Welcome to the Yale Dutch Studies Program website. Yale University started offering courses in Dutch Language & Culture in 2011. Yale students are now able to take four levels of language courses and fulfill their foreign language requirement with Dutch. Courses will also be open to faculty and staff.
In addition, Dutch courses are made available to students at Cornell University using video conference technology, see showcase.
On this website, you can find more information about the Dutch courses taught at Yale and about Dutch resources and events.
For specific questions, please contact:
Lector in Dutch
Why study Dutch?
- Are you specializing in a field in which Dutch language skills can be a real asset, like: American History, History of Art, European Studies, Southeast Asia Studies, Linguistics, Planning, Water Management & Hydraulic Engineering, Agriculture and so on?
- Do you want to be fluent in another Germanic language?
- Are you thinking of studying or working in a Dutch-speaking country?
- Do you have Dutch relatives or friends and want to learn to communicate with them in their language?
- Do you have ties with Belgium, Suriname, the Netherlands Antilles, South Africa or Namibia?
- Are you just interested in this tiny, but very influential country called the Netherlands and the people who live there?
Dutch is the primary language of the Netherlands and Flanders, the northern part of Belgium. Dutch is also spoken in Suriname and the Antilles and is the parent language of Afrikaans, which is spoken in several countries in Southern Africa. All in all, Dutch has around 24 million speakers worldwide.
The Dutch are the third largest investor in the United States and investments from Dutch companies like Heineken, Philips, Shell and Unilever and trade with the Netherlands support more than 700,000 American jobs. Vice-versa, the Netherlands is the number one destination for U.S. investments worldwide, making it the largest foreign investor in the Netherlands1.
Dutch is a Germanic language, structured in a similar way as other European languages and therefore it is relatively easy to learn for native speakers of English. A few courses in Dutch will give you enough basic command of the language to hold conversations with native speakers and read original texts.
Classes focus on the language, but through the language you will learn about the country, its history & politics, its people and their habits. Studying Dutch will therefore take you beyond the clichés of prostitution, drugs, tulips and clogs and will give you an insight into the psyche of this tiny European country, which has produced so many famous people and is still a major player on the world stage.
The Dutch classes will not be limited to learning grammar and vocabulary; rather, you will be encouraged to explore the language more fully by studying Dutch literature, listening to Dutch radio and watching Dutch TV and films, as well as interacting with native speakers. In class, we will use the book CODE, which is specifically designed for educated learners and comes with a comprehensive multimedia package to help you master the language.