I and J

My nephew Joseph asked me to teach him a little Dutch by making him a Dutch Alfabet. The easiest way for me to do this for him is through my blog. These are written for him, but hopefully anyone else reading this can learn a little Dutch! 

I is for Inwijken.


Inwijken means immigrate.

A long time ago many people from the Netherlands came to America to live. When they came there in the early 1600’s, they founded a city called New Amsterdam. This was the major city in the New Netherlands territory, which the Dutch owned in America.

A few years later, the Dutch decided to trade the New Netherlands Territory, including New Amsterdam, to the British for the Spice Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The British changed the Territory name to New York, and changed New Amsterdam to New York City.

The Dutch didn’t only settle in New York, however. In the 1800’s many Dutch farmers left the Netherlands to look for cheaper farm land. When they got to America they came west and settled in places like Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa.

The Dutch have lived in America for a long time now and around 5 million people in the States say their heritage is Dutch. They live all over, but most of them live close to Des Moines and in Wisconsin (maybe that’s why Wisconsin has really good cheese!).

In Iowa there are a lot of places to buy Dutch food or go to Dutch festivals. One of the most famous ones is the Tulip Time festival in Pella, Iowa, which is not very far away from Des Moines.

J is for Juf.


Juf means teacher.

In the Netherlands, once you turn 5 you have to go to school.  Elementary school lasts from ages 5-12, and then you go to a high school of some sort. When you are 12 you take a test to see what level of high school they will go to.

Most of the schools in the Netherlands are public or religious. There are some private school as well, but they are less common.

It is not allowed to home school in the Netherlands unless you can prove that the schools do not meet the needs of the child.

For the most part the schools are considered very good in the Netherlands and it is ranked in the top ten of the best educational systems in the world.


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