking the language. But why would you pass up the opportunity to converse with people in their first language, especially when there are so many easy things that make learning Dutch much less difficult than many other languages?
Here are 5 reasons why learning Dutch is easy!
1. Verb conjugations are easy
If you’ve tried learning a Romance language like Spanish or French and have hated learning endless verb conjugations, then you can breathe a sigh of relief. Dutch is considerably more straightforward when it comes to verbs. The best part? Modern Dutch has just one form for all persons (with the exception of present singular indicative), making it easy to learn. Of course, like every language, there are irregular verbs which don’t follow the rules, but overall you’ll find learning how to conjugate Dutch verbs a walk in the park.
2. Similar Stress and Intonation
Looking to speak Dutch just like a first-language speaker? Luckily it is not that hard since Dutch is similar to English in terms of its stress and intonation patterns. Of course the sounds (particularly the guttural “g’s”) are not the same, but you’ll easily be able to mimic the rhythms of the Dutch language, which will go a long way to making you sound like a native speaker.
3. A familiar word order
Both languages follow the sentence structure of subject-verb-object, making the basic structure of Dutch easy to produce. This comes with a warning that other parts of speech don’t follow the same order as English. However, since the main framework of a sentence is the same, you’ll find it much easier to communicate what you’re trying to say, without too many confused looks.
4. Helpful cognates
If you listen to Dutch for a while, even before you actively learn the language, you’ll be surprised at how many words and phrases you can understand without having to crack open your Dutch-English dictionary. This is because there are a large number of cognates between the two languages. Just take a look at the following sentences:
Dat is goed nieuws – That is good news
Alle hens aan dek – All hands on deck
5. Spelling is a breeze
Unlike English, with its erratic spelling and pronunciation, Dutch is a simple language in that it (generally) follows consistent and logical rules in terms of spelling. For example, once you understand the concept of closed and open syllables, you’ll quickly learn which words need double consonants and which ones don’t.