Mango Monday: Dutch

For this installment of Mango Monday, we will discuss our offerings for Dutch. The Dutch language has 22 million speakers in Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles. Because of the Age of Exploration, Dutch can even be found in Indonesia. It is part of the Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, so much of it will be recognizable to speakers of English. Dutch is also the basis for what became Afrikaans in South Africa. Note: "Pennsylvania Dutch" is not related to Dutch at all. It is actually a dialect of German.

Some phrases from the first Mango lesson that you might recognize:

  • Hello: Hallo
  • How are you?: Hoe gaat het?
  • I am fine.: Het gaat prima.
  • What is your name?: Hoe heet jij?
  • My name is __.: Ik ben ___.

Dutch is a useful language for travelers because it can be used in many places around the world. It is also important for those who are interested in European art and history. It is one of the languages of the European Union, and may lead to employment opportunities as the defacto headquarters of the EU is Brussels.

From a sound, Dutch is a more gutteral language than English. That means more sounds are made in the throat. The word order is slightly different from English. Dutch sentences are usually subject-object-verb in order. For example: I an apple ate. Mango uses a color grammar on screen, so you will be able to see these differences easily. Thankfully, reading the langauge will be easy as it uses the same Latin alphabet that English does.

As with Swahili last week, Dutch is available through both Mango Languages and Pronunciator. Each language product has different interfaces, and some will work better for you depending on what you want to get out of your language experience. Don't forget to take advantage of each product's mobile apps for language learning on the go!

Next Monday we will be back with a new language you can teach yourself with resources from your library.