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Being fluent in Dutch

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    I'm thinking if going to Uni in the Netherland and by this I'll become fluent in Dutch. What advantages or job prospects would this bring me? Is there a large demand for English and Dutch fluent speakers?
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    (Original post by multiplexing-gamer)
    I'm thinking if going to Uni in the Netherland and by this I'll become fluent in Dutch. What advantages or job prospects would this bring me? Is there a large demand for English and Dutch fluent speakers?
    Hold on, what makes you think you'll become fluent in Dutch?

    If the course is in Dutch you'll be thrown out as you'll fail to understand anything.

    If the course is in English, then unless you're actually properly learning the language as part of the degree / another course, you're not going to learn very much at all.

    If you are going to be attending Dutch classes, they're going to have to be regular and you'll need to be making a conscious effort to get out and talking, otherwise 3 years won't be nearly enough. Also, virtually everyone speaks English so you might fall into the trap of not bothering with Dutch.

    If you do manage it, though, there should be a nice high demand for English+Dutch speakers *although* what with the fact that 86% of the Dutch population claims to be able to converse in English, you might find yourself outclassed by people who are more experienced in the two languages.
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    (Original post by Junaid96)
    Hold on, what makes you think you'll become fluent in Dutch?

    If the course is in Dutch you'll be thrown out as you'll fail to understand anything.

    If the course is in English, then unless you're actually properly learning the language as part of the degree / another course, you're not going to learn very much at all.

    If you are going to be attending Dutch classes, they're going to have to be regular and you'll need to be making a conscious effort to get out and talking, otherwise 3 years won't be nearly enough. Also, virtually everyone speaks English so you might fall into the trap of not bothering with Dutch.

    If you do manage it, though, there should be a nice high demand for English+Dutch speakers *although* what with the fact that 86% of the Dutch population claims to be able to converse in English, you might find yourself outclassed by people who are more experienced in the two languages.
    Well in the General University section they'd say I'd learn the language with 3/4 years of living there. The course would be in english. I went to Paris last summer for 3 days and I saw my French improve quite a bit. I'd say living immersed with people speaking Dutch (apart from lectures) all day I'd learn pretty fast with a bit of effort
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    If this is Maastricht, you aren't learning Dutch.
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    (Original post by multiplexing-gamer)
    Well in the General University section they'd say I'd learn the language with 3/4 years of living there. The course would be in english. I went to Paris last summer for 3 days and I saw my French improve quite a bit. I'd say living immersed with people speaking Dutch (apart from lectures) all day I'd learn pretty fast with a bit of effort
    What university is it? Your French improved quite a bit in 3 days? What you mean is you got rid of your rustiness from the holidays. Being immersed with people speaking Dutch will only help if you are going to learn the language properly. It will be a *huge* mistake to try to learn without lessons. You will end up with broken, incorrect Dutch, not unlike foreign handymen here in the UK who you can understand, but would never consider to be fluent.

    Unless you're going to follow a proper class in Dutch (not even a weekly thing, it needs to be more often unless you're going to do loads of homework) it will be a mistake, and you'd probably learn far more by staying here and taking something "with Dutch".
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    (Original post by multiplexing-gamer)
    I'm thinking if going to Uni in the Netherland and by this I'll become fluent in Dutch. What advantages or job prospects would this bring me? Is there a large demand for English and Dutch fluent speakers?

    Learning a language can be done in a relatively short space of time, but it takes immersion and a lot of effort on your part. I moved to Germany last September and since then have reached higher B2 level, with my speaking being considerably stronger than if I were following an academic course in the UK. But it took a hell of a lot of effort. Moving to a foreign country is a great opportunity to learn the language, but BY NO MEANS A GUARANTEE. I know many who just move in English-speaking circles and are only at A2 after several years living here, while I know people who are completely fluent and work in German-speaking professions.

    I self-taught myself basic phrases and the like to get up to A1, then did A2 and B1 courses at Volkshochschule (state adult education institutions, excellent because unlike school classes are held solely in the foreign language). It differs according to language, but in German mastering the grammar at the A2-B1 level is key to further success. After that I started an Open University German course and bought two grammar books (intermediate and advanced ones) while consuming literature, newspapers, films, radio etc and conversing in German (on topics from plumbing to politics to fashion) on a daily basis. The basic thing to point out is that you cannot do it without classes, although once you get good (B2-C2) you could do more independent study/general immersion instead. Anyone who tells you they "just picked up" a language as an adult is either: unaware of how bad they are it or is lying.

    As far as job prospects go you've got to think: I'm competing with Dutch native speakers with excellent English, gained from nearly life-long learning of the language and perhaps even from doing higher education in that language. Thus, your English would only be an advantage if you were working in an area where an incredibly high level of English was required and there was lots of interaction with other English native speakers. Otherwise, your Dutch would have to be incredibly good to confer any kind of advantage in the Dutch job market. It would be a different kettle of fish in the British job market, but how much demand for Dutch speakers do you think there is in Britain? If you added another language from that region e.g. German, Swedish, French, it might help I suppose.

    (Original post by Junaid96)
    If you do manage it, though, there should be a nice high demand for English+Dutch speakers *although* what with the fact that 86% of the Dutch population claims to be able to converse in English, you might find yourself outclassed by people who are more experienced in the two languages.

    Take note: do not make the assumption that just because your fellow Dutch students have excellent English, that they will want to socialise in English when you're the only English native speaker and the rest are Dutch native speakers. All of my boyfriends' friends are well-educated and fluent in English, but when in a relaxed, social setting with other German native speakers, they do not want to speak English.

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