Learning Dutch: when are you going to get started?

door Regina Coeli

When you’ve just arrived in the Netherlands, you face an important decision: are you going to learn Dutch? And when will you do that: right away or after you settle in a bit?

Learn Dutch or not?

Most Dutch people speak decent English or at least understand what you mean when you speak English, so you can get by fairly easily using English in most places in the Netherlands. And no doubt when you notice that Dutch people enjoy speaking English to you, you might wonder why you would even bother learning Dutch.

To answer that question, let’s fast-forward to the future. Imagine being asked in 10 years’ time how long you’ve lived in the Netherlands.

Do you then answer, ‘I’ve lived in the Netherlands for over than ten years.’ Or do you say in Dutch: ‘Ik woon al meer dan tien jaar in Nederland.’ Which future self would you be most proud of?

Next, think about the benefits of having learned to speak better and better Dutch over the past decade:

  • You’re better able to form connections with Dutch people.
  • You understand the Dutch culture more deeply.
  • You’ve been able to work on your personal development in the Netherlands.
  • You’ve been able to stay in good touch with your children’s school and their sports club.
  • You feel at home in the Netherlands.

You wouldn’t want to miss out on all that, would you? So, get started!

When is a good time to learn Dutch?

Some people take a Dutch language course quite soon after they arrive in the Netherlands. Others wait a while. There’s something to be said for both approaches.

Approach 1: Get used to the language first, then learn Dutch well

Try to immerse yourself in Dutch. Look and listen, be curious and try to understand. Once you start paying attention to the language, you’ll get used to the sounds and can start discovering words you already know. After all, Dutch includes many words of English, French and German origin.

When you take a course or training afterwards, you’ll already be used to the sounds and learning the language will go faster.

Approach 2: Learn it well first, then take it further on your own

Another approach is to follow a training course soon after your arrival. After five days at Regina Coeli, for example, you will have laid a very good foundation in Dutch, which you can then work on further on your own.

Whatever approach you choose, at Regina Coeli, we can always guide you in learning the Dutch language. Our starting point is the level you have at the moment you start your training. You will learn exactly what you need for your work and life in the Netherlands.

Would you like to know how we do it? Then download the information on our Dutch training courses here.

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