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Learn German or Dutch: are they different?

learn german or dutch

If you think that Dutch speakers are the same as Deutsch speakers, think again.

These two languages are totally different! You might make a mistake when googling the Dutch language when you’re supposed to learn German.

Well at least, their words are almost similar to each other because of their common ancestor, the Germanic family.

If you feel that both are difficult languages, choose to learn German or Dutch with our guide.

German and Dutch come from the same family of languages

English speakers might prefer either German courses or Dutch courses for their similarity to English.

The Germanic language family consists of many languages.

We have the lingua franca of the world which is the English language. Then you’ll also have the other famous language branches like

Countries that have German as an official language are Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Belgium.

On the other hand, you’ll find native speakers of Dutch in countries like Suriname, Belgium, Aruba, Sint Maarten, Netherlands, and Curaçao.

If you’re taking German language classes, you might find many Dutch counterparts of those words.

Notable differences between German and Dutch

Dutch only have two genders while German has three.

German has masculine, feminine, and neuter pronouns.

Common and neuter are used in Dutch, where common simply means both masculine and feminine.

If you already speak German, this implies that if you know the item in German, you probably already know it in Dutch (das Haus –> het huis).

However, because common is twice as frequent, you may get away for a while by predicting it will be common until you discover which words are neuter.

Indefinite (a/an) is always followed by “een.”

However, most Dutch people do not do this themselves. Belgians, on the other hand, might.

The ending verb varies

While both languages have the second verb at the end in many circumstances, Dutch is more like English in some cases of the arrangement of these end-verbs.

On the other hand, the verb ending for German varies due to their noun genders.

Cases are never used with articles, adjectives, or nouns in Dutch.

The best part about learning Dutch for first-time learners is their Dutch grammar.

Only “de” or “het” are required. There is no need to think about genitive, accusative, etc.

However, you have to memorize the usual “to be” verb form in Dutch, German, and English.

That includes the irregular form of “to be” as well.

Dutch Grammar is simpler than German grammar

German grammar is far more complicated than the other Germanic languages.

And that’s what makes other people say German is the hardest language.

Dutch on the other hand is really similar to English because of its Subject Verb Objects structure and also the way you capitalize nouns.

On the other hand, some people can find Dutch very simplistic and boring.

German speakers have different cases, a total of 4 are present in any sentence. Whereas, Dutch doesn’t have any of these cases.

Although Dutch might look easier, German vocabulary, resources, and cultural significance are what make it really one of the most popular languages to learn today.

The sounds, tonation, and pronunciation

It is a running joke until today that Germans call the Dutch platt (flat, or another term for German dialect) and the Dutch call the Germans scherp or hees (sharp or hoarse)

Germans have a very sharp and hoarse pronunciation of words that when they try to speak Dutch, they make seem more intense.

In German, G sounds like go, while in Dutch, it’s the guttural sound like the –ch in “epoch”.

Also, ch is guttural in the same way (in the Netherlands, not in Belgium), but has several options in German depending on the local dialect.

Should I learn German or Dutch?

In conclusion, there’s no one stopping you from learning either of the two.

Of course, we will encourage you to learn German instead, since, we are Think in German aren’t we?

Kidding aside, they both have similarities and differences when learning it for the first time.

So if you’re learning from German and already have a headstart with your German language level, you can also try to keep up with learning Dutch as you go.

Cognates are a great help when you learn German or dutch.

Be sure to know the difference between false cognates and true cognates though.

We do get that people have different timeframes in order to develop some of their language skills.

But, it is a common mistake people do when they don’t try to learn a foreign language in the first place.

When you learn German or Dutch, you have to check out free online resources first.

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