Case study: Dutch

Dutch is spoken in The Netherlands, and in northern Belgium, where the language is referred to as Flemish. Like English, Dutch is one of the Germanic languages and is closest to English of all the major languages, although it is also very close to German.

For most Dutch speakers, both German and English are easy languages to master. German speakers, however, find it difficult to lose their German accent when speaking Dutch.

Always a nation of traders and exceptionally good linguists, the Dutch have never really expected foreigners to learn their language, so their surprise and pleasure when they find someone speaking to them in Dutch is considerable and generates a lot of goodwill.

English words of Dutch origin include deck, yacht, freight, and Santa Claus! Many words introduced into other languages demonstrate the widespread influence of the Dutch as a seafaring nation.

CLT clients who have taken up the challenge of business Dutch training include banking institution RBS, as well as many more established companies like New Balance in Warrington, Olsthoorn in Birmingham, and Urenco in Chester. We have also arranged Dutch for Business training in Amsterdam for Capital Marketing.

All our language training courses include an essential element of cultural etiquette and Dutch is no exception. For example, clients find it very useful to understand how overseas clients do business and how they relate to the English character – particularly our dry sense of humour! This is very easy for the Dutch who are probably nearer to us in their type of humour than most other Europeans – they definitely laugh at the same jokes and never have any difficulty understanding them, even if told at speed in colloquial English.

Learning Dutch for Business is not difficult – particularly if you have some prior knowledge of German – and you will reap huge rewards in terms of improved relationships with your Dutch clients when you demonstrate your new language skills!