Dutch an Introduction

Dutch language, also called Netherlandic or Dutch Nederlands, in Belgium called Flemish or Flemish Vlaams, a West Germanic language that is the national language of the Netherlands and, with French and German, one of the three official languages of Belgium. Although speakers of English usually call the language of the Netherlands “Dutch” and the language of Belgium “Flemish,” they are actually the same language. About 23 million people in Holland and Belgium have Dutch as their mother tongue, which makes Dutch the seventh language in the European Union . Dutch is also the official language of Surinam.

Dutch is a Germanic language, which means it has a lot in common with languages like German, English, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish.Dutch is the third Germanic language. It comes after English and German, but is spoken by far more people than Swedish, Danish, Norwegian or Frisian.

The standard language in the Netherlands is based primarily on the dialect of the province of Holland. It should be noted that ‘Nederlands’, ‘Hollands’ and ‘Vlaams’ are three separate names for the same language whereas in Belgium‘Vlaams’ was used to indicate what was not French. However, today‘Nederlands’ is the official and most usual designation in both countries.

Dutch is also spoken on the Netherlands Antilles, Suriname and many people in Indonesia also speak it (all former colonies of The Netherlands). And in South-Africa, they speak a language derived from Dutch: Afrikaans. We’ll start by teaching you how to introduce yourself in Dutch. Take a look at the following Dutch sentence and it’s English translation. “Ik ben Robert” “I am Robert” Here we see your very first Dutch sentence where you introduce yourself as Robert, a fictional person. You should of course replace the name with your own name. Although the sentence consists of only three words we are going to carefully examine each word. The first word “Ik” is the Dutch equivalent of the English word “I”, also referred to as 1st person singular. It’s a subject pronoun. The second word “ben” is a verb. It’s a conjugation of the irregular Dutch verb “zijn”, which is the Dutch equivalent of “to be”. Now we’ve seen how to introduce yourself using “ik ben” but we can also introduce other people, take a look at the following examples:
 Ik ben Robert  I am Robert
 Jij bent Robert  You are Robert
 Hij is Robert  He is Robert
 Zij is Roberta  She is Roberta
 Het is Robert  It is Robert
 Wij zijn Robert en Paul  We are Robert and Paul
 Jullie zijn Robert en Paul  You are Robert and Paul
 Zij zijn Robert en Paul  They are Robert and Paul

Articles and Gender

Articles Take a look at these Dutch sentences:
 Hij is een vader  He is a father
 Zij is de moeder  She is the mother
 Het is de stoel  It is the chair
 Het is een stoel  It is a chair
 Het is een huis  It is a house
 Het is het huis  It is the house
It looks pretty logical at the beginning. You’ll quickly notice that “een” is the correct Dutch translation of “a” and “an”. But what’s the correct translation of “the”? You see two different Dutch word for “the”, you see “de” and “het”, but which one is the right one? Gender Grammar Rules In general, gender is used to distinguish between male and female, sometimes referred to as masculine and feminine. The following examples use gender in different ways and places to demonstrate their behavior.
Grammar + Rules Dutch
my son is a student [masculine + noun] mijn zoon is een student .
her daughter is a student [feminine + noun] haar dochter is een student .
he has a tall brother [adjective + masculine] hij heeft een grote broer .
she has a tall sister [adjective + feminine] ze heeft een grote zus .
his brothers are young [plural masculine + adjective] zijn broers zijn jong .
his sisters are young [plural feminine + adjective] zijn zussen zijn jong .

Hebben – to have

In this lesson we’ll also introduce another irregular Dutch verb, the verb “hebben”, which means “to have”. Take a look at the full conjugation and translation of this verb:
 Ik heb  I have
 Jij hebt  You have
 Hij/Zij/Het heeft  He/she/it has
 Wij hebben  We have
 Jullie hebben  You have
 Zij hebben  They have

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