Why is Dutch an important language to know?
Amsterdam, the Netherlands’ capital city, is the perfect place for those looking for a cultural trip. Home to over 50 museums, it attracts 19 million tourists every year. The Netherlands is known for its intrepid explorers, international trade and its artwork.
It’s widely spoken
Dutch is not only spoken in the Netherlands. Spoken by 23 million native speakers, Dutch is an official language of Belgium, Suriname and the Dutch Antilles. Given its similarities to German, it is also a popular second language there.
Amsterdam is an international business hub. It is a city that has grown every year since 2013 and is home to several hundred international businesses. New positions continue to open up in the fascinating European city.
How similar are English and Dutch?
Dutch and English are both from the West Germanic family. In fact, Dutch is linguistically the closest language to English.
Vocabulary and Dutch translation
There are many cognates between Dutch and English. For example, warm, dune, yacht and water are all words which exist in both languages. Other words look highly similar, such as droom (dream) or kaat. Dutch also regularly borrows words and expressions from English, such as ‘out of the box thinking’. Nevertheless, there are also several false friends between the languages, or expressions that should not be translated literally. Cultural knowledge must also be taken into account when translating from Dutch to English. For instance, the Dutch prefer a more direct style of communication, whereas the British are famed for the indirect, polite manner. Translating Dutch too literally risks coming across as rude and blunt.
English and Dutch grammar are equally very similar. For instance, neither have a case system. However, there are some important differences between the grammar of the two languages. This includes the fact that Dutch attaches a grammatical gender to nouns, as in French and Spanish. Dutch also has no continuous tense, such as ‘I was eating’ or ‘I am eating’.