Dutch is not as widely spoken as Mandarin, English, Arabic, Spanish, or French. Besides, most people in the Netherlands speak English. So why should you bother learning Dutch? Here are six surprising reasons to learn the Dutch language in India.
Learning a new language is advantageous and does have its perks. When you think about what language should I learn, overwhelmingly, French, Spanish, or German, or Japanese, Chinese, or Korean leap to the forefront.
Why not go against the crowd and learn less taught languages like Dutch? Knowing how to speak Dutch does have its perks. Really? Not convinced? Read along.
Importance of Learning Dutch Language
The Dutch Language is in the West Germanic branch along with English, German, Afrikaans, and a few others. 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 culture around the world.
With the world becoming a single global village, it opens new doors in life. Other than language careers and jobs involving languages, you may contemplate picking a Dutch language course for various reasons like higher studies in the Netherlands, immigration, business, traveling, interest, cultural aspect, and more.
You might want to go to the Netherlands or Belgium as a tourist, or it can enhance your experience of living in these countries. Or maybe you want to work in any Dutch company anywhere in the world where knowledge of Dutch is an added advantage. There are numerous benefits of learning the Dutch language in India.
6 Compelling Reasons to Learn the Dutch Language in India
Today, even though you may not need to learn Dutch, you might want in the future. Why not start now? That is because learning a new language takes time. Here are six reasons why.
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 tongues in Europe, and around 5% of the European population is a Dutch native speaker. Also, according to the report of Taalunieversum, it is taught in about 175 universities in 40 countries.
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, especially in accents, pronunciation, vocabulary, and word order. In most cases, Dutch and Flemish speakers can communicate quickly, 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 tongue 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 most natural languages 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 pronunciation is quite different, and sometimes tricky too, however, Proficient in English will 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 were 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. Traveling, Working or Studying in the Netherlands or Belgium
Another good reason to learn Dutch, particularly if you plan to stay or work or study in Netherland or Belgium for an extended time. You want to get on the native’s 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 essential if you want to make many friends while you are there. 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.
5. Career and Job Options after Learning Dutch in India
With globalization, it becomes imperative to know a foreign language. There are a plethora of job options in metros and big cities where the majority of multinational and transnational companies have set up their offices.
On the one hand, many Dutch companies are setting their regional offices in India. And on another side, many Indian companies are looking to expand into the 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 the lack of Dutch teachers, there are limited options to study the Dutch language in India. Besides, you can explore opportunities in BPO, International business, Export-Import industries, or can make your career as a linguist guide.
You improve your odds significantly in the job market in India and abroad. So when you learn a less widespread 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 most significant in the EU.
Established in 2003, the 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.
As per HBL, The Netherlands now the third-largest foreign direct investor 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. It was also the second0largest destination for foreign investment by Indian companies.
The services sector, which includes BPOs, attracts 16 percent of total FDI from the Netherlands to India. On other hands, 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 puts you in a firm position to succeed in international businesses, export, import, 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 increase 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
Founded by Dutch national, Thomas Van Berckel, Dutch Roof Consultancy offers beginners courses (A1) but also teach at A2, B1, B2, C1 levels at Bangalore. GMAB also prepares you for CNAVT A2, B1, B2, and C1 level. The CNAvT (Dutch Proficiency test) is recognized worldwide, and certification exams are held twice in a year in May and November in Bengaluru.
There are few more options to study Dutch in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and other parts of India. However, due to lack of enough information, I’m refraining myself to list here. You can either try with a private One-to-One tutor or self-learning through books or online study material or class. Let me know if you have any question!