Dutch is not as widely used as Mandarin, Spanish, English, Arabic, or French. So why should you bother learning Dutch? Knowing how to speak the language does have its perks. There are plenty of reasons why you should start learning, here in this article you will find “Dutch Language in India: Top 6 reasons to learn”.
The Dutch Language is in the West Germanic branch along with English, German, Afrikaans, and a few others. Today, Even though you may not need to learn Dutch, you might in the future. Why not start now? That is because Learning a new language takes time.
Importance of Dutch Language in 21st Century
There are plenty of good reasons to learn a new language. With the world becoming a single global village, it opens new doors in life. Other than Jobs opportunities in Foreign languages, there are many who wants to pursue Dutch language course for various reason like job employment, immigration, business, travelling, interest, etc.
There’s a difference between Dutch and Deutsch. While former is spoken in Netherland and Belgium whereas Deutsch i.e. German is spoken in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, etc. The Taalunie – the Dutch Language Union – is a public organization managed by the Dutch and Flemish ministers for culture and education. It is responsible for both standardizing and promoting the Dutch language and and culture around the world.
You might want to go to Netherlands or Belgium as a tourist, or it can open up new Job opportunities and enhance your experience of living in the these countries, or maybe you want to work in any Dutch company anywhere in the world where Knowledge of Dutch language is an added advantage. There are numerous advantages and benefits in learning Dutch language in India.
Top 6 Reasons To Learn Dutch Language in India
1) Where is the Dutch language spoken?
Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname, and the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten as well as in French Flanders (France). It is the third largest Germanic language after English and German.
Dutch is spoken by over 25 million people in the world, and is one of the official languages of the EU (European Union). Given this statistic, It can be considered as one of the more popular languages in Europe and around 5% of the European population is a Dutch native speaker. In addition, It is taught in about 175 universities in 40 countries as per taalunieversum report.
In Northern Belgium, it’s the official language of Flanders, and is also spoken in Brussels. Dutch and Flemish use the same spelling, grammar and dictionary. However, there are noticeable differences specially in accents, pronunciation, vocabulary, and word order. In most cases, Dutch and Flemish speakers can communicate easily, as their language differences are similar to the differences between Latin and European Spanish.
There are lots of similarities between Dutch and Afrikaans language. It is because The Afrikaans language was brought to South Africa and Namibia by the Boers (Dutch farmers) in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is also spoken in Zimbabwe and Botswana, but only by a small population. Both the languages are closely-related and mutually intelligible though there are differences in vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.
2) Dutch is Easy to Learn for English speakers
Dutch is probably one of the easiest language to learn for English speakers. English, German, and Dutch are three West Germanic languages branch of the Indo-European family of languages and share thousands of cognates words.
If you speak English or/and German, learning Dutch is quite easy. While Dutch pronunciations is quite different, and sometime difficult too. However, Proficient in English will definitely help you to learn sooner than later.
Dutch is much more phonetic than English and more consistent in its pronunciation. The difficulty of a language depends on how you approach it. You don’t have to be afraid to make mistakes or speak incorrect pronunciation since most people in Netherland or North Belgium (Flanders) speak English.
3) You will able to know Dutch and Flemish Culture
One can only truly comprehend the Dutch and Flemish culture if the language is also understood. Most linguists agree that language and culture are closely related. A language reveals a great deal about a culture.
Artistic works written in a different language often cannot be fully appreciated when translated into English. And what about Dutch films and TV-series? Wouldn’t you like to be able to watch something with subtitles – and skip reading them?
4) Travelling or Working or Studying in Netherlands or Belgium?
Another good reason to learn Dutch, particularly if you plan to stay or work or study in Netherland or Belgium for a long period of time and want to get on the natives good side is that knowing their language will make it easier for them to open up to you, with you being a stranger to the country.
Learning the native language is important if you find it important to make many friends while you are there, as it is seen as a means of showing respect to the natives in many countries. You cannot truly know the Netherlands if you do not speak the language. There is also an opportunity to become a foreign language Guide in India.
5) Career Scope and Job Opportunities in India
With globalization, it becomes really important to know a foreign language. There are plethora of job options in metros and big cities where majority of multinational and transnational companies have set up their offices.
On one hand, many Dutch companies are setting their regional offices in India and on another hand, many Indian companies are looking to expand into Dutch-speaking countries. As per India’s MEA, Currently, 180 Indian companies are present in the Netherlands and over 115 Dutch companies have their presence in India.
