7 Reasons why you are never too old to learn Dutch!

If you are learning Dutch, you are probably learning it as a second language and I know this can be a difficult experience. You will experience moments, during the learning process, when you will think of giving up the effort. Beginning to learn a language can be really difficult. Especially when you’re not in school anymore.

People think it is way more difficult to learn a new language when you are older.

I can safely say that the argument that children have better memory and greater ability to learn languages, is not true.

Saying that you’re too old to learn Dutch is not a good excuse!

In this blog I will give you seven reasons why it is never too late to learn Dutch.

  1. Age is not the dominant factor for learning Dutch

Let’s start with the argument that is used most: children learn faster. This is just partly true. It’s true that children have the ability to process new information quicker. But it is important to understand that this is just one part of a very complex learning process.

Learning a language is a very elaborate operation. And learning not only depends on your environment, but also: mother tongue, emotions, intelligence, genetics, motivation and tools.

So once and for all, I can ensure you: you learned a language when you were 5, and there is nothing that prevents you from learning a new language when you are 63.

And compared to the days you learned your first language, times have changed. Let’s go to number two, why you’re never too old to learn Dutch.

  1. Technology will help you

Remember the days when you were learning your first language? You were dependent on teachers in a classroom and books. Thanks to the internet a new world of learning tools opened up.

If we go back to the argument that when you are younger it is easier. Children can use a tablet or visit a website, but finishing complete online courses… The process of learning online is too difficult for them. When you are older, don’t worry, you can easily do this. And still, this is a really effective way of learning.

More things have changed since your childhood.

  1. You have way more knowledge now

In your life, you constantly develop your skills, competences and knowledge. And knowing a first language can feel like a disadvantage when you are learning Dutch. Maybe you have the impression that you need to add this whole chunk of new information over all the knowledge that you already have.

But it doesn’t need to be this way! You can really use what you know in your advantage.

First, you can use your mother tongue to learn Dutch. Different languages have similarities between them, and English is not so far from Dutch.

Secondly, you have done some studying. That leads to reason four of this list.

  1. You know how to study

Thanks to your learning experiences, you know how to learn. As you are older, you are better aware of how you learn the fastest. Some of you really prefer a silent study room, with no distractions. Others prefer a busy cafe where there is some sound and movement to avoid boredom? Also, you can put into practice what you just learned. But again, by now, you know best what works for you!

Now you can learn which methods are the best for you. For example when it comes to memorizing words, here is a blog that can help you!

Again one reason that makes learning Dutch easier than you think. And this leads me to reason number 5.

  1. Dutch is easy to learn

Like I showed in this blog the Dutch language is easy to learn!

Not only do you already know Dutch words. Dutch is from the same family as English and German and the language is open for other languages.

 This means that you can start immediately! An important element you need here is discipline, which is reason 6 why you are never too old to learn Dutch!

  1. Discipline

As a child I liked learning. But I also liked playing outside with my friends or watching television. And not seldom, I preferred the latter two. 

Learning and staying focused can be difficult task for a child. And I am not saying that for adult, motivation and discipline is never a problem. But as an adult you can determine what you are doing. You know why you are studying words instead of drinking a beer with your friends.

How to stay disciplined? Someone should remind you of your learning process. And here’s the point where I step in!

I’ve got some tools that can help you with your self-discipline. For example I remind you of the fact that you are learning Dutch with my weekly updates! And also, the flashcards app can help you with this.

  1. There is a lot of proof

I could have put an age limit on my site. You can see, there isn’t one! During the summer school we have had some students who were 70+! And I can ensure you, those are really good students!

Bart de Pau
online Dutch teacher & founder of the Dutch Summer School & Dutch Winter School