As a foreigner living in the Netherlands, I could’ve told you that the Dutch language is difficult. But 60% of people surveyed (presumably native Dutch speakers) in December said that the language was not only difficult, but also illogical. 58% had difficulty with spelling words found in a simple correspondence. Only 37% said that Dutch was an easy and logical language. In August 2006 some new spelling rules will come into effect. 67% of those surveyed knew nothing of the new rules. 42% still struggled with the spelling rules applied in 1995.
In October, the Nederlands Taalunie presented a list of the changes that will go into effect later this year. It’s not the first time that Dutch speakers have had to go through a change like this; previous changes were introduced in 1863, 1954, and 1995. In ten years a new “Green Book” will be released; this is the official guide to the Dutch language. So it’s possible that in 10 years more changes will occur.
Some examples of changes this time around: