How Hard is it to Learn Dutch – 3 Secret Ways

Narayani Bhardwaj
Narayani Bhardwaj Guide
17 Min Read

How hard is it to learn Dutch? If you want to pursue the Dutch language either as your hobby or as a professional. The above question is genuine when it comes to learning Dutch. However, the below article is all about learning Dutch.

You will find the answers to most of your questions, like how hard is it to learn Dutch? Why is it a complex language to learn? And appropriate ways to learn the Dutch language.

So, without wasting more time, let’s dive into the information given below.

1. How Hard Is It To Learn Dutch?

Dutch is a moderate Indo-European language in terms of popularity. It belongs to the Germanic family. However, regarding the location of the Netherlands, the language sounds like a blend of English and German.

As for the difficulty level, Dutch is not easy to tackle. It has different perspectives. Based on your native language the difficulty level can be concluded. Sadly, the response to this question varies.

multilingual happy new year greeting
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It depends on your previous learning of foreign languages, your native language, and various other factors.

Meanwhile, many grammatical and other factors make Dutch a bit difficult to learn. Still, according to the Foreign Service Institute, you need to put in 600 – 750 hours of learning. Depending on your time investment in learning, you can be fluent in Dutch.

2. What Makes Learning Dutch Complex? – How Hard is it to Learn Dutch?

Dutch has many concepts that make it tough to crack. Following are the primary concepts, which contribute to making Dutch a complex language.

2.1. Difficult Pronunciation

Pronunciation in Dutch is a literal complex task. Many people struggle when pronouncing words in Dutch. There are so many strange sounds in the Dutch language. Initially, it will be really hard to learn, but when you gradually get a grasp of it. Dutch pronunciation will become easy for you.

However, it is a time-consuming process. So, you must put in effort and time in learning Dutch. It consists of several consonants like nk, ng, sch, etc. that are unfamiliar in many languages. However, you can join the nouns in the Dutch language.

So, you might end up making words like Angstschreeuw means ‘cry of fear’, and Slechtstschrijvend – ‘worst-writing’. By just looking at these words, you can conclude how horrible they are. This is what makes the Dutch pronunciation hard. And there is no doubt about it.

Easy Dutch 1 - Basic Phrases from the streets

Despite the consonants, the vowels themselves are difficult to pronounce. Few vowels sound like eu or ui, which are new to people who are learning Dutch as a newbie. You need to practice hard to learn Dutch so that you can pronounce these vowels and words correctly.

It is like you are doing mouth practice because these are not the usual sounds we have in other foreign languages. Nevertheless, practice will be worth your time and effort. 

2.2. Irregular Forms – How Hard is it to Learn Dutch?

There are various irregular verbs in the Dutch language. In conclusion, there are about 200 irregular verbs with different irregularities. It contributes to making Dutch a hard language. Furthermore, it is almost impossible to find a system to understand irregular verb forms.

Also, there are no exact grammatical rules defined that can explain these irregular forms. Learning and practicing with expression is the only way to get through these verb irregularities. However, it also includes various exceptional rules.

Meanwhile, the plural forms of these verbs can also contribute to your confusion with terms. Until now, you must have gotten an idea of how irregular forms contribute to making Dutch hard and a confusing language.

2.3. Confusing Word Order – How Hard is it to Learn Dutch?

Another thing about the Dutch language is the confusing word order. Also, Dutch is known for being a confusing and complex language. Most of the other foreign languages describe sentences with Subject, Verb, and Object. However, in Dutch, one word can upside down the original meaning of your sentence.

It’s a torturing aspect in Dutch. Despite complex and unusual sounds, you also need to know the ordering of the words in a sentence. However, you may think that you can skip the grammar part to the last. Unfortunately, you can’t!

how hard is it to learn dutch
Image by Mike van Schoonderwalt at pexels

Grammar is the most prominent and mandatory thing of any language. Despite the fact, that grammar usually makes language learning difficult for beginners. But, this is the base for learning any language flawlessly.

Furthermore, the word order defines the exact meaning of the sentence. Also, it describes whether a sentence is a statement or a question. Moreover, it also explains the subject and object in a sentence along with the importance level of the sentence.

Dutch is not as easy as you think to tackle. However, most people learn French, Spanish, German, and Russian-like languages. So, if you are an English speaker or from any other language, Dutch doesn’t match with any of these foreign languages. 

2.4. Different Dutch Accents – How Hard is it to Learn Dutch?

The Dutch accent is another complex thing. Even if you have learned Dutch to an intermediate level, you still have the accent obstacle. Including the small areas of the Netherlands, there are over 20 different Dutch accents.

Whenever you visit a new town or city, the accent will be different for most of these people. Hence, having a conversation with native Dutch people is not an easy task, even after learning Dutch.

People may think that accents are easy to catch, and can be understood. However, you can understand the accents of other foreign languages, which are relatable. But, when it comes to Dutch, there is no way that you can easily tackle numerous accents quickly.

2.5. Dutch People Speak English!

Since English is a close relative of the Dutch language, almost all Dutch people can speak English simultaneously. The English and Dutch both belong to the West Germanic languages. Still, if you are a newbie, you might never find anything relatable initially.

Learn Dutch in 30 Minutes - ALL the Basics You Need

This language is an actual game, which is hard to crack. Nevertheless, there is nothing that cannot be tackled with hard work, practice, and sufficient time investment. Even for a native English speaker, Dutch is complex to learn.

Also, if you think of practicing Dutch by being among them. It‘s not as simple as you think. Usually, Dutch people are less patient.

