A Conversation for Dutch - the Language

a surprising language

Post 1

riotact : like a phoenix from the ashes

to an english speaker, dutch has a very offputting look to it, with its double aa's and uu's, and the ij. the pronunciation of words like "gracht" also give a first impression that the language must be something like russian or finnish in difficulty.

nothing could be further from the truth. due largely to its philological positioning midway between english and german, and having a grammar as simple as that of the former but the logical spelling of the latter, it is, i feel, the easiest foreign language of all for an english speaker to learn.

the biggest difficulty in learning it is that almost all dutch speakers speak good english. as such it is hard to get much practice; both the learner and the dutch speaker find it easier to speak english. but if you persist, the dutch will be flattered: clearly you are not learning dutch from necessity but from a real interest in them and their culture and it becomes a very rewarding experience.

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