Dutch language course for business purposes

door Regina Coeli

Sooner or later, every expat in the Netherlands realizes that it would be wise to learn to communicate better in Dutch. If you work in an international environment, it might not seem necessary to learn business Dutch at first. You learn just enough Dutch to get by at the supermarket, at the doctor and when you are out and about—whether that is even necessary is another matter, since you can get by in English just fine in places like Amsterdam. 

And then, something happens:

  • You get another position in the organisation, which has you leading a team of Dutch people.
  • You are sick and tired of not being able to accurately and concisely comment on things during a heated debate, when you would be well able to in your own language.
  • You have spotted an incredible job at an organisation where Dutch is spoken, but you simply do not know enough Dutch.
  • A colleague who has been in the Netherlands for less time than you have speaks Dutch better than you do.

And then it dawns on you: “I should have learned Dutch sooner.” Or perhaps you have tried before, but for one reason or another it has not yet worked. This is certainly not a cause for concern; it is never too late to learn Dutch, and everyone can learn to speak better Dutch. A course geared to business Dutch is definitely not an excessive luxury or expenditure for non-native speakers who operate in a business environment in the Netherlands.

Business Dutch demands more language skills

To compare: many Dutch people follow English training which is specifically focused on their work or profession, even though they are often already able to communicate sufficiently in English. In fact, they are the biggest percentage of course members at Language Institute Regina Coeli. This is because they know that using a foreign language in a business context is much more demanding than using it in a social one.

At Language Institute Regina Coeli, we have more and more course members who have been living in the Netherlands for a number of years and can generally make themselves understood, but not quite enough to also be able to communicate in a professional environment. They benefit greatly from the fact that we design a customized programme for them so we can tackle precisely the issues they need to address. In a group situation, there are always participants who can sit back and not participate if a subject they have already mastered comes along. In contrast, every moment is educational in an individual course.

Business Dutch training focus areas

What do you actually learn during a course which is so focused on business Dutch? Most training providers would touch on the following list of subjects in a business Dutch course:

  • Writing skills
  • Presenting in Dutch
  • Meetings skills
  • Negotiating

We have a different, unique approach to Dutch for business purposes at Language Institute Regina Coeli. The training is shaped around you as a person. It is our aim to support you in developing your own communication style in Dutch—one which fits the professional you are. Of course you will learn business language skills, but you could just as easily focus on making small talk on the work floor, being grammatically correct and developing a vocabulary you can draw from each and every day at work.

You largely determine the focus areas of your Business Dutch course at Language Institute Regina Coeli yourself. The most important questions we would like to have answered before you start your course are:

  • What do you have to be able to do in your position?
  • What vocabulary do you need to master for your field and the sector you work in?
  • What are your current skill levels? What skills are well-developed and which ones are lacking or lagging behind?
  • Do you often make the same mistakes? Do you just guess, for example, whether you should say ‘het’ or ‘de’? Do your sentences have a completely different rhythm than those of native Dutch speakers?
  • How is your pronunciation of Dutch words?

The answers to these questions result in a training programme which is tailor-made. Nearly every programme consists of grammar, conversation with role plays and building relevant vocabulary.

Dutch business expressions

Idioms and expressions make up a specific part of the Dutch language and are used, appropriately or not, in Dutch conversation. If you already speak Dutch reasonably well, then these expressions are a gateway to an even greater mastery of the language. They will definitely come up during the training, because they are frequently used in Dutch meetings, business writing and informal chats.

Ten frequently-used Dutch expressions

Below you will find a few frequently-used Dutch expressions which can be a lifeline in conversations.

  • Door de mand vallen - To be revealed for what you really are.
  • Hoog van de toren blazen - To be full of hot air.
  • Door het oog van de naald kruipen - By the skin of your teeth.
  • Wie A zegt moet ook B zeggen - Finish what you start.
  • De aanhouder wint - If you try long enough, you will eventually succeed.
  • Niet geschoten is altijd mis - If you do not at least try, you definitely will not succeed.
  • Nood breekt wet - Desperate times call for desperate measures.
  • Waar rook is, is vuur - Where there is smoke, there is fire.
  • Van uitstel komt afstel - If you do not do it straight away, you probably never will.
  • Het ijzer smeden als het heet is - Strike the iron while it is hot.

Learning business Dutch in practice

You can read all sorts of information online to help you along in Dutch, but Dutch is learned most efficiently, effectively and naturally by ‘doing’ and by being corrected by native speakers. The trainers at Language Institute Regina Coeli are specialised in helping well-educated individuals reach a highly professional level in their language skills. Come experience it yourself!


Interested in following language training at Regina Coeli?

The Regina Coeli method ensures that you learn to speak a foreign language quickly and effectively. Our highly qualified trainers teach you the skills, vocabulary and grammar that you need for your specific situation so you can immediately start communicating in the language.

Do you require more information? Please contact us!

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