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Dutch Courses: 20 Best (and Worst) Online Classes

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There may not be as many online courses for learning Dutch as there are for more popular languages, like Spanish. However, there are still quite a few good options that can help you learn, along with a few that are rip-offs.

Here, I’ll explain what’s worth your time, and which courses you should avoid.

I’ve divided all the Dutch courses into four tiers; the first tier offers the best options, while the second has decent instruction that has a few gaps. The third tier has courses you might want for a specific reason, but which aren’t ideal for becoming fluent. And finally, I’ll list the resources you should try to avoid when learning Dutch.

Top Tier

These five Dutch courses make the top tier ranking because of the quality of instruction and decent price points.

iTalki

Convenient tutoring at all price points

Price: Starts at $4/hour and ranges as high as $50/hour, but the average is around $10/hour.

iTalki is an affordable way to get one-on-one instruction from knowledgeable instructors. You can connect with either professional teachers or community tutors across a range of price points. The teachers have some professional experience, while the community tutors tend to be native or advanced speakers.

The cool thing about iTalki is you can choose someone whose personality and teaching methods are the right fit for your learning style. It could take some trial and error, but you might find a tutor you want to stick with over time.

See our full, in-depth review of iTalki here.

Pros:

  • Appointments are flexible, and you schedule time slots at your convenience.
  • The Language Partners Board lets you get free or for-trade help with Dutch.
  • Instructors offer trial lessons so you can spend less to try them out.

Cons:

  • Payments involve “credits,” which makes the pricing confusing.
  • You usually need to schedule lessons in advance, and popular teachers’ schedules may often get booked up.

 

Pimsleur

A quick jump-start for Dutch

Price: $119.95

Developing oral language is the focus with Pimsleur, and I can’t say they’ve got it wrong. You’ll listen to audio recordings that feature male and female speakers. It’s conversational-style speech, which feels natural and intuitive.

Of course, the focus is on audio, so there’s not a whole lot of written material. Pimsleur has added a subscription option for some languages, which lowers the cost significantly, but unfortunately, Dutch isn’t yet available.

See our full, in-depth review of Pimsleur here.

Pros:

  • Your verbal skills get a jump-start since it’s audio-based learning.
  • Lesson prompts encourage you to start speaking immediately.
  • Plenty of cultural info helps add depth to your learning.

Cons:

  • Additional resources might be needed to help with reading and writing skills.
  • Some lessons can be a bit dull.
  • No subscription option, yet.

 

Babbel

Solid and affordable tool for beginners

Price: $12.95/month for the month-to-month plan, $6.95/month for a full year

If you’re a beginner to low-intermediate Dutch learner, Babbel might be right up your alley. The lessons are repetitive, building on each other, so you can get the basics down in a snap. You can also start with Babbel with little to no background in Dutch—the lesson style is similar to other apps like Duolingo but are much more comprehensive.

There’s also a review tool that makes sure you practice words or phrases you’ve had trouble with. Overall, Babbel offers affordable, well-structured courses that get the job done.

See our full, in-depth review of Babbel here.

Pros:

  • Each lesson builds up to the next, so your learning is progressive.
  • Different exercise types provide a variety of ways to practice.
  • Grammar and cultural points help you master the basics of any language.

Cons:

  • Fairly similar exercises as other learning apps.
  • It’s probably not a great idea to rely on the speech checking tool for pronunciation.

 

DutchPod101

Excellent audio-focused resource for Dutch practice

Price: Subscriptions start at $8/month and go up to $47/month

DutchPod101 is a podcast-style language learning platform with tons of extras. The focus is on the audio, with hundreds of audio and video lessons. There are also flashcards, PDF notes, and discussion forums.

The focus is mostly on beginner-level Dutch speakers, so you might need supplements as your skills develop. Adding some written practice can help boost your learning, too. But you can’t beat the conversational style for adding to your vocabulary.

Read our full review of DutchPod101. 

Pros:

  • Listening to the “podcasts” helps develop listening and verbal skills.
  • Accessible for beginners with little knowledge of Dutch.
  • Cultural elements are strong, and the conversational format is appealing.

Cons:

  • Not much advanced material.
  • There is a lot of English involved, which could slow your language progress.

 

Dutch Grammar

Free grammar-focused supplement

Price: Free

Once you get past the outdated feel of the website, Dutch Grammar is a helpful resource no matter your ability level. The highlight is the forums, which are constantly active, even if the site is old. Most of the resources are text-based, but there is a bit of audio. One tool lets you listen to the pronunciation of Dutch words, a feature that’s helpful for beginners.

