1. The longest Dutch word in the dictionary is 35 letters long
Meervoudigepersoonlijkheidsstoornis means multiple personality disorder. While it is sometimes written as two words, some linguists argue it changes the meaning. Of course, they have more monster-words such as:
- 53 letters: kindercarnavalsoptochtvoorbereidingswerkzaamhedenplan= preparation activities for a children’s carnival procession
- 41 letters: hottentottententententoonstellingsterrein= exhibition ground for Hottentot tents
- 38 letters: overeenstemmingsbeoordelingsprocedures= conformity assessment procedures
If we compare it with English, the longest word is antidisestablishmentarianism (28 letters) which refers to a group of people who loved the Church of England and didn’t want to see it disestablished.
In German, the longest word is Grundstücksverkehrsgenehmigungszuständigkeitsübertragungsverordnung, (67 letters) which means regulation on the delegation of authority concerning land conveyance permissions.
2. It’s probably the easiest foreign language for native English speakers to learn
Dutch, German and English have some similarities in general; however, Dutch is somehow in the middle between English and German. For example, the verb goes at the end of the sentence occasionally, just like German, and it doesn’t have many definite articles, just like English. On the other hand, Dutch pronunciation is notoriously difficult (just like German, in my opinion). Your pronunciation of the word Scheveningen will tell native speakers whether or not you are a native speaker.
3. You already speak some Dutch
There are many words in English that are similar to Dutch, such as:
- appel = apple
- banaan = banana
- blauw = blue
- groen = green
- peer = pear
- rood = red
- tomaat = tomato
So, you see, you’re half way to learning Dutch already!
4. Dutch loves consonants
Even if you want to scream, you need to remember the Dutch consonants. For example, an angstschreeuw, means a scream of fear. Dutch is normally recognised by the usage of many consonants in only one word. On the other hand, English holds its own consonant word with seven in total: rhythms.
5. Flemish is not a language
Nope, it’s not. The people living in Flanders – the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium – speak Dutch, albeit a variant of Dutch called Flemish. This is reflected in Belgian policy: The official language of Flanders, and one of the three official languages in Belgium, is Dutch. The other two are French and German.
Dutch is an interesting language and might be complicated to learn for some people. A good way to learn it is diving into the language and the culture.
If you ever need a translation from/into Dutch, don’t hesitate to contact us