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Are you looking for the best resources to start learning Dutch but don’t know where to start?
In this guide, I’ll show you the different ways to learn Dutch from zero and the variety of products you can include in your study routine. The best way to stay engaged in the learning process is to find tools that you enjoy using and that can provide you with the foundation you need to understand and apply Dutch. Here, you’ll find the best apps, online courses, books, YouTube channels, podcasts, and online tutor platforms you can use to develop your Dutch language skills.
The Langoly team has over 5 decades combined of teaching experience and follows a strict methodology when reviewing products. We have personally tested and reviewed over 600 products on this website and helped many language students with their studies. After reading this guide, you’ll be one step closer to reaching your Dutch language goals.
Table of Contents
If you want to become fluent in Dutch, you need to practice all the language skills, such as vocabulary, grammar, listening, speaking, reading, and writing. But, there’s no single resource that can teach you everything you need to become fluent in Dutch, so you’ll need to combine different resources. This way, you can build a comprehensive study routine and speed up your progress.
How Long Will It Take You To Learn Dutch?
What is your current level?
What level do you want to reach?
How many hours will you study each day?
To pick the best resources to learn Dutch, we applied the same methodology we always use to review all products. First, we determined which types of content were the most helpful for Dutch learners. Then, we looked for different resources that offered a variety of tools and high-quality content. The products you’ll find on this list can help you effectively understand and speak Dutch.
Language apps are a popular option for learning Dutch because they are interactive and convenient. They have short lessons you can take during breaks, and allow you to study on the go. The apps listed below, Babbel, Pimsleur, and Mondly, are some of the biggest names in the language-learning industry. They have interactive lessons and tools that can boost your vocabulary, grammar, listening, and speaking skills quickly and effectively.
Babbel is the best overall app to learn Dutch because it teaches all language skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Its lessons are short and interactive. But what I like most about Babbel is that it has grammar tips built into its lessons. This way, you can learn to apply Dutch grammar rules by completing exercises rather than by memorizing information. You can try a free lesson to see if you like it, or read more about it in this Babbel review.
Pimsleur is the best app if you want to become conversational in Dutch because it teaches you natural language. The app has audio-based lessons voiced by native speakers. First, you listen to a dialogue between the speakers. Then, they break down each line into sounds to help you listen to Dutch pronunciation. In my experience, Pimsleur is quite effective. By the end of the first lesson, you can already understand and pronounce essential Dutch phrases. You can try Pimsleur with a free 7-day trial or you can read more about the app in this Pimsleur review.
Mondly is the best app for Dutch beginners because it has different lessons to learn vocabulary and grammar. The app has quick and interactive lessons you can complete in the order you prefer, but it’s most popular for its use of modern technology. With Mondly, you can take AR lessons or use a chatbot to practice speaking. This really helped me understand sentence structure. You can try Mondly for free with a 7-day trial or read more about it in this Mondly review.
Online learning has taken off in the past few years, and now tons of platforms have online Dutch courses. If you’re completely new to Dutch, this can be very beneficial for you because you can find different options to fit your level, budget, schedule, and learning style. Most courses offer set lesson plans, but they can also be quite flexible so you can personalize your learning. UvA Talen, TaaltHuis, and Dutch First have first-rate courses that can guide you and improve your skills.
UvA Talen has 8 levels of Dutch courses that range from complete beginner to proficient. If you’re interested in specialized courses, you can find options to prepare for the Nt2 exam (the official proficiency exam of the Netherlands). There are also courses to learn Dutch for Business Writing, Academic Dutch, and more. I recommend it if you’re interested in more than one aspect of the language. The classes are live and led by qualified Dutch teachers. There are different start dates throughout the year so you can pick the most convenient time for you. You can take a free level test to see what course you should sign up for.
TaaltHuis has multiple options including a self-study course and teacher-led classes. They have complete beginner classes through advanced level. But, what I liked the most is that group lessons have a maximum of 8 students. This allows you to have the opportunity to talk in class. The self-study courses can be completed at any time, and the teacher-led classes have different starting dates throughout the year which makes this a flexible option. You can visit the TaaltHuis website to check what level you should start at.
Dutch First is a language academy based in Utrecht that offers in-person and online courses for adults. The courses use a combination of independent learning on their virtual platform and teacher-led classes that you take online, which I thought was a great way to offer flexibility while still providing guidance. If you’re a Dutch beginner learner, there’s an option for a self-study course you can complete at your own pace and convenience. You can check out their extensive list of classes and start dates on the Dutch First website.
