Do you want to learn Dutch language? All you want to know about learning Dutch as a beginner!

Decided to learn Dutch language but don’t know anything about it? Then stay tune! I would like to share my story about how I started learning Dutch!

Posted by Boeun Park at Apr 18, 2017 01:05 PM


Starting studying in Holland, one big step you will go forward is learning Dutch language! As I posted before, in order to understand Dutch people and Dutch culture well, learning their language is very important. Then how to learn Dutch? And how hard it would be? Here are answers for all you want to know about Dutch language as a beginner.


1. Is it hard to learn as a beginner?

By Nonemansland, CC BY-SA 4.0,
By Nonemansland, CC BY-SA 4.0,


It depends. If you know Germanic language such as German (English is Germanic too, technically!) it is easier for you to learn. Dutch language feels like a mixture of German language and English.. Of course there must be a lot difference in advanced level, but when you see the language first, you can see much similarity with German and English. However, every student who decided to come to Holland for study must be at least good at English. Therefore, if you have an experience with German language, it must be way easier to understand grammar, memorize vocabularies and pronouncing words. 


2. How should I study Dutch language?


If you have not started studying in The Netherlands yet, but want to prepare your Dutch language skill beforehand, you can practice basic stuff from various sources. There are few online applications that you can learn basic-intermediate Dutch language. The ones that I know are Duolingo and Memrise. I personally have not used these apps, however have seen many international fellow students using these apps to practice Dutch language. 

The book that I use in the university language course!
The book that I use in the university language course!


When you start studying in Dutch university, you can also look up Dutch language courses offered by the university. For example, in my university (TU Delft), a free intensive Dutch language course is offered to international students. Students usually don’t have to pay for university language course and can choose different level that fits to you. If your study program is taught in English, this language course is not mandatory but optional. Language courses offered by university are usually quality-guaranteed and teacher and students are enthusiastic.

If you live in Holland and have not started studying in university, there are also private Dutch language institutes and university language course. In this case, you need to pay for the university language course fee. 


3. How should I practice Dutch language?

So you started learning Dutch language, now how to practice it? Firstly, you can try to speak it in public, for instance, in a shop. The problem is that as most of Dutch people are so fluent in English, this is not so easy. When you talk to them in your not-so-perfect Dutch, they respond in English! From that point conversation just turns in English.

Practicing with your Dutch friends is also a good way. But you always have to keep it in your mind that no matter how slow and not clear it is, you have to continue the conversation in Dutch. As you and your Dutch practicing partner know that it is much more clear and faster to talk in English, it is pretty hard to continue talking slowly in Dutch. And when your Dutch language skill is not so good, the topic that you can talk about in Dutch is very limited. Once you overcome these obstacles, your language skill will improve rapidly.


My experience on learning Dutch language could be limited as myself is still beginner level. Learning Dutch with your university curriculum can make your time schedule rough as most of Dutch universities require students to work on pretty much amount of workload. However, learning Dutch is definitely worth it if you consider staying in Holland more than one year! Hope my experiences and tips were useful for you do begin learning Dutch!


What else do you want to know about learning Dutch language? Leave it in the comment!

Posted by Boeun Park at Apr 18, 2017 01:05 PM
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