The audio resources cover a bunch of different topics, but none go too in-depth. You can read the transcripts, too, which can help with comprehension. You can also get a PDF book of the entire website for a small fee, which lets you take your learning anywhere.

Pros:

  • It’s free!
  • There’s a lot of forum activity, so you can get help and network, too.
  • The focus on grammar helps you build a strong foundation in Dutch.

Cons:

  • The website feels a little outdated.
  • There’s not much audio to work with, so you might need a supplement for that.

 

Second Tier

These second-tier options are strong choices for learning Dutch, but you might need a supplement for certain subjects.

Duolingo

A helpful starting point for Dutch

Price: Free

Duolingo is a game-style platform that’s free and easy to use. Especially for beginners, it’ll give you a good starting point for learning Dutch. However, don’t expect a lot of in-depth grammar instruction, because Duolingo sort of glosses over that.

The repetitive style of the lessons and numerous exercises can be helpful for beginners. Once you get some vocabulary under your belt, though, you’ll probably want a more challenging resource.

Read our full, in-depth review of Duolingo.

Pros:

  • Free and easy to use on multiple devices.
  • Exercise-based learning is mostly engaging.
  • Notes on the lessons help give insight into why things are the way they are, IE word order.

Cons:

  • Grammar support is minimal, so you might want to pick up a book or another course for that.
  • Pronunciation isn’t always the best in the audio, so practicing with a tutor on iTalki is a safer bet.

 

Memrise

A beginner- and budget-friendly pick

Price: Free. Premium plans are $9/month.

Memrise is a helpful, free study tool. You can study user-generated “decks” that cover different subjects like food, culture, and more. The free subscription limits you to using the user-created content only, while premium plans give you access to more content.

Things change often with Memrise, which is cool since it’s always improving. Still, you don’t want to overuse it—grabbing a grammar book or another resource should help balance your learning.

See our full, in-depth review of Memrise here.

Pros:

  • Flashcard-type courses cover all kinds of subjects.
  • You can learn vocabulary specific to certain scenarios.
  • The user-created content is free to access.

Cons:

  • There’s not much for advanced speakers.
  • Very little context/culture—the lessons stand alone.

 

DLI

Comprehensive learning for all levels

Price: Free

Defense Language Institute (DLI) is a solid resource for learning Dutch that’s totally free. The materials are older, from the staticky audio to the scanned-in PDF pages. That said, the content itself is strong, spanning four levels and covering vocabulary, grammar, and more.

The Dutch course has over 1,000 pages of material to study from and over 36 hours of audio. You can study online or download all the content to take with you and study on the go.

Pros:

  • Plenty of grammar instruction for true skill-building.
  • Courses range from beginner to advanced level.
  • You can work online or download documents to your smart device.

Cons:

  • Audio isn’t high quality and can be staticky.
  • The PDF pages are scanned, so sometimes tough to read.

 

Udemy

Diverse course options for every ability

Price: A wide range of price points but frequent sales lower all courses to around $10 each.

Udemy is a helpful tool for Dutch learners at all levels. Courses range from an hour long to 6.5 hours, and many instructors include downloadable study guides and other materials. Plus, if you want to learn specific vocabulary or a certain dialect, you can find the right content on Udemy.

Video-based components are the highlight, so you get plenty of audio practice, too. And, there’s a money-back guarantee, so if you aren’t impressed, you can take it up with Udemy.

Pros:

  • Every purchase comes with lifetime access.
  • There are courses for every ability level.
  • You can choose specialized topics to study.

Cons:

  • Some courses are expensive for what’s offered (wait for a discount!).
  • Course quality varies a lot.

 

Future Learn

Free university-quality instruction

Price: Free, optional $69 upgrade for a Certificate of Achievement and lifetime access

Future Learn’s Introduction to Dutch is a free, three-week course for anyone who wants to start learning from a more formal approach. The lecturers are teachers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, so you’re getting a university-quality education.

Future Learn promises you’ll learn how to speak, write, and understand basic Dutch. For beginners, this is great, but for advanced Dutch speakers, you’ll need to find a more rigorous course to develop your skills.

Pros:

  • You learn from native speakers.
  • University-quality instruction.
  • Covers the basics for anyone needing a jump-start in Dutch.

Cons:

  • Courses aren’t always open—they can fill up quickly—and the dates are set, not flexible.
  • For beginners only.

