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How to speak Dutch like a native

Dutch is a West Germanic language derived from the Frankish language. There are 28 million Dutch speakers worldwide. Did you know? The first Dutch words are 12 centuries old.

Learn to speak Dutch fluently

Want to truly experience the culture of the Netherlands? This land-locked country is a business and tourist powerhouse, known for its lively capital city of Amsterdam, bikes, tulips, windmills and canals. But as the locals will tell you, attractions such as Vla, stroopwafels and 'gezellig' Dutch pubs are just the tip of the cultural iceberg in this historic, friendly country, where the locals are known for being the tallest nation in the world! But, if you want to really get down into the nitty-gritty of the Netherlands, then you need to learn how to speak Dutch. Dutch is a great language to learn for better employment, leisure and travel opportunities. Not only is it a fun and useful language to learn, but it's also one of the easiest for native English speakers, with ready links into other Germanic languages. Many Dutch speakers find it a uniquely satisfying language to learn, with plenty of 'fun' words, satisfying pronunciation and melodic flow. Once you discover the delights of pronouncing everything good to be 'lekker' and using the diminutive '-tje' at the end of words, you'll start to relish every sentence!

How to speak Dutch

5 Tips to learn the Dutch language

Having established that you should learn Dutch, now the question is how. The good news is that there is no single 'right' way to learn a language, as there are various learning routes available. Some are time-tested and others, like Babbel, harness the power of technology, combining this delivery method with advanced teaching methodologies for accelerated learning. With so many ways to learn how to speak Dutch, it's good to be open-minded about the learning mode that will take you to your goals in the shortest possible time.

1. Acquire basic Dutch skills by cultural immersion The sooner you can start to speak the Dutch language, the sooner you will begin to feel confident enough to have conversations in the real world with other Dutch speakers. Where old-fashioned language lessons focused heavily on static classes with grammar exercises and word recognition, modern techniques immerse engaged students in everyday situations that stimulate their interest and passion for learning fast. Listen to the new words that you hear and repeat them from the start. Work out how to start asking simple questions and saying basic phrases. Yes, it will be difficult at first and your efforts will be far from perfect - but you'll be amazed at how quickly you progress, and how fun your learning will be.

2. Unlock a world of social and economic opportunities The Dutch language is fun to speak and there is plenty to love about the countries in which it is spoken: The Netherlands, Flanders, Suriname in South America, Aruba and the Dutch Antilles in the Caribbean. Dutch speakers can also often understand Afrikaans in South Africa, which originates from Dutch, and there are thousands of Dutch speakers in Canada, the USA and Indonesia too. The Netherlands is a country with an exciting culture and a worldwide presence in the fields of business, sports, entertainment and leisure, so the more you can learn about Dutch life, the more excited you will be to connect with its citizens and its culture.

3. Chat with more people by practicing Dutch daily Traditional language lessons - the type that we might remember from school - typically involved one to two hours of formal learning every week, backed up with some homework (when we remembered...) but the real key to learning a language effectively is to practice it every day. As you learn new Dutch words, repeat them to yourself, naming the things you see in your life in Dutch. Practice your phrases and repeat sentences to yourself. Aim to do some Dutch every day, even if it is just five to ten minutes whilst you are sitting on the bus or eating your lunch! This will stimulate your brain and keep it active, consolidating the lessons that you learn and ensuring that everything remains fresh. Apps like Babbel can support you with this.

4. Find a friend to show you how to speak Dutch Whichever formal learning method you use to learn how to speak Dutch it really helps to consolidate your learning - not to mention, make the entire learning process far more fun - if you can meet other Dutch friends or language partners. Look for Dutch conversation groups or join online forums to practice your written skills. Find a Dutch language partner for everyday conversation. Buddy up with a Dutch speaker who is looking to develop their English skills! Again, this will help to develop your colloquial Dutch and to help you become familiar with different accents, everyday language patterns and regional phrases which aren't always included in a traditional or formal language course (Babbel being a notable exception!) You might also want to listen to Dutch radio stations or podcasts so that you can begin to tune into the conversation and accents. You'll be amazed at how quickly you begin to pick up Dutch words and phrases as your own knowledge grows.

5. Enrol in professional language classes There are so many courses available at universities, colleges, adult learning centres and summer schools. These offer the advantage of face-to-face tuition, and teachers who may be native Dutch speakers. These courses often offer immersive learning, as described above, and this is a great way to rapidly develop your abilities and confidence. Research carefully, however, as the quality of courses can vary greatly.

Speak Dutch

Features of Babbel

Which of these methods will work for you? Babbel combines a number of these themes and methods in one place, with its unique, scientific method and course content giving you the ability to learn quickly in immersive manner. Reknowned for its effectiveness, the Babbel method is the preferred learning route for 5 million global users. Our didactic method has been created through the most rigorous academic research. This results in a powerful language curriculum that is available 24/7, taking you from zero to hero in no time.

  • Content crafted by 150 expert language teachers.
  • Flexible lessons designed around real-world situations.
  • 15 hours of Babbel are equivalent to a full semester of university classes.
  • Voice recognition technology that guides your accent and pronunciation.

Curious? Why not start your language learning journey today and discover a fascinating world of opportunities. Whether you are looking for a new job, the chance to travel, or a broader social life - it's time to learn Dutch and broaden your horizons in the process!