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How To Learn Dutch

At the Tobian Language School, we want to make learning a new language easy and accessible to all. That’s why we have come up with the following guide to help you understand how to learn Dutch.

How To Learn Dutch and a picture of Groningen

Why Should You Learn Dutch

Learning Dutch can be beneficial for several reasons, including:


Career opportunities: Dutch is an official language in the Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname and the Dutch Antilles so if you plan to work in these countries, knowing Dutch can give you a competitive edge in the local job markets.


Cultural immersion: Speaking Dutch can help you immerse yourself in the Dutch and Flemish cultures, allowing you to communicate with locals, understand local traditions, and fully enjoy your travels in the Netherlands and Belgium.


Personal development: Learning a new language is always an excellent way to challenge yourself and broaden your horizons. Dutch is a unique and fascinating language, and mastering it can be an excellent way to boost your confidence and expand your knowledge.


Overall, learning Dutch can offer many personal and professional benefits, and it’s a
language that is worth considering if you’re interested in expanding your language skills and exploring new cultures.

How Difficult is it to Learn Dutch?

The difficulty of learning Dutch will depend on the learner’s prior knowledge of related languages and their language learning aptitude.


For native speakers of German, Afrikaans, or English, Dutch may be relatively easy to learn as these languages have many similarities with Dutch in terms of grammar and vocabulary.

However, for speakers of languages with vastly different grammar structures and vocabularies, Dutch may be more challenging to learn. 

Fear not however as Dutch can be quite quick to learn as we have shown in our: how long does it take to learn Dutch article.

Here are our 8 key strategies to help you learn Dutch:

1) Language Immersion

Immerse yourself in the language means: watching Dutch TV shows and movies, listening to Dutch music, and reading Dutch books and newspapers.

This will help you to become familiar with the sound and rhythm of the language and to pick up new vocabulary.

At the Tobian Language School we recommend the following methods:

  • NPO: You can watch many of the shows from the Nederlandse Publieke Omroep ( “Dutch Public Network” ) online, for free.


  • Netflix does have some Dutch series and movies. You can find series and movies for any age group.

    Dutch Movies & Series on Netflix

  • Youtube: there are many Dutch TV shows and series on Youtube. Both old and new series are available.

  • Books: Minoes. This children’s book is an excellent way to start for beginners learning Dutch because the words and phrases used are quite easy.
    Buy Here

  • Newspaper:  de Telegraaf. De Telegraaf is the largest Dutch daily morning newspaper and is characterised as a popular newspaper because of a relatively high level of entertainment, including many sensational reports and a large sports section. In addition, de Telegraaf is relatively simple to read. 
    Read Here

2) Practice Speaking

To be able to practice your Dutch speaking skills we recommend to join Dutch groups or private lessons at the Tobian Language School.

Speak as much as you can, even if you make mistakes. 


Find out more about our dutch language learning courses here

Our 2nd recommend method on how to learn dutch is speaking

3) Learn The Grammar and Vocabulary Frequently

It is crucial to learn the basic grammar rules of Dutch and build up your vocabulary.


Start with common words and phrases and then expand your vocabulary as you become more comfortable with the language.


Here are a few example words:

  • Gezelligheid can be translated as ‘conviviality’, ‘cosiness’, ‘fun’ and is used to describe a social situation or togetherness with friends / loved ones.
  • Lekker can be translated to mean ‘tasty,’ but it can be applied to almost anything. If you are talking about the food, the weather or an attractive person: you can say ‘lekker’.
How to learn Dutch online

4) Utilise Language Learning Resources

We also recommend the usage of language learning apps and resources when trying to learn Dutch.


However with all the apps and online resources that are available it can sometimes be a little confusing. The Tobian Language School provides these resources.


With our own comprehensive study materials for its students and for all different levels we help our learners progress rapidly.


Additionally,  The Tobian Language School is using  Boom NT2 study materialsBoom NT2 is a market leader and specialist in the development and publishing of learning materials Dutch as a second language.


You can find out more here about Boom NT2

5) Practice Regularly

Regular practice is key to learning any language.


This can’t be repeated enough! Try practicing at least 30 minutes every day, whether that means having a conversation at the bar or reviewing vocabulary flashcards.


We suggest to our students who are learning Dutch the following:

  • By using Dutch language flashcards you can expand your vocabulary in a wonderful manner.

6) Visit the Country

For those of us lucky and brave enough to travel a great way to learn a new language like Dutch is to visit a Dutch speaking country.


This will allow you to immerse yourself in the language and culture, and to practice speaking with native speakers.

Here is the list of countries that you can visit where Dutch is can be heard:


  • The Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Suriname
  • Aruba
  • Curaçao
  • Sint Maarten 
a great way on how to learn dutch is to visit the netherlands

7) Learn by Context

Context matters in everything and this is no different when learning Dutch.


Try to learn new words and phrases by understanding how they are used in a certain context.


This will help you use them correctly and to understand Dutch when it is spoken.


Applying a language in its correct context is the difference between knowing words and learning a new language.

8) Patience is Essential

In Dutch there is the saying: “Geduld is een schone zaak“. Literally: patience is a clean business.  Meaning: those who wait patiently will be rewarded.


We believe this proverb applies beautifully to learning a new language.


Be patient with yourself as learning a new language takes time and effort. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate progress. Stick to the process that works for you, find someone or a resource that can help evaluate your progress and we are 99.99% sure you will see progress in your Dutch language abilities.


Everyone has their own unique way on how to learn Dutch.


At the Tobian Language School we have asked our professional language teachers what they think are the best ways to learn the language and we have come up with this small guide for you.


We hope it will be the steppingstone you need to start learning the mysterious language that Dutch is.


Remember, consistency is key, so make sure to practice regularly and you’ll see improvement over time.


Select 1 month’s worth of classes with Tobian Language School.  

And change life as you know it forever.

Book your place here.

Tobias Woudt
Tobias Woudt

Tobias is a polyglot, traveller and founder of the Tobian Language School.

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