 

LearnDutch.org

Varied instruction with an emphasis on grammar

Price: Free, premium access is 49 euros (about $54) per year per course

LearnDutch.org offers both a free and paid option. With a free subscription, you can access a lot of the content, like vocabulary/proverb/phrase courses. You can watch all the videos from the free courses, do exercises, and save your progress by registering online.

Instruction starts with a “1,000 most common words” course, and it’s split into a video, vocab list, exercises, and then review tests every five lessons. Other courses cover grammar, the Dutch alphabet, phrases, typical Dutch, Belgian Dutch, listening exercises, and conjugation.

Pros:

  • Plenty of free content to get you started at the beginner level.
  • Lots of grammar instruction included.
  • The paid courses are pretty expensive, and you need more than one to get to the advanced level.

Cons:

  • Some aspects of the site are paid, and it’s not clear up-front which ones you can and can’t use with the free subscription.
  • No mobile option or ability to download lessons.

 

Third Tier

Our third-tier picks have fewer strengths, but they’re still good supplemental options for Dutch learners.

Glossika

Pricey but serves a purpose

Price: $30/month, $299.88/year

Glossika uses audio drills to start out every language (and they offer a lot). With a similar format for every language, this might be a good option if you’re learning more than one language at the same time. Audio lessons cover speaking, listening, and comprehension, so it’s a useful tool for upper-beginner or lower-intermediate learners.

You’ll probably notice a lack of cultural information with Glossika. Of course, the tradeoff is decent instruction with a consistent format that helps if you’re trying to learn multiple languages.

See our full, in-depth review of Glossika here.

Pros:

  • Only pay once—when you subscribe, you get every language Glossika offers.
  • There’s a lot of audio material across tons of languages.
  • The format is repetitive, in a good way.

Cons:

  • Pricing is steep for what you get.
  • It’s common to find errors in the courses.
  • The interface isn’t anything exceptional.

 

Mango Languages

An OK option for beginners

Price: $7.99/mo for one language, $17.99/mo for all languages

Mango Languages is a more expensive alternative to Duolingo, but it does have some perks. Like the fact that some libraries offer it to locals for free. If that’s the case at your neighborhood library, you might want to try Mango out.

There’s not much cultural info or grammar instruction with Mango, but the materials are pretty high-quality. And the platform does have some of the same strengths as Duolingo—such as their stats tracker and a game-like structure.

See our full, in-depth review of Mango Languages here.

Pros:

  • Could get it for free at your local library.
  • You get every language (70+) with your subscription.
  • The format’s pretty engaging and game-like.

Cons:

  • No content for advanced Dutch speakers.
  • The translation function is literally only a Google plugin.

 

Valley Trail

Heavily text-based instruction

Price: Free

Valley Trail is an older website that still has plenty of great information. The format relies heavily on text explanations, which could turn some language learners off. There are a handful of audio files, like pronunciation guides to each letter of the Dutch alphabet, but it’s minimal.

Courses include beginner and advanced instruction, and there’s a lot of grammar covered in the lessons—if you can read through it all. An online dictionary can help with your studies, too, and has over 10,000 Dutch words and their English equivalents.

Pros:

  • It’s free and has a lot of content.
  • Both beginner and advanced study levels.
  • The expansive grammar section helps you build a foundation for speaking Dutch.

Cons:

  • Text-heavy and lacking quality audio instruction.
  • The site is pretty outdated, so it’s not very engaging.
  • There’s no mobile/downloadable component.

 

TaalThuis

Free grammar tools with extras

Price: Free, membership is 5 euros/year for additional content

TaalThuis is a free site that also has a low-cost membership option that gives you some extra tools for learning Dutch. You won’t find any flashy interfaces or games here, but there are some videos and audio files. The site is easy to navigate, with ten lessons each for beginner and intermediate Dutch learning.

The proverbs and expressions sections are helpful for cultural instruction. There’s even some advanced grammar if you want to continue studying.

Pros:

  • Lessons range from beginner to advanced.
  • Grammar is covered thoroughly.
  • Self-paced courses so you can skip around.

Cons:

  • Heavily text-based, with few audio elements.
  • Exercises aren’t intuitive—you have to click to uncover the answers or navigate to another page.
  • There’s no documentation of what you’ve completed, so you have to keep track yourself.

 

Avoid These

These final five courses aren’t the tops for learning Dutch. Skip them in favor of some of the better options.