Taking classes with a teacher can help you focus on the areas of Dutch you’re most interested in or need to overcome. But, depending on where you live, finding a tutor might be difficult. Luckily, now you can connect with tutors who are native speakers to take online private lessons from the comfort of your home. Italki, Preply, and Verbling are 3 safe and secure platforms you can use to find a Dutch tutor to practice conversation, prepare for an exam, or review different language topics based on your level, budget, and other preferences.
italki is an online platform that connects you with Dutch language tutors from all around the world for 1-1 classes. Currently, there are over 100 Dutch teachers in italki, and you can use filters to find one by price, location, lesson type, and more. What makes italki unique is that you can choose to take as many or as few classes as you want. Most teachers offer a discounted trial lesson and you can read past student reviews before hiring a tutor, so I felt very confident using the platform. You can read more about the platform in this italki review.
Preply is a platform similar to italki. There are over 150 Dutch teachers that you can connect with to practice the language or study topics like conversational Dutch, business Dutch, or Dutch for children. You can use filters to find an option based on availability, price, location, and more, and read each teacher’s bios to learn more about them. With Preply, you buy lessons in bundles, which can motivate you to stay engaged with the language learning process. Most teachers offer a discounted trial lesson but Preply also has a satisfaction guarantee to make sure you enjoy the experience. If you’re interested, you can read more about it in this Preply review.
Verbling is another option for finding an online Dutch teacher based on your learning needs. Each teacher has a profile that you can view that shows an introductory video, their availability, and ratings from past students. One of my favorite things about Verbling is that you can tell teachers what you want to study and they’ll design a personalized curriculum to help you reach your goals. You can also try a free trial lesson with most Dutch teachers on Verbling, or learn more about the platform in this Verbling review.
Studying with books is always an effective way to learn Dutch because they are great grammar reference guides and include clear examples for the most complicated topics. Most in-person language courses use books, but now there are also many choices designed for self-study. The three books on this list, Complete Dutch: Beginner to Intermediate, Short Stories in Dutch for Beginners, and Easy Dutch Phrasebook are excellent choices that can help you build a strong foundation in Dutch and provide you with all the information you need to resolve any questions you may have.
Complete Dutch: Beginner to Intermediate is a comprehensive way for beginners, or those who need a refresher, to learn Dutch up to an intermediate level. It has multiple exercises, a glossary, and a grammatical index you can use to review essential topics like arranging to meet people, expressing likes and dislikes, talking about the past, and more. The book also gives you access to an app to practice listening, speaking, and pronunciation. I recommend this option to those looking to focus on the conversational part of Dutch. Find out if this book is right for you here.
Short Stories in Dutch for Beginners includes eight short stories for the A2-B1 levels. They cover a wide variety of genres and the most common Dutch vocabulary words. Each story has a plot summary, word list, and comprehension questions to test your understanding of the story. However, despite its name, I recommend this book only to those who already have a foundation in Dutch so you won’t get overwhelmed with the reading passages. You can find out more about the book here.
With The Easy Dutch Phrasebook, you can learn over 1,500 of the most commonly used words and phrases in Dutch. The content of this book is laid out by topic, so you can choose to study the vocabulary most relevant to you. Every word has an English translation and phonetic pronunciation to help you learn how to say the word correctly, which makes the content accessible even to complete beginners. If your goal is to learn Dutch to travel to a Dutch-speaking country, I suggest you start here. You can learn more about the book here.
Watching Dutch YouTube videos is a modern way and easy way to start studying the language. YouTube has hundreds of channels, and you can find content to help you learn the basics of Dutch for free. If you don’t live in a Dutch-speaking country, this is also an amazing way to practice listening and understanding spoken Dutch. The channels included in this list have high-quality content for all Dutch learners to stay enjoyed and engaged with their Dutch studies.
Bart de Pau is a Dutch language teacher who creates entertaining videos to connect people with Dutch culture and language. He has content to teach Dutch as well as funny videos where he asks Dutch learners about their views on the language and its culture. However, what I enjoyed most about this channel was the “1000 most common words in Dutch” series and the animated soap opera designed to teach basic Dutch vocabulary and grammar. He posts 1 or 2 new videos every week.
