Dutch is the native language of most people in the Netherlands and about half of Belgium and Surinam. About 23 Million people speak it as a native language and about 5 Million as a second language. Dutch is also an official language of various Dutch ex-colonies in the Carribean, but English is becoming increasingly more important there. Dutch colonists in South Africa historically spoke Cape Dutch, a dialect of Dutch. But this has gradually evolved in Afrikaans and is now considered a different language.
Dutch is closely related to German and English and people often say that it's inbetween those languages. Dutch used to have cases, but they fell out of fashion in the early 20th century, and they are now limited to a handful of fixed phrases. Dutch does still have genders though. These genders work similar to the way they do in other Germanic languages that retained them. Vocabulary wise, Dutch has a lot of Romance influence, particularly from French, although not as much as English.
Dutch grammar has similarities with English grammar and is generally considered fairly easy for English speakers.
Some things English speakers might struggle with are:
- De/het (use http://welklidwoord.nl/ to check)
- Verb endings (especially in the past tense)
- Word order in certain contexts
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The frequency dictionary covers about 95% of all spoken Dutch, and 85% of all written Dutch texts.
- the 2500 most used Dutch words listed by frequency
- frequency as part of speech (most used nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc..)
- included are 2500 English to dutch example sentences showing word usage
- phonetic spelling of Dutch words with the International Phonetic Alphabet
Got a lot of useful content.
https://beterspellen.nl/ - A site that sends you small spelling excercises every day, designed for Dutch natives but maybe useful for intermediate-advanced learners, too
https://www.cambiumned.nl/ - Another site that's aimed at Dutch natives who want to improve their Dutch, but that might be useful for advanced Dutch learners as well
Brotip 1: Most Dutch people speak English and are very willing to help you out if you make a mistake
Brotip 2: Because most speak English, if you really don't know how to get your point across. Just start in English.
TV and shows: Edit
zondag met lubach - late night Sunday show about local news and events with some comedy
Hans Teeuwen - (edgy) comedian/cabaretier from Brabant
Jochem Myjer - comedian
Ronald Goedemondt - comedian
Brigitte Kaandorp - comedian/cabaretier
Alfred J. Kwak
Acda En De Munnik (pop)
André Hazes ("Levenslied" [literally "life song"] This is a stereotypical dutch artist. Here's a Wikipedia article on it)
Ali B (rap)
Party Squad (Rap/Dance)
Boudewijn De Groot (Folk)
Guus Meeuwis ("Levenslied"/pop)
Heidevolk (Folk Metal)
De Lift (The Elevator)
Abel (Abel is a semi-common name in the Netherlands)
Van God los (Godforsaken)
Zwart Boek (Black Book)
Komt Een Vrouw Bij De Doktor (Stricken. Literally translates to "A Woman Goes To The Doctor")
Amsterdamned (No explanation needed, I suppose)
Het Diner (The Dinner)
Kankerlijers (Cancer Sufferers. Kankerlijer is a paticular heavy insult in Dutch and is frowned upon)
Turks Fruit (Turkish Delight)
https://www.scholieren.com/nederlands/boeken - a list of books that are popular with high schoolers for Dutch literature class. It's in Dutch, but if you want to read literature in a language you can't even navigate a site in, I don't know what to tell you.
Louis Couperus - De stille kracht, Noodlot, De Komedianten (all of Couperus' books, but they're all at least a century old and contain a fuckton of archaisms)
Gerard Reve - de Avonden
Childrens books Edit
Jip en Janneke by Annie M.G schmidt (5-6 Yrs) (It should be noted that the language is very simplified)
Doflje weerwolfje by Paul van Loon (8-9 Yrs)
Mees Kees by Mirjam oldenhave (9-10 Yrs)
Koning van katoren by Jan Terlouw(10-12 Yrs)
Kruistocht door spijkerbroek by Thea Beckman (11-12 Yrs)
Oorlogswinter by Jan Terlouw (12-14 Yrs)
As with a lot of languages, the Dutch translation of Harry Potter reads well.
Virtueel Zoetermeer - SimCity-like game where you simulate the growth of the city of Zoetermeer, a suburb of the Hague. The game isn't actually any good, but it does have a nostalgia factor (and meaty walls of Dutch text).
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