Reading is one