20+ Differences between Dutch And German (Explained)

There are several online introductions to the Dutch language. The language is one of the closest to English and is also related to German.

If you speak both languages, you’ll be ahead. It’s a linguistic middle ground. Numerous distinctive language characteristics make it different, and in this piece, I’ll cover the parallels and distinctions.

Comparison Between Dutch And German

RegulationThe Nederlandse Taalunie is the organization that is in charge of ensuring that the criteria for the Dutch language are maintained up to date and is responsible for its maintenance.The usage of the German language is not supervised or controlled in any manner by a centralized body since there is no governing authority in the country Germany.
CaseMore recently, the practice of discriminating between cases in Dutch grammar has been eradicated and is no longer done. The shift occurred as a consequence of trying something new. This modification was a direct consequence of implementing a different grammar system.In different parts of the German language, one may find four distinct expressions of this idea. Moreover, these expressions can be found in different places.
SubjunctionThe Dutch language never makes use of the subjunctive tense. Hence the subjunctive tense does not exist in Dutch.The mood of the subjunctive is used rather often in written German.
VocabularyThroughout its history, the vocabulary of Dutch has been shaped not just by languages belonging to the Romance language family but also by languages belonging to the Germanic language family.The vocabularies of other Germanic languages have significantly influenced the vocabulary of German during its development. There is a chance that this influence will have severe repercussions.
PluralsOn the other hand, in Dutch, it is always -en or -s and the criteria for determining whether to use either form are straightforward and simple to learn and recall.Learning German may be challenging at times due to the irregularity and high degree of variance in the plural forms used in the German language.
LettersThe patterns followed by the rules that control the Dutch follow some of the same patterns followed by the rules that govern English.The German language, in which all nouns are written with uppercase letters.

Major Differences Between Dutch And German

What exactly is Dutch?

The Dutch language is of the Germanic branch and is widely spoken throughout many European countries. Belgians, Dutch, and Surinamese are all native Dutch speakers. Many former Dutch colonies and tiny groups in France and Germany are native speakers of the language.

Similarities exist between Dutch and other West Germanic languages like German and English. In addition to Afrikaans, another official language of South Africa, it spawned several additional creole languages.

Geographical distribution of the language: Dutch

  • The 16 million Dutch only speak Dutch. Fryslân’s official language is Frisian. 
  • Frisian is English-like. Despite foreign dominance, Dutch has always been the majority’s mother tongue in Flanders. 
  • French defeated the Dutch in the 18th century. Elites spoke French. 
  • Dutch became official in 1898, although the change was slow. 
  • It became the exclusive language in Flemish education and public life in 1963. 
  • Suriname is Dutch-speaking. Only 60% of the population speaks the language of government and education (475 000). Most speak Sranan-English. 
  • Inland settlers changed the language. Namibia’s national language is English. 
  • The map shows Canada has mostly elderly Dutch speakers (140 000). 
  • Despite wanting to adapt, they taught their children their language. 
  • 900,000 Dutch live in Canada. Dutch became unofficial in Indonesia in 1949. 
  • Since the 17th-century Dutch East Indies Company, it has been important. 
  • It’s prestigious and learned in school so that older people may speak it.

Key Differences: Dutch

  • According to the OECD Better Life Index, the Netherlands has the best work-life balance.
  • Many Germans don’t speak English very well, which goes against the stereotype that we’re contemporary and advanced. And kids.
  • In the Netherlands, it’s a non-issue. Since the Dutch are egalitarian, ‘je’ will do.
  • In Dutch trains, people chat shamelessly on their phones, watch films with the volume up, laugh loudly, and initiate conversations with their seatmates.
  • In the Netherlands, stores, museums, and nightclubs operate against closure laws. Even the Dutch police didn’t care since they were overburdened.

What exactly is German?

Mainly spoken in central European countries, German is a West Germanic language. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol, and Liechtenstein all use it as their primary language. A lot of people all around the globe speak German as a primary language.

About 95 million people worldwide consider it their native tongue, making it the most frequently spoken native language in the European Union. As a second language, it is spoken by around 80 million people.

Geographical distribution of the language: German

  • “German Sprachraum” refers to central Europe, where German is a (co-)official language. 
  • Minorities of bilingual German native speakers live close to and far from the Sprachraum. 
  • Germans colonized Cameroon from 1884-1916. French and English supplanted German. 
  • 300,000 Cameroonians learned German in 2010. Cameroon is Africa’s German hub. 
  • 1884-1919, Germany colonized Namibia. 
  • About 30,000 native German speakers are mostly descendants of German colonial colonists. 
  • German colonialism in Namibia resulted in “Namibian Black German,” a German-based pidgin. 
  • Elder Namibians remember it, albeit it’s extinct. 
  • Near Wartburg, “Nataler Deutsch” is spoken. 
  • German has roughly 1 million native and second language speakers in the U.S.
  • In the 1840s, South Australia received several Prussian immigrants. 
  • German usage fell during WWI due to anti-German sentiment and government intervention. 
  • Only older adults speak it now; it was a first language in the 20th century.

Key Differences: German

  • Despite the idea that Germany is a progressive nation, Germans struggle with digitization.
  • According to the OECD Better Life Index, the Netherlands has the best work-life balance.
  • Even entering huge cities like Berlin, Germans slide a little paper ticket through an automated gate slot.
  • In Germany, it’s courteous to mind your business on public transportation unless drunk football fans travel between cities.
  • Germans know how badly they’ve messed up history; we don’t laugh about it.

