Dutch looks and sounds more like English than any other national language . . . have a look at the following pairs: him/hem, to hope/hopen, house/huis, pen/pen, one-two-three-four-five / een-twee-drie-vier-vijf...
And if you already know some German, read this!!
The Facts May Surprise You:
(here are only a few) 22 million inhabitants of the Netherlands and Flemish Belgium speak Dutch. That's more than all the Scandinavian languages put together. • GOVERNMENT and POLITICS: Brussels is the capital of the European Community. • BUSINESS: The Netherlands is the third biggest foreign investor in the USA today. • More than 50% of large international corporations have their European distribution centers in The Netherlands • 20% of large foreign companies have their main office for Europe in The Netherlands. • Over the past eight years American investment in the Netherlands was twice what it was in Mexico and ten times what it was in China*.• WORLDWIDE: Dutch is the official language of Surinam and the Netherlands Antilles. • scholars of the history of the East Indies, and of Indonesian legal studies, often use texts written in Dutch.• THE ARTS: art (Karel Appel, Piet Mondriaan, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Marcel Broodthaers) music (Urban Dance Squad, Bettie Serveert, Concertg
ebouw Orchestra), dance, and the theater are flourishing in the Dutch-speaking world; the very lively Dutch tradition of literature dates back to the Middle Ages. • SCIENCE and ENGINEERING: The Universities of the Low Countries are famous for their research in Agriculture, Aquatic Engineering, and City Planning • Belgium and the Netherlands play an important role in international business and industry. • AMERICA: The first inhabitants of New York State and the Hudson Valley were Dutch.
*If you think your future lies in the business world, and you need an "excuse" to study Dutch language, literature, or culture, please read "Drifting Apart or Growing Together? The Primacy of the Transatlantic Economy," by Joseph P. Quinlan (Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Relations at Johns Hopkins University). The Dutch-speaking world is a major partner of the U.S. Knowing the language or culture could give you an edge!
Dutch links: http://german.lss.wisc.edu/irfg/neerland.htm
Study Abroad in the beautiful medieval city of Utrecht, The Netherlands, at a world-class University. The U.W.-Madison has courses for you in Dutch language and culture!