Easy Dutch is part of the Easy Languages project that exposes people to Dutch through authentic conversations. In each video, the host interviews Dutch speakers on the streets of the Netherlands about common cultural topics. Even though I’m a complete beginner, listening to natural Dutch really helped me understand its sounds and pronunciation. There are subtitles in Dutch and English, so you won’t feel overwhelmed. They post a new episode every Thursday.
Kim is an experienced teacher of the Dutch language. She has videos that teach tricky grammar and vocabulary topics clearly and concisely to help all levels of Dutch learners improve their skills. She explains concepts in English and then pronounces the words in Dutch, and her upbeat personality makes watching her content fun and engaging. Her channel also has a series for complete beginners who want to start their Dutch studies. Kim uploads a new video every Friday.
Podcasts are a convenient resource for practicing listening and understanding Dutch for free. Since they are audio-based, you can study Dutch hands-free wherever you can use your phone or other device. This way, you can train your ear to understand Dutch and learn pronunciation on the go. DutchPod101, Zeg Het in Het Nederlands, and Echt Gebeurd are 3 options that have hundreds of episodes you can listen to improve your conversational skills and learn more about Dutch culture whenever you have time.
DutchPod101 has hundreds of podcast-style lessons that teach everything from common language topics to cultural topics about Dutch-speaking countries. Each lesson is voiced by Dutch native speakers, but the reason why I’d pick DutchPod101 is the number of additional learning materials it offers, such as transcripts, lesson notes, and word lists. It has 5 levels that go from absolute beginner to advanced, so there’s content for everyone. You can try DutchPod101 with a free 7-day trial or read more about the parent company in this Innovative Language review.
Zeg het in het Nederlands is a series of podcasts that teach important conversational topics and vocabulary related to Dutch culture, history, and events in the Netherlands. It’s completely in Dutch so it’s best for learners that already have a base of the language. You can listen to all the episodes for free online, but I suggest you go for the paid option to access the PDF transcripts for each episode to ensure you truly understand the content.
Echt Gebeurd is a fun and interesting podcast in which speakers read aloud from their childhood diaries. The stories they share can be funny, emotional, and everything in between. It’s an excellent way to hear what native Dutch speakers sound like and learn about Dutch culture through stories. All the episodes are entirely in Dutch, but you can change to a slower playback speed depending on your understanding of Dutch. Overall, this is my favorite Dutch podcast, and there are almost 400 episodes available to listen to for free so you’ll have plenty of content to enjoy.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably motivated to start learning Dutch. Hopefully, this article has helped you find a study method that works well for you. They are all high-quality options, but everybody learns differently. Finding the right study tool can help motivate you to continue practicing and stick with the language learning process. With consistent practice, you’ll soon be able to converse in Dutch!
Want to learn more? Check out our Dutch resource page.
According to the US Department of State, it takes 600 hours to learn Dutch. But this number is only an estimate and depends on a variety of factors such as your natural ability to learn languages or if you speak a similar language like Afrikaans, English, or German.
To see how long it will take you to learn Dutch, check out this fluency calculator
To learn Dutch quickly, you’ll need to dedicate a lot of time to studying and use a variety of study methods. There’s not one resource that can possibly cover all language skills effectively so it’s better to mix-and-match. For example, you can practice speaking with a Dutch tutor and learn new vocabulary and grammar with a language app.
There are many ways to learn Dutch at home, but some of the best ways are to use a language app or study with an online course. Both of these let you learn on your own schedule and are often flexible and let you study what you want to. Studying with an app or course has the added benefit of being able to play audio so you can listen to how Dutch is really spoken.
The US Department of State classifies Dutch as an easy language for English speakers to learn. This is because the languages share similarities. But while it might be similar, there are some aspects that many English speakers struggle with when they learn Dutch, such as pronunciation and sentence structures.
There are many ways to reach a high level of Dutch, but if you want to become fluent you will need to practice with native speakers. This can be difficult if you don’t live in a Dutch-speaking country, but now there are other options, such as taking classes with an online teacher or using a messaging app like Tandem or HelloTalk to find a language exchange partner.
One of the most popular ways to learn Dutch for free is to use a language app, like Duolingo, that offers its content for free. Other apps, such as DutchPod101 and Drops offer limited content for free. Another way to study for free is to watch YouTube videos or listen to Dutch podcasts.