When they find out you are not a native Dutch, they will immediately turn to English. And you may not find a chance to improve your Dutch accent with people from the Netherlands.

3. Ways to Learn Dutch – How Hard is it to Learn Dutch?

There are numerous ways to learn Dutch. Given below are the several best ways to learn Dutch.

3.1. Enroll in a Free Online Dutch Course

Enrolling in an online course is one of the best ways to learn Dutch. Countless platforms will provide exceptional Dutch courses to learn. However, many of these courses are paid as well.

Meanwhile, if you are low on budget and cannot manage to deposit a fixed amount. You should go for online free Dutch courses. Free courses are also good, they will provide you with the basics and fundamental knowledge of Dutch.

As we already know, fundamentals are the key to success. However, when you are done with the basics, you can switch to the free intermediate-level courses in Dutch. Also, these courses allow you to learn at your own pace.

how hard is it to learn dutch
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Nowadays, everybody has limited time for each thing to give. Probably, you wouldn’t be able to maintain your regularity during learning. So, you do not need to worry about these anymore. You can set and manage your learning deadlines weekly or monthly.

This is the biggest benefit of enrolling in an online course. However, its shortcoming is when you start taking it for granted, then you may never be able to learn Dutch.

3.2. Enroll in On-Campus Dutch Learning Programs

Another excellent way to learn Dutch is to enroll in an on-campus learning program. Here, you will be surrounded by learners like you and experienced Dutch teachers as well. You don’t need to hesitate in asking questions, as everybody will be a beginner here.

Also, by enrolling in an on-campus program, you would automatically maintain your regularity, as it is a must. You will be given tasks here that you need to complete daily. Though it is a little costly, this way you can learn Dutch swiftly and precisely.

3.3. Listen to Dutch Music – How Hard is it to Learn Dutch?

Listening to Dutch music is another mesmerizing thing to learn Dutch. However, this is an incredible way to learn Dutch for music lovers. By listening to Dutch music, there are many benefits.

Firstly, you can enjoy music that will not bore you with time. Secondly, listening to Dutch music will help you learn the complex words properly as you first hear them, and then listen. Also, it’s better if you watch the subtitles along with the music.

how hard is it to learn dutch
Image by Andrea Piacquadio at pexels

This way you will get a better idea of conversation, word orders in different manners, etc. Nonetheless, listening to Dutch music alone is not enough. You still need to find a solid way to learn Dutch. Switching to Dutch music will just help you get a grip of Dutch.

3.4. Self-Study with Dutch Language Books

The Dutch language has a confusing word order, complex pronunciation, and irregular forms. Grammar is especially the most difficult part in Dutch. You need to put in a lot of concentration in learning Dutch.

However, books are a great source of learning. You can memorize the words and word orders in a sentence more precisely by looking at them. When you read books, you start observing sentences and grammar more carefully.

Dutch Conversation for Beginners | 40 Dutch Phrases to Know

Books will allow you to enhance your vocabulary and grammar as well. Reading assists you in learning anything faster. After all, reading books is the prominent way to learn Dutch. However, this also requires focus and dedication to observe and understand things.

3.5. Find Dutch YouTube Channels

Finding Dutch YouTube channels is among the best ways to learn Dutch. Thousands of YouTube channels will provide you with free as well as paid learning videos. Following a YouTube channel can enhance your focus.

Also, videos are an amazing way of learning nowadays. Many teachers will teach you Dutch via their videos. Many of these channels will provide you with entire course videos and tutorials.

Furthermore, you can choose step-by-step Dutch learning tutorials. These steps include basics, counting, vocabulary section, grammar, and so on. Moreover, you can find tutorials on YouTube as per your level from beginner to advanced.

3.6. Read Dutch News – How Hard is it to Learn Dutch?

Start reading Dutch news. Initially, reading the news will be boring. So, you need to give it a little time to get used to it.

Each language is native to some region or country. Learning the language alone will not give you a perfect understanding of its native culture.

The native culture is highly prominent when it comes to learning foreign languages. As its accent is also difficult. Reading news will help you understand Dutch culture, expressions, traditions, and more.

Dutch story for beginners: level A2

Still, if you find it a tough way to learn, don’t skip this part. The purpose behind reading Dutch news is initially to make you read Dutch as much as possible. So, it can help you improve the grammatical aspects.

3.7. Watch Dutch Web-Series & Movies

One of the most awesome ways of learning is to watch movies and web series. However, this is entertaining as well. This way is not for the newbies. As you will not understand anything at all in movies and eventually will get bored.

You should follow this step when you are done with the fundamentals of the Dutch language. I would recommend you to watch web series and movies with subtitles. So, when you don’t understand or miss something, you can pause and understand.

Eventually, you will find it a good way to improve your vocabulary. Also, you will get an idea of their native communication and accent as well.

4. Conclusion

Dutch is among the most difficult languages to learn. Meanwhile, if you want to go for it, don’t be afraid. There is nothing that can’t be achieved with consistency and determination to learn. However, there are numerous ways to learn Dutch.

So, you can follow any of the above-mentioned ways to pursue it. All you need to do is to put in effort and keep practicing. Furthermore, be consistent during learning. You already know that Dutch has complex word orders and pronunciation.

If you won’t be regular enough, you might lose your pace. Also, you should be determined to learn Dutch. As it’s tough you might want to skip it in the middle, which is not a good idea. Hence, keep learning and keep growing.

Besides, you have read this far, you must have gotten an idea of how hard is it to learn Dutch.

Last Updated on by Sanjana

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