Tips for learning Dutch effectively in the Netherlands

Tips for learning Dutch effectively in the Netherlands

Learning Dutch in the Netherlands can bring many benefits as an expat. You can make Dutch friends, get to know the culture better through the language, integrate more easily and increase your chances in the Dutch job market.

Still, it can be quite a challenge, especially if you work in an international environment and your children go to an international school. What makes it even more difficult is that almost everyone speaks English in the Netherlands.

So, how do you still get your practical practice in addition to Dutch lessons? Fortunately, there are many ways to practise. Here are the most important ones:

Prepare some phrases to ask to continue talking in Dutch

For example, "Dank je. Ik leer Nederlands. Ik wil graag Nederlands spreken." This is for the moment when someone speaks English back to you. Also, phrases such as "Kun je minder snel spreken?" or "Kun je dat alsjeblieft herhalen?" are important to know.

Agree with yourself to only speak Dutch

By that agreement, you take control of your own learning. You agree with yourself that whatever happens, you will not switch to English.

Prepare sentences in Dutch on a theme

Furthermore, of course, you can also prepare certain phrases and words for the moment in which you want to practice. For example, use words and phrases to buy bread at the bakery.

Practise out loud at home

You can very well practise out loud at home before practising outside. You can also write your own scripts to fit the situation you want to practise in later. A perfect tool to help you with pronunciation is Forvo. In this auditive library, the words are spoken by native speakers.

Watch the Dutch Youth News

Watch and listen to the NOS Youth News. The language there is simpler than the regular NOS news. You can also watch Het Jeugdjournaal back on their website, so you can pause the video if you want to write something down or look something up.

Watch videos from Dutch teachers

Bart Pau is a well-known teacher with a YouTube channel that offers many free videos to practise sentences. You can also check out School TV on the website. There, you will find an extensive database of videos on all kinds of themes made for children, making the language easier.

Use your hobby or sport

Use your hobby or sport to practise Dutch. Join a Dutch sports club, dance group, or painting club - something that appeals to you and motivates you so you can learn more Dutch within your own interests.

Read, read and read …

Reading is the way to learn more words and sentence structures. You can read leaflets, newspapers and books. A subscription to the local library is ideal and you can also rent books online there. The extra tip here is to create your own dictionary. Buy a notepad where you write down all your new words and (later) add the meaning if necessary.


If you have any questions or would like more tips for practising Dutch, feel free to message or email Wendy van Dalen.

Wendy van Dalen


Wendy van Dalen

Drs. Wendy van Dalen. Mother, entrepreneur, and traveling addict. Psychologist, teacher, and director of Dutch for Children and Online Dutch for Expats. Living my best life with our expat family....

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