Why bother learning Dutch?
Nearly everyone speaks English in the big cities in the Netherlands. Furthermore Dutch is quite difficult, with strange sounds that hurt your throat.
Why should expats invest time and money in learning Dutch
One of the reasons why expats like living in the Netherlands is the language skills of the Dutch. If you ask Dutch people if they speak English, you will probably get the answer "a little bit," and then you will find out they are nearly fluent!
So, it is absolutely possible to survive in the Netherlands without speaking Dutch. But if you do not want to feel like a tourist, you should try to learn. And of course, you might feel awkward if a group of Dutch people are speaking English just because of you!
The Dutch will appreciate the fact that you try to speak the language (although they will most likely reply in English). And wouldn't it be fun to understand your Dutch colleagues when they are gossiping during the lunch break?
This is how Kit, a 27 year old UK citizen living in Amsterdam, puts it: "Do not believe the old claim that learning Dutch is pointless, as everyone speaks English anyway; if you are resident in Holland for any length of time, a Dutch course can make a serious difference to your appreciation and enjoyment of the country. I highly recommend it."
So, it is worth putting some effort in learning Dutch!
Some useful Dutch sentences
Here are some useful sentences in Dutch to start with:
› Spreekt u Engels?
Do you speak English?
› Waar is de WC / het toilet?
Where is the bathroom?
› Mag ik u iets vragen?
May I ask you something?
› Ik kom uit de Verenigde Staten.
I come from the United States.
› Ik woon in Amsterdam.
I live in Amsterdam.
› Nog een keer alstublieft.
One more time, please.
› Niet zo snel alstublieft.
Not so fast, please.
› Wil je iets drinken?
Do you want to drink something?
› Een biertje graag.
A beer, please.