Michel Thomas Method

Audio-heavy instruction at a cost

Price: Starts at $11.99 and up to $100 per course

We’ve only tried the Michel Thomas French course, but honestly, we hated his critical teaching style. Fortunately, Dutch isn’t taught by Michel—the main instructor is Cobie Adkins-De Jong, a native speaker. So, we can assume the teaching style will be an improvement with Dutch.

That said, the Michel Thomas method relies heavily on audio—there’s no written component at all. So unless you only need to speak Dutch, it’s not the best resource. For the price, we’d recommend a combination of other courses to get the audio and written instruction you need to for overall fluency.

See our full, in-depth review of Michel Thomas Method here.

Pros:

  • Audio-based instruction is pause-and-play, so it’s easy and flexible.
  • The Dutch courses are taught by native speakers.

Cons:

  • Some Michel Thomas Method instructors (like Michel himself) are overly critical in their teaching style.
  • No advanced material—tops out at intermediate level.
  • No writing/reading content.

 

Rosetta Stone

Old-school methods that aren’t engaging

Price: $36 for 3 months, $179 for 12 months or $199 one time for a lifetime subscription

We just can’t recommend Rosetta Stone for learning Dutch. Honestly, it’s the instruction method we don’t like—the picture-matching gets old, fast. Yes, you can learn basic vocabulary, but at this price, you can combine a handful of other courses to achieve the same—or better—results.

It could be kind of fun, especially for kids, but as an adult trying to seriously learn a language, you’re likely to be disappointed.

See our full, in-depth review of Rosetta Stone here.

Pros:

  • Simple lessons are accessible for beginners.
  • The voice recognition is cool for pronunciation practice.
  • Lessons build on each other.

Cons:

  • The repetitive format gets dull.
  • Only one language is included with your subscription.
  • There’s only one instruction method—nothing innovative to see here.
  • Few English explanations, so it’s tough to figure out the grammar and vocabulary sometimes.

 

Mondly

Similar teaching style but executed worse than other courses

Price: $9.99/month to $47.99/year for one language

Mondly can help you learn Dutch, but there are better options at or below the same price point. You won’t be immersed in culture or have fun with games with Mondly. Instead, you’ll get some basic conversational practice and learn a few vocabulary words.

But honestly, that’s about it, making this a must-avoid on our list.

See our full, in-depth review of Mondly here.

Pros:

  • Vocabulary inclusion is pretty good.
  • The quizzes and challenges can be engaging.

Cons:

  • The activities aren’t explained well, which makes them hard to figure out.
  • Every level uses the same format, which gets old, fast.
  • Instruction doesn’t always follow a logical progression.

 

Living Language

A pricey pick for weak content

Price: $39/month or $150 for an annual subscription

Living Language seems like a neat resource at first. It has some game-style lessons that can be engaging, and it seems easy when you first start out. The problem is, it’s easy because there’s not much actual learning happening. Instead, you can guess at the answers to the lessons because of how repetitive it is.

At this price point, we don’t recommend Living Language as a supplement. You can combine some other free courses and get the same results—maybe even faster.

See our full, in-depth review of Living Language here.

Pros:

  • The games make the instruction engaging.
  • Having a forum is helpful for connecting with Dutch learners all over the world.

Cons:

  • It’s way pricey for what they offer.
  • You can’t track your progress or repeat lessons you struggle with.
  • You’re not really learning with a lot of the games, just playing to patterns.

 

Transparent Language

Entry-level instruction with limits

Price: $24.95/month or $149.95/year for one language. $49.99/month or $249.95/year for all languages.

You might be intrigued by Transparent Language because they have a ton of language options listed. But the problem is, they don’t cover any of them very well. You won’t find a lot of context for the vocabulary they teach, which makes it hard to apply it in real-life Dutch conversations.

We do like the recording feature, so you can listen to yourself speak in conversations. But apart from that, the teaching methods aren’t effective, so we can’t recommend this resource.

See our full, in-depth review of Transparent Language here.

Pros:

  • Tons of languages available.
  • Cool recording tool for checking your pronunciation.

Cons:

  • The price is way too high for what you get.
  • Memorization is key, rather than learning how to use the Dutch language.
  • The lessons are repetitive, which gets boring.

 

Final Thoughts

Though learning Dutch may not seem as impossible as figuring out other Germanic languages, you still need the right resources to become fluent. With our top Dutch course picks, you can start learning—effectively—and practicing your new skills. What courses have you tried out for learning Dutch? Share with us below!

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