Shopping for essentials is one of the first things many people do after moving to a new country. Are you one of these people? Then consider the following question:
What was or were the first thing(s) you bought in the Netherlands?
a. Dutch cheese
b. Public transportation chip card
d. Dutch language course
Is your choice included? Are any of these choices irrelevant for you? Perhaps a language course isn’t one of your top priorities, but it really should be! Here are five reasons why:
1. Learning Dutch opens a new world
You’ll do fine in English here, but all Dutch conversations will pass you by; a whole new world opens when you understand and speak a bit of Dutch. People will appreciate your effort, and making friends and contacts will be far easier.
2. Language and culture are strongly linked
Learning the language will give you an insider's view of the culture; for example, it will become clear why Dutch people can sometimes come across as rude when they speak English. The Dutch prefer a direct style of communication, and a literal translation in that style can often seem very blunt to a foreigner.
3. You'll meet new people in class
You’re not the only one feeling a bit awkward in your raincoat and umbrella. During courses you'll meet people from many different countries: interesting people who want to meet and talk to you, too! Classes are also a great place to exchange stories and experiences.
4. Dutch is an interesting language
Our language has a lot of vowels, and you will learn to distinguish between the subtle nuances in pronunciation. You will have to practise to pronounce the hard ‘g’ sound – the sound that matches Dutch weather so well. You will also discover the all-important structure of our language as you learn it.
5. Learning Dutch will increase your understanding of your own language and other languages
Most people don’t put too much thought into their own language – everything comes together automatically, so why would you? However, learning a new language makes you compare it with your own language and with any other language you know. You will discover similarities and differences, and you may even uncover the influences of your own language when you try to speak Dutch.
Which Dutch language course suits you?
You can take a course that suits your own ambitions, either in the evening or during the day. Each level offers four start dates a year. The courses are a combination of self-study and classes.
- Everyday Dutch
Do you want to learn the Dutch language to use it in everyday life? Join a course in which you will reach an elementary level (CEFR level A2). You will learn frequently used sentences and expressions for going shopping, travelling and talking Dutch to news friends, colleagues and classmates. Classes (group sessions) take place in evenings or on Saturdays, combined with e-learning (self-study).
- Dutch for work and study
Do you want to learn Dutch at a high level? And maybe even apply for the NT2 State Exam II? Join a course that offers a solid basis for using the Dutch language. You can enrol at different levels, from beginner to upper intermediate, in daytime courses or evening courses,. After completing each level, you can decide whether or not to go on with the next course. At the highest level (CEFR level B2) you will be able to speak Dutch comfortably and naturally. You will be able to understand difficult texts, write detailed texts in a wide area of topics, express your opinion and participate in more complex discussions.
Find out more about learning Dutch in Amsterdam.