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Dutch is a West Germanic language spoken natively by 24 million people, with a further 5 million worldwide speaking it as a second language. It’s primarily the speech of the Netherlands - where it is spoken by 95% of the population - though it’s also a co-official language of Belgium and Suriname, and is spoken by a significant proportion of the population of former colonies in the Dutch Caribbean such as Aruba and Sint Maarten. As well as being the mother of the Dutch language, the Netherlands was once home to one of the world’s most powerful empires, which was globally influential in spheres such as art, philosophy, science, and trade. The country’s importance was especially profound during the 17th century, a time often referred to as the Dutch Golden Age. The mother tongue of the Netherlands is very closely related to other Germanic languages, including German and English; as such, it’s relatively easy to master for anyone with a knowledge of these languages.
Our Dutch courses are offered in Amsterdam, a cosmopolitan capital city that effortlessly blends history, culture, and modernity. This former fishing village went on to become one of Europe’s most important trading centres - in fact, at its peak, it was the wealthiest city in the world! Today, this global Alpha City is home to the headquarters of international businesses like Netflix and Tesla, is consistently ranked highly for living standards, and draws more than 5 million visitors annually. When you learn Dutch with us here, you’ll stay with your teacher and study on a one-to-one basis, allowing you to make significant progress while you experience Dutch culture first-hand.
One key reason our students want to learn Dutch - aside from the Netherlands’ rich artistic heritage and excellent cuisine - is for the famed lifestyle of the locals. Dutch people are renowned for their openness, honesty, and modern values of freedom and tolerance. The Netherlands was famously the first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001, and it continues to make progressive strides in spheres like welfare and healthcare. A friendly and accommodating people, the Dutch are generally regarded as easy-going and positive, with a pragmatic attitude that means they’re rarely rattled. When you attend one of our Dutch courses and begin putting your newly developed language skills to the test, you’ll find this out for yourself!
During your language programme, you’ll also find out about uniquely Dutch things like oranjekoorts, or ‘orange fever’, where people dress from head to toe in their national colour - sometimes even going so far as to dye their hair orange - to celebrate sporting events, festivals, and the king’s birthday. You’ll discover traditional Bruine Kroegen (literally ‘brown cafés’) - traditional pubs or eateries named for their dark wooden interiors - and taste local snacks like bitterballen, leverworst, and kaasstengels. You’ll ride your bike through the Rijksmuseum on your way to see works by the Dutch Masters, or stroll along the picturesque canals as you admire the characteristically diverse architecture of the central De Wallen district. You can even take a trip out of town to visit the villages scattered amongst the polders, where you’ll see iconic Dutch windmills and be able to put your language skills into practice with the locals. Whatever you do during your time here, you’re sure to have an experience like no other!
Don’t hesitate to contact us for further details of our language schools and the packages available.