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Germanic | Shared Course Initiative

Language Contact and Email Address:

Wijnie de Groot


Dutch is the first language of 24 million people worldwide, including in the Netherlands, Flanders, and Suriname. It is also one of the official languages of Curaçao, St. Maarten, and Aruba. Moreover, while Afrikaans is a separate language and differs from Dutch, speakers of Dutch and Afrikaans can generally understand each other.

The Dutch language provides access to a rich and complex culture and history. Although many Dutch speakers also know English, one must speak Dutch to truly understand and engage with Dutch culture and the regions where it is spoken. Speaking Dutch gives you access to the architectural and artistic treasures that have survived from the past – or that were created just yesterday. Likewise, one needs Dutch to appreciate the uniqueness of the political culture, and the regions mentioned above. Finally, to understand the influence of the Dutch in the Americas, a heritage that is still deeply rooted in our own present-day culture, one needs to study the Dutch language.

Through a 6-semester language sequence, the program introduces students to the history, politics, culture and language of the Netherlands and Flanders, and promotes students’ research interests in those areas.

Taking courses in Dutch will allow you to fulfill the language requirement at Columbia.

Click here to learn more about Dutch studies at Columbia.

Please check the Columbia Directory of Classes for up-to-date information on class times and locations.