Languages are really important, but sadly us Brits have never felt the need to learn a second language but perhaps it’s time to reconsider? In our language series of blogs we’ll be looking at languages more closely and what it means to have the language skills needed for the global workplace. Let’s start with the Dutch Language; our nearby cousins in The Netherlands!
If you visit The Netherlands you’ll struggle to find someone who doesn’t speak English! 95% of the population speak English as a second language and often it’s all they speak! However, the Dutch Language joined the ranks as one of the top ten languages that the UK needs in 2017.
Where in the World will you find Dutch being spoken as a first or second language?
Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname, and the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten. It is spoken by nearly 23 million people worldwide, and is one of the official languages of the EU. We feel we should repeat that, but won’t, just read it again! That’s an impressive 23 million people worldwide! That means you’ll come across someone speaking Dutch, whether it be a tourist or colleague it doesn’t matter, it’s polite to know some Dutch, even better if you know enough to get through a conversation.
Dutch and English are closely connected languages!
Dutch and English both developed from the language of the Germanic tribes that lived thousands of years ago in Southern Scandinavia and in the North of what's now Germany. Today, Dutch and English are both in fact considered West Germanic languages and share a significant number of words.
So, if you are a language pro, you won’t struggle too much to understand the framework in which the language is made up of.
So why would you want to learn Dutch?
Put simply because it’s a great idea, something to have on your CV, and you’ll build better relationships with our neighbours in The Netherlands. If you are working in a professional context with a Dutch business you’ll be better able to build rapport and gain trust. Our business relationships are likely to grow with the Dutch irrespective of our Brexit deal.
What happens if you study in The Netherlands, will you need to speak Dutch?
No. Almost all universities in The Netherlands offer programmes delivered in English and some universities now pitch themselves as English speaking e.g. The University of Groningen. If you do study in The Netherlands your university are likely to give you the opportunity to learn Dutch through basic language training and you’ll almost definitely be surrounded by Dutch people who will happily help you to learn their language. This of course means you’ll be able to come home (or move around the world) with an additional language adding further value to your CV.
You can meet Dutch universities during International Education Week in the UK this March! Maastricht University being one of them - a world class university situated in Maastricht in pretty much the heart of Europe!
Fancy finding out more on studying your full degree abroad? Then why not visit one of our shows: