The Dutch Tongue
By Ben van der Have
This is not a text book. It doesn’t teach you how to write and speak Dutch. There are other books for that, many excellent. The Dutch Tongue is really a companion to those other books.
The book answers two questions: What is so difficult about learning Dutch? and: What is so interesting about learning Dutch? An American professional, Nancy Collins, gets a job in the Netherlands and meets a retired professor, Thomas van Zanten, who guides her through the mysteries of the Dutch tongue. Their dialogues make up the book. Nancy wants to learn about Dutch words, sounds and grammar. As Thomas explains all this to her, he also tells her about dialects, about the Dutch spoken in Belgium and in other parts of the world, and about the origins of modern-day Dutch. And a lot more.
Nancy poses her questions from her background in English. But you could ask the same questions from a background in any other language. The answers given in The Dutch Tongue are universal. Anybody who wants to learn a foreign language will find something of interest in it.
Ben van der Have spent much of his life as a teacher. And now that he is retired, he remains one in heart and soul. Today he concentrates on his two passions: the Middle Ages and language.