Boost your career prospects: Learn how to speak Dutch
Berlitz is a world-renowned, international language school providing language training for professionals at all language levels. For over 140 years, they have helped millions of learners worldwide improve their language skills and enhance their career using the Berlitz Method®.
Life as an expat in the Netherlands
Life as an expat in the Netherlands can often be a somewhat challenging experience. Adapting to some aspects of local culture – like the infamous “Dutch directness” – can be quite the culture shock for some. Known to be notoriously candid and frank; the Dutch have no qualms about “telling it like it is” and freely express their opinion without fear of upset.
This can be refreshing at times, but also equally terrifying! Especially, if you haven’t experienced this before. Other common challenges faced by expats include getting acquainted with Dutch cuisine - like the famous bitterballen - and honing cycling skills while navigating bike lanes without acquiring a life-threatening injury!
While these issues can be somewhat annoying, by far the most challenging problem faced by expats in the Netherlands is getting to grips with the Dutch language.
Common expat language problems
Often, as a non-Dutch speaking expat, you can find yourself in uncomfortable, and sometimes embarrassing situations. Simple things, like not being able to order a drink at a bar, not understanding the supermarket clerk, or not being able to ask for directions when you’re hopelessly lost on those bike lanes. Or even, standing with a group of Dutch friends or co-workers and realising that they are speaking English only for you!
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Of course, most Dutch people will switch to (almost perfect!) English once they realise you don’t speak the language. While this helps in the moment, in the long run, it doesn’t improve your language skills or cultural understanding.
These examples may seem like minor life issues. But if many build up, they can negatively impact your daily life and lead to feelings of frustration and social isolation.
Expat language issues in the workplace
Many expats work in multi-lingual office environments, but Dutch companies vary in their in-house language policy. Often, workplace conversations happen in English, but others in Dutch, so sometimes expats can be left out in the cold without understanding a single word spoken. This can lead to unpleasant workplace issues; from difficulty understanding and communicating with coworkers, to awkward misunderstandings with managers or embarrassing mistakes with clients.
Continued workplace language difficulties can have an adverse effect on your ability to perform and hide your true value from your employer. They can also increase your stress levels, decrease your work satisfaction levels and have an ill effect on your mental health - not to mention hinder your career progression.
Discover how speaking Dutch can improve your career prospects
The thought of learning Dutch can seem like a daunting prospect at first, but the benefits far outweigh the fear of starting. After a few lessons, you will more easily understand others, feel more assured at work, and generally feel more confident in everyday conversation.
It’s no secret that Dutch employers look favourably on expats with Dutch language skills. They have a distinct advantage over expats that don’t speak Dutch, with more opportunities for career progression, such as working on new projects, securing a pay rise or earning a promotion.
So, are you ready to take the next step?
Learn Dutch with Berlitz Group Language Courses
The world-renowned, international language school, Berlitz, offers group language courses at many locations across the Netherlands. Catering for all levels, with super-flexible lesson times - daytime or evening - and an internationally recognised certificate, this an opportunity not to pass up. Available courses include:
- Dutch Beginners
- Dutch Beginners Plus
- Dutch Intermediate
- English Pre-Intermediate
- English Intermediate
- English For Business
- French Beginners
Courses take place in purpose-built, professional language schools with modern facilities in central locations easily accessible by public transport:
- The Hague
If there isn’t a Berlitz location convenient for you or you can’t spare the travel time, you can follow the courses remotely from the comfort of your own home with the Berlitz Virtual Classroom.
Make faster progress
The course format facilitates rapid progress in a short space of time because learning in small groups means guaranteed individual attention, feedback and support from your instructor. Course materials are adaptable to your specific learning goals aligning with your professional situation, making this personalised language course the perfect way to boost your career prospects.
This, along with the ability to practise your language skills with your fellow learners, means you will be on your way to language proficiency in no time!
Book your language course today!
Courses are available to book now and usually fill up fast, so click here now to secure your spot and begin your language journey to a more integrated, cultured and stress-free life as an expat living in the Netherlands.