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Going to work in the Netherlands without knowing the language? Where to start learning Dutch?

22 November, 2022
Sylwia Szerszeń

The Netherlands is a popular destination for many residents of central and eastern Europe wishing to earn money abroad. The advantages of this country include liberal laws, employment opportunities in a variety of professions, and the fact that a basic knowledge of English or German is usually sufficient in most situations. However, those who choose to stay in the Netherlands for a longer time should have at least a basic command of Dutch. Where to start learning Dutch? We have a few ideas for you.

The Dutch language on the labour market

Job seekers’ websites are packed with job offers stating that you don’t need to be able to communicate in Dutch to become employed. It’s generally true, and it’s very often the case that some basic level of English or German will be all that your future employer will require. It’s one of these languages that will be used in the workplace to give instructions or communicate with colleagues.

Having said that, when browsing through other offers, in which the command of the Dutch language does appear, you will notice a difference, i.e. the pay rate. Even a communicative command of Dutch will allow you to earn more. What’s more, Dutch also opens further career doors – in many cases, if you know the language, the employer can offer you a much more lucrative position once you have finished working through your agency.

When is Dutch an option and when is it a necessity?

When is Dutch an option and when is it a necessity? It all depends on the length of your stay in the country. If you see working in the Netherlands as a temporary option, you won’t need to invest your time in learning Dutch.
However, if the Netherlands is to become your permanent place of residence or if you want to come back to work there regularly, being able to communicate in Dutch is a must. Your Dutch language skills will be useful to you in your everyday life and social interactions – also because, which is something to remember, you will receive all official letters, tenancy agreements, or accounting documents in Dutch. A basic knowledge of the language will make your life more comfortable.

How to start learning Dutch?

An effective technique generally used when learning different languages is to put down answers to questions such as:

  • Why am I learning this language?
  • What do I need it for?
  • Who will I become if I learn this language?
  • Who will be able to communicate with me?
  • How well do I want to know the languagek?
Another thing to do is surround yourself with the Dutch language. Nowadays it’s extremely easy, as Youtube channels provide access to the real language spoken by the Dutch. The advantage of this solution is that you can listen to things that are actually of interest to you. You can, too, switch on Dutch radio and use streaming platforms with subtitles or audio switched to Dutch, at least at the beginning. These are small things to start with, but – most importantly – they will allow you to get used to the sound of what you probably find to be a completely foreign language.

There are now many ways to learn a foreign language, and everyone is sure to find one that works best for them. You should bear in mind that a person who communicates in Dutch will certainly be valued in the labour market and have more opportunities for professional advancement. At the end of the day, however, it’s up to you to judge whether you need to learn Dutch or not.