Holland is the 18th largest economy in the world. Some of the world’s biggest multinationals, including Philips, Heineken, KLM, Shell, ING, ABN AMRO, Rabobank, AkzoNobel, ASML, TomTom, and Unilever, are Dutch. Holland is a world leader in many areas of expertise, including agriculture, water management, art & design, logistics, banking, and sustainable energy.
If you are still wondering how many opportunities there are, but apparently they exist. We don’t have so many Dutch translators or interpreters in India. Due to lack of Dutch teachers, there are limited options to study the language in India.
You improve your odds significantly in the job market in India and abroad. So when you learn a less popular language, you will have something rewarding to add to your resume.
6) Indo-Dutch growing relation in the 21st Century
Indo-Dutch trade ties date back to 400 years during the colonial era. Bilateral trade between India and Netherland is at present is $7 billion. At present, the Netherlands is India’s 28th largest trading partner globally, and sixth largest in the EU.
Established in 2003, Netherlands India Chamber of Commerce & Trade (NICCT) has been active in promoting business relations between the Netherlands and India. Currently more than 100 Dutch and Indian companies including major banks, insurance companies, IT related companies and multinationals are members of the NICCT.
The Netherlands is the fourth largest investor of FDI in India with a cumulative investment of $23 billion from 2000 to December 2017. The country is also home to a 235,000-strong Indian diaspora, the largest in mainland Europe.
The services sector, which includes BPOs, attracts 16 percent of total FDI from Netherlands to India. On other hand, Indian companies with regional operations in the Netherlands include top IT firms Wipro, Infosys, Nucleus Software, pharmaceuticals supplier Dishman Pharmaceuticals & Chemicals Ltd., tire manufacturer Apollo Tyres, and telecom giant Bharti Airtel.
Major Indian exports to the Netherlands include: petroleum products and related materials, apparel and clothing textile yarns, fabrics, organic chemicals, vegetables and fruits, and electric machinery. Dutch exports, on the other hand, consist of metalliferous ores and metal scrap, plastics, and general industrial machinery.
Proficiency in Dutch language puts you in a firm position to succeed in export, import, and international businesses and trade. If you’re able to speak fluently, then that could help you land a job as a Dutch specialist or expert in many such international companies in India and abroad.
Moreover, you will eventually increases your chances of finding a new job, getting a promotion or a transfer overseas or of getting selected for international travel or foreign assignment with better pay.
Dutch Language Courses in India
Dutch Roof Consultancy, Bangalore
Thomas Van Berckel is the founder of Dutch Roof Consultancy. He is Bengaluru based Dutch national and OCI card holder. It is one of the very few institute in the country with Dutch language program. They have been teaching Dutch Language and Cultural Coaching workshops at the Bangalore office since very long time.
Dutch Roof Consultancy offers beginners courses (A1) but teach also at A2, B1, B2, C1 levels. They have customized ‘Dutch Language and Culture Training programs’ based on individual & organization needs.
Through GMAB you can do ‘CNAVT Dutch language exam on A2, B1, B2 and C1 level in Bengaluru and acquire worldwide recognized CNAVT certificates. CNAvT (Dutch Proficiency test) certification exams is held twice in a year in May and November in Bengaluru.
They have some collaboration with reputed various Dutch Training organizations in the Netherlands and Belgium for independent assessments. If you want to learn Dutch for whatever reason, Dutch Roof Consultancy is probably the only choice in Bangalore.
Dutch Language at JNU
In 2013, JNU started the Dutch Studies Program with the help of the Netherlands Embassy in New Delhi and the Dutch Language Union. Mr. Mathieu Bokestael was the faculty. It was the first programme in Dutch at an Indian university. The Dutch Studies Programme was part of the Centre of German Studies at JNU and is housed at the SLL&CS.
CdA Global Language Centre, Kolkata
The centre offers 3 months beginners level in Dutch and Fees is Rs 19,000. Due to limited number of students, CDA centre offer one-to-one individual Dutch course.
Dutch is not a popular European Language in India and that is reason why there are limited options as far learning Dutch in India is concerned. There are few more options to study Dutch in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, etc. but due to lack of enough information, i am refraining myself to list here.
If you are interested in pursuing Dutch course in India, you can either try with a private One-to-One tutor or self-learning through books or online study material or Online Course. There are quite a few.