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Why are the Dutch so good at speaking English?

Why are the Dutch so good at speaking English

The word is out: the Dutch rank #1 in English skills and that’s no surprise to us. Do you want to know how – and why – Dutchies can speak exquisite English? Scroll down for the results of the survey and our explanation.

The Netherlands ranks #1 of 111 countries and regions by English Skills

Research of EF shows that the Netherlands ranks #1 of 111 other countries and regions by English Skills. They analyzed 2.1 million EF SET English tests that adults took in 2021 to come to this result. This means that Dutchies are extremely good in their English. And of course, you want to know why and how they became the best of the class this year.

Amsterdam has a very high proficiency in English skills

It is no surprise that the biggest cities had the best English scores, which is interesting when you consider moving to another country. Do you want to move to the Netherlands? Then you obviously want to know which city scored best. It’s no surprise that Amsterdam – the biggest city of The Netherlands – had the highest score. Moving to Amsterdam sounds like a good plan so far. When the bikes, the beer and the cosy canals aren’t enough to push you over the edge, this research might do the trick. 

What does this research mean?

English skills are very general terms to talk about. What does it mean that the Netherlands ranked #1? It means that Dutchies use nuanced and appropriate language in social situations – which is great in a café or as the Dutch call it: de kroeg. They also read advanced texts with ease and know how to negotiate a contract with a native speaker. Perfect when you want proceed your career  in the Netherlands!

Why are the Dutch so good at speaking English?

There are a couple of reasons why the Dutch rank so high in the EF research.

Firstly, they listen to English tv-shows from an early age. They don’t dub English movies or series like some other European countries do (like Germany). Therefore, they seem to understand English from an early age.

Secondly, they have English lessons at school from a very young age. Most schools give English as a subject form kindergarten (starting when children are four years old). They have English as a mandatory subject until they graduate from high school at sixteen or seventeen years old. Throughout college or university, some subjects (or even whole study programs) are only offered in English. Which is the reason why a lot of international students choose to study in the Netherlands.

Lastly, the Dutch have a very international mindset. The country is small and therefore a lot of people choose to work internationally or in an international company with global interests.

Moving to the Netherlands? You don’t need to learn Dutch right away
So do you consider a move to the Netherlands? Then you don’t need to learn the difficult language right away. Which is a great benefit! Do you want to know more about moving to the Netherlands? De Haan can manage your international move back to the Netherlands from A to Z, no matter where you are in the world. We'll take care of you and your belongings every step of the way. Are you moving back to the Netherlands? Then we assist you, together with our partners in the origin country with collecting the correct export documentation to import and custom clear your household goods into the Netherlands.

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