Can Dutch people and German people understand each other?
Although Dutch and German are related, it is very difficult for speakers of the two languages to understand each other.
Without any practice, German native speakers usually only occasionally understand Dutch words, and therefore cannot follow the topic. However, in some cases, they may make out the general context.
The results show that in general Dutch people are better at understanding Standard German than the Low German variety, but that subjects from the border area are better at understanding Low German than subjects from other parts of the country.
At first, Dutch might seem like a very difficult language, but it's surprisingly easy for English- and German-speakers. Dutch has even been described as a combination of the English and German languages! This makes it one of the easiest languages to learn for speakers of either language.
It is also not as though all Dutch people look like twins. Historically, Nederlanders were often intermixed with many ethnic groups. According to DNA testing companies, Dutch DNA is considered mainly Germanic French, which seems a broader stroke of DNA than some common and visible Dutch characteristics that I see.
The etymology of Deutschland is pretty simple. The word deutsch comes from diutisc in Old High German, which means “of the people.” Land literally just means “land.” In other words, Deutschland basically means something to the effect of “the people's land.”
|Language||Time needed to reach fluency|
|Afrikaans||about 575 hours or 23 weeks|
|Danish||about 575 hours or 23 weeks|
|Dutch||about 575 hours or 23 weeks|
|Norwegian||about 575 hours or 23 weeks|
German is most similar to other languages within the West Germanic language branch, including Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German, Luxembourgish, Scots, and Yiddish.
Low German is a part of the continental West Germanic dialect continuum. To the West, it blends into the Low Franconian languages, including Dutch.
So dive right in and practice your Dutch with confidence. For the same reasons Dutch is the closest language to English, German is also a close language, and another one that many English speakers may find easier to learn. Dutch is commonly mentioned as the language nestled between English and German.
What is the easiest German dialect?
The Swiss German accent is generally considered to be a little simpler than the Standard German as in the Swiss dialect, there are only two verb tenses: the past (perfect) and the present. The Swiss dialect also doesn't have a genitive case. Swiss German is clear and easy to understand.
To simplify a little bit, you can see it like this. German is the oldest form. Dutch emerged from it, and from Dutch came English. So Dutch is closer to English.
To the untrained ear, Dutch and German can sound very similar. And even when written down, the languages can look similar. If your native tongue is English or French, Dutch just seems to be simpler to grasp, although many people coming from the Eastern European countries will have “an ear” for German words and phrases.
The languages: Dutch and German
Dutch is very similar to German, especially with regards to vocabulary, but the grammar is very different. It could be argued that Dutch has developed further and has become more simplified. The difference between the two languages is very clear when you look at the four cases.
Dutch, German, English, Swedish and Danish are all Germanic languages but the degree of mutual intelligibility between these languages differs. Danish and Swedish are the most mutually comprehensible, but German and Dutch are also mutually intelligible.
Although they are both West Germanic languages, German or Deutsch and Dutch are not the same language. It's true they have a high degree of lexical similarity but different influences throughout history made them sound quite different.
According to the official website of the Dutch government, relations between the two are currently "excellent", enjoying "close political, economic, social, cultural, administrative and personal ties". Germany is also by far the Netherlands' main trading partner, both in imports and exports.
Among the Indo-European languages, Dutch is grouped within the Germanic languages, meaning it shares a common ancestor with languages such as English, German, and the Scandinavian languages.