Dutch vs German: Differences Between the Two Languages

Dutch vs German

Dutch vs German: Differences Between the Two Languages

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(Last Updated On: April 23, 2018)

There are a lot of differences when it comes to comparing languages in general and Dutch vs German makes no exception. Find out what the main differences are in this article.

Dutch is a unique language with a lot of interesting features. It’s most notable for being within the same language family as German but closely similar to the English language. In other words, it’s the link between the two languages. Dutch, however, can’t be described as the mixture of German and English. It has unique characteristics that clearly set it apart from the two. In fact, tracking the similarities and differences between German and Dutch or English and Dutch is quite easy.

Dutch vs German

Dutch vs German in terms of pronunciation

Here are the main differences between the two languages in terms of pronunciation:

German

G sound is like “go” in English

-ch sound varies depending on dialect

 

sch has the “s” sound plus “ch” sound

Dutch

G sound is like ch in “loch”

-ch sound is guttural

-ui sound is like “oy” when pronounced in front of the mouth

sj has the English “sh” sound

w sound halfway between German “v” and English “w”

n sound at the end of the word is not pronounced

oe has the “oo” sound like “boot” in English

Dutch vs German grammar

Dutch vs German in terms of grammar

Dutch consistently has -s or -en for plural forms of words, and the rules in using them are easy. In German, there are varied and irregular plurals that are difficult to learn.

Dutch has only two genders– common and neuter. Common stands for both the feminine and masculine, while neuter stands for most objects without gender. However, German language has masculine, feminine, and neuter.

In Dutch, you never have to apply cases with articles, adjectives, or nouns. You only have to use “de” or “het”. There’s no need to consider genetive, accusative, etc. either. On the other hand, German has a complete table for it including “den, die, das”.

Verbs that end in -eren usually require the prefix ge- (Dutch) and -ieren (German). With verb orders, Dutch is more like English. However, German is reversed. But you must note that there are cases when Dutch uses the same format as German. Lastly, Dutch uses “gaan” to express future tense– something that is not possible in German language. Instead of future tense, you have to use the present tense.

Dutch vs German in terms of spelling

Dutch never ends with a word that has two of similar letter. Thus, you can never write “ga” (to go) as “gaa” even though it has an open sound. The same is similar with “wil” (want).

Another thing is that you can use ‘c’ in Dutch at the beginning of a word, but in German, it’s only used so with loan words.

Usage of capital letters in Dutch is more or less the same as that of English. Exemptions include days of the week. On the other hand, German capitalizes almost all nouns.

Dutch vs German in terms of vocabulary

There are many turns of phrases in Dutch. For example, you can use “van” to pertain to today, this morning, or tonight.

There are a lot other differences when it comes to Dutch vs German. This includes their history and evolution. However, it’s something that you can only deeply understand with years of studies. Since summarizing them all is impossible, you need to dedicate a lot of time and effort in order to master one or both languages, and when it comes to providing translation services this is a must.

Other interesting differences:

Location – German is mainly spoken in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol, and Liechtenstein. Dutch is mainly spoken in Netherlands and Belgium.

Native Speakers – German has more native speakers than Dutch.

Regulation – German is not regulated officially. Dutch is regulated by Nederlandse Taalunie.

Case System – German has 4 cases. Dutch no longer has the case system.

Subjunctive – German uses a subjunctive form. Dutch does not use it.

Vocabulary – German vocabulary is more influenced by Germanic languages. Dutch vocabulary is influenced by Romance and Germanic languages.

Easier plurals – In German, the irregular and quite varied plurals can be quite difficult for learners, but in Dutch it is consistently -en or -s, and the rules for which to use are easy to learn.

Capital letters – Dutch follows some of the similar rules as in English unlike German which capitalizes every noun.

How about the people?

Both languages are beautiful in their own way. Dutch and German are referred to as Germanic language which means they do have similarities. While some words that are written exactly the same have very contrasting meanings. So translating them requires high caliber of expertise and in-depth knowledge.

Germany and the Netherlands though geographically conjoined by borders aren’t quite similar in their ways of living and approach towards life. Apart from language differences, the lifestyle of the two is also quite disparate in a number of ways. Like we can’t expect two siblings to be alike and act alike, similarly two separate countries though next to each other can’t be expected to have same values and morality, rules and regularities. Let’s have a glance down their differences through the following jotted down points.

spelling differences

Who’s more punctual?

While Germans and Dutch are almost always on time it is one of them who is more punctual than the other by the difference of a few seconds to minutes. And that is none other than Germans who are very serious about their commitments. They wouldn’t show up later than expected. They usually go earlier or exactly on time, not a second late by any means, while the Dutch are most often late by a margin of 2 to 5 minutes.

How about football?

Football is both the strength and weakness of both the countries. They always get competitive when it comes to football. While the Germans take it as a serious business showing little to no flexibility when it comes to rankings and is always striving for being on the list of champions. Dutch, on the other hand, are not so hard on themselves and though it is a pride for their country they are usually friendly about the same.

Their traveling expenses?

It is quite interesting how both the countries spend their hard earned money on holiday travel. Germans are quite generous about their spending on booking luxurious resorts and suites for their long holidays. Where they spend their money they possibly earned the whole year long. Dutch, on the contrary, are quite careful with their spending. They rarely or never at all go on vacations abroad that could exceed their savings. They save wisely and spend wisely.

Lavish spending and their choices

The people of every country have their own liking and disliking and they never really refrain from showing it off openly. Generally speaking, the Dutch are big on crazy about houses and apartments with big windows. The Windows that can give a fine view of the house and tell about the fine taste and earnings of its residents. Germans, on the other hand, have a great taste for cars. They prefer having cars of a good brand and spend lavishly on the same.

At DutchTrans, we thoroughly have grasped the differences when it comes to Dutch vs German and we provide translation services for both countries. We keep these details handy so that we can deliver accordingly.