The Official /int/ How to Learn A Foreign Language Guide Wiki

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 Caribbean, 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, with very limited practical function nowadays. Vocabulary wise, Dutch has a lot of Romance influence, particularly from French, although not as much as English.


Dutch grammar is a simplified version of German grammar. Its simplicity is one of the reasons that Dutch is considered an "easy" language. A lot of Dutch words are similar to English and German words.

Some things English speakers might struggle with, from easiest to hardest, are:

  • De/het (use to check)
  • Past tenses of irregular verbs (you will need to learn these by heart. A bit of a time sink, but nothing you can't get over.)
  • Word order in certain contexts (main verb always at position 2, "er", prepositions, and a couple other fine points)
  • Pronunciation (long vowels, diphthongs, "u"; if you don't get them right, people will not understand you. What seems like a triviality is likely the hardest part of this language to consistently get right. The notorious Dutch "g" is child's play in comparison.)


Before you start (Immersion learning, SRS)[]

Remember the old days of learning a language by getting a tutor immediately, studying a lot of grammar and speaking a lot right away? Well, that belongs to the past now, along with steam engines and flip phones. There are better ways to go about language learning nowadays. If you live under a rock and aren't up to date with the Immersion Learning and Spaced Repetition (SRS) memes for language learning, I recommend you check the overview on evidence-based language-learning meta on Refold. Use the roadmap as a strict guide, don't buy anything from Refold at gunpoint. If you question the validity of the above statements, you're welcome to post your doubts on /lang/ and be corrected and laughed at.

Do you understand how immersion learning and SRS works? Good, you're ready to start. If not, you're a dumb stubborn moron that likes wasting his own time.

Starter Pack[]

For the first 5-10 hours of learning, it might be useful to check out a traditional, very basic introduction to the language on Youtube, or spend some time on D*olingo, just to ease you into things. Having said that, you should move on to the Starter Pack as soon as possible. Read through the frequency dictionary, watch through the two playlists slowly and try to find shows and podcasts that you can slowly follow. Once you have gotten about 200 hours of exposure, you're next for the next phase.

Intermediate resources[]

Make sure you are done with the Starter Pack before moving onto this.

Nederlandse Grammatica voor Anderstaligen (AM Fontein) - You should skim this cover-to-cover once you graduate from the Lest Best basics. This is best and most complete Dutch grammar book you can get your hands on. Misses close to nothing, explains everything with examples, completely in Dutch. Getting an overview of where the gaps in your knowledge lie will be helpful in the long run. - Easily the best Dutch-to-Dutch dictionary, complete with pronunciation and synonyms. Do not fall for the van Dale meme.

Keep inputting from Videoland and Spotify. At this point you should also get your hands on some books. See "Input" section. You will also need to start dabbling with output. There are plenty of Dutch discord servers you can join for that purpose. This is the hardest phase of learning the language, so be patient.

Advanced resources[]

You are now more or less fluent. Use the following to iron out your flaws.

Schrijfwijzer - Quite possibly the most comprehensive guide on frequently made language errors. Made for native Dutch copywriters. Schrijfwijzer has plenty of content online for free, but buying the book is definitely worth it. - A site that's aimed at Dutch natives who want to improve their Dutch. You shouldn't be looking at this before you're reasonably fluent. - A site that's aimed at Dutch natives who want to improve their Dutch. You shouldn't be looking at this before you're reasonably fluent. - This is also a website that lets Dutch speakers practice their grammar, vocabulary, and spelling. But is perfectly suitable for non-native speakers as well

General Brotip: Most Dutch people speak very good English. If they hear you speak imperfectly, they will likely immediately switch to English to "help you out". Just keep talking in Dutch.


TV and shows:[]

It's very difficult to pirate interesting Dutch content. Subscribing to good streaming services will get you much more than your money's worth. Consider getting a VPN and subscribing to Videoland. They have a pretty large catalogue of movies and films for all genres.

zondag met lubach - The Dutch John Oliver, occasionally funnier.

Hans Teeuwen - (edgy) comedian/cabaretier from Brabant

Jochem Myjer - comedian

Ronald Goedemondt - comedian

Brigitte Kaandorp - comedian/cabaretier

Het zonnetje in huis - It's worth learning Dutch just to experience this. A nineties sitcom depicting bourgeoisie life in Amsterdam in a time when life was simpler and the future looked bright. Heart warming. Best suited for intermediate/advanced learners.

Probleemwijken - A view into the low-socioeconomic-status underbelly of the Netherlands, subtitles included. Quotes from it have seeped into contemporary youth culture. Available on Youtube and Dumpert. Beyond hilarious. Best suited for intermediate/advanced learners.

Podcasts (Spotify):[]

Revolusi met David van Reybrouck - A retrospective on the colonial history of the Netherlands in what became modern Indonesia, beautifully voiced.

Napoleon (Klara) - A history podcast on Napoleon, beautifully voiced, well-produced.

Alexander de Grote (Filip Zweifel) - A history podcast on Alexander the Great.

Tussen de Regels - A semi-legal podcast going over interesting points and articles of Belgian law. Peppered with moral discussions and beautiful Flemish accents.

AboutLaw (Bob Rietjens) - Podcast on Dutch law made for lawyers. Great use of the language, as expected.

De Rechtbank: Na de Feiten - An honest conversation between a judge and a murderer she convicted.

De Dienst - A case-based walkthrough on the operating procedures of the Dutch secret services.

Grijs Gebied - Looking into one of the most internationally controversial Dutch police interventions: the use of the 'Mr. Big' method.

BROERS met Sam en Rijk - True conversational Dutch between two brothers. Mostly about partying and sex. If you're ever planning to speak to anyone from the Netherlands in the 18-30 age demographic, this is what you'll hear. Highly recommended for intermediate learners.

De Nieuwe Waarheid - Schizophrenic ramblings on conspiracy theories. Fun conversational Dutch.

Dat kan m'n kleine nichtje ook - Conversational commentary on Dutch paintings and painters.


Alfred J. Kwak



Music (under construction):[]


Wolf (2013) - A two-bit gangster becoming three-bit. Lots of violence with a modern Dutch backdrop. You should seriously watch this.

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)



This is an archive of the largest Dutch literature thread on /lit/. Full of suggestions, you might find something you like. Having said that, you're likely better off reading books of your favorite genre translated to Dutch. - 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, so unless you have a time machine and are planning to relive the Gouden Eeuw, try spending your time more productively.)

Gerard Reve - de Avonden

Children's books[]

Jip en Janneke by Annie M.G schmidt (5-6 Yrs)

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).

Rimworld has a Dutch language pack.

Germanic Languages
West Afrikaans Dutch English German Old English

North Danish Faroese Icelandic Norwegian Swedish

Dutch Dutch grammar