Contrast Between Dutch And German


  • Dutch- Plurals in Dutch always end in -s or -en, and the criteria for when to use them are straightforward. The Dutch language distinguishes between the common and neuter genders.

    Neuter refers to things that do not have a gender, whereas common refers to both sexes. Articles, adjectives, and nouns in Dutch do not need the use of a case. De or het is the only preposition required. Genetive, accusative, etc., are also not relevant here.
  • German- Learning all of German’s various and irregular plurals may be challenging due to the language’s structure. Nevertheless, German distinguishes between masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns. A comprehensive table for it in German includes “den, die, and das.”

Spoken in: 

  • Ditch– Most people whose first language is Dutch call either the Netherlands or Belgium, both of which are located in Western Europe, their home. Belgium is the more populous of the two nations, though.
  • German- The great majority of people who live in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and South Tyrol, as well as Liechtenstein, speak German as their first language.


  • Dutch- Regarding their financial outlays, Dutch people have a reputation for being quite frugal. They take vacations abroad only seldom, if they ever do so at all, and they nearly never spend more money than their budget allows them to on vacations. They are skilled at putting money away and blowing it on unnecessary things.
  • German- The Germans do not economize when it comes to spending money on the luxurious resorts and suites that they reserve for themselves during their lengthy holidays; on the contrary, they go all out, where they dole out the cash that they’ve most likely earned over the course of the preceding year by way of expenditures.


  • Dutch- The letter “g” in English is pronounced in a manner that is comparable to the word “go.” The sound “-ch” varies from one English dialect to another, and the sound “sch” combines the “s” sound with the “ch” sound.
  • German- The “g” sound is similar to the “ch” in “loch,” the “-ch” sound is guttural, the “-ui” sound is like the English “oy” when pronounced in front of the mouth, the “sj” sound is similar to the English “sh” sound, the “w” sound is intermediate between the German “v” and the English “w,” the “n” sound at the end of words is not pronounced, and the “oe” sound is like the English.


  • Dutch- The Dutch are notorious for being anywhere from two to five minutes late for their appointments most of the time.
  • German- Individuals who trace their ancestry back to the Germanic peoples and treat the obligations they have with the utmost seriousness. They would never show up even the slightest bit later than anticipated at any given time.

    They never run even a single second behind schedule, and they often leave ahead of time or just on the dot rather than falling even a second behind.


  • Dutch- The Dutch have an unhealthy fixation on having wide windows in their houses and apartments, which might be seen as a cultural problem.

    The Windows not only have the power to give a stunning view of the property but also provide information about the wealthy and well-traveled owners of the residence.
  • German- On the other hand, Germans have a fantastic appreciation for motor cars. They like driving autos that are produced by well-known brands and are prepared to shell out a significant amount of money to make these kinds of purchases.


  • Dutch- The Dutch language never uses a term ending with two identical letters. As a result, even though “ga” (to go) sounds like “gaa,” you should never write it that way.

    The word “wil” is equivalent to (want). It’s also worth noting that the letter ‘c’ may be used to start a word in Dutch. In general, Dutch and English have similar capitalization conventions. The day of the week is one of the few exceptions.
  • German- The umlaut is never added to native words in German; nevertheless, it is always added to loanwords. In German, the great majority of nouns are written with capital letters.


  • Dutch- On the other hand, Dutch people aren’t as hard on themselves as other people, and even though they have a lot of love for their homeland, they are still typically pleasant. This is even though their nation is very important to them.
  • German- The Germans approach it as a serious undertaking, demonstrating very little to no flexibility about rankings. They strive steadily toward having their name put on the list of winners.


  • Dutch- Dutch is a descendant of German and hence has more similarities than differences with German. The immigration procedure in the Netherlands is highly regulated.

    However, due to the Dutch people’s innate curiosity about other cultures and languages, they make for smoother integration.
  • German- Immigrants continue to choose Germany because of the country’s superior infrastructure for providing immigrants with access to quality healthcare, public schools, and employment opportunities.

    Germans adhere to their rigid standards of learning and processing in German, are pleased to showcase their language worldwide and resist enabling English on their own terms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. How dissimilar are regional Dutch varieties?

Answer. You’ll find a wide variety of Dutch dialects in the Netherlands and northern Belgium. Friesland is a multilingual province where both Dutch and English are spoken. Along with ordinary Dutch and the Stadsfries dialect, you’ll hear people speaking West Frisian, a language that’s separate from Dutch. It’s also possible to speak a standardized form of West Frisian.

Q2. Is Dutch a language that’s spoken in Germany or Holland?

Answer. Individuals who speak English have used the word “Dutch” to refer to people from both Germany and the Netherlands over the course of history; however, this usage is today confined to the Netherlands alone.

Q3. Is German a more ancient language than Dutch?

Answer. Around the year 500 A.D., the various Germanic dialects eventually gave birth to their own distinct languages, one of which was Old Dutch. So the Dutch language is around 1500 years old. To make things a little less complicated for you, think of it like this instead. The earliest version known is German.

Q4. Which of the world’s languages is the absolute oldest?

Answer. Sanskrit is the oldest living language. The Sanskrit language is referred to as Devbhasha. Everyone in Europe speaks a language that seems to have been influenced by Sanskrit. Universities and other intellectual institutions throughout the globe agree that Sanskrit has been in use longer than any other language.

Q5. Exactly what does “german orthography” entail?

Answer. Using a mostly phonetic approach, the German language is written using an orthography called German orthography. Nonetheless, it has several examples of non-phonetic spellings that are based on history or analogy. Once the laws of spelling are understood, almost any word can be deduced from its spelling, although this is not always the case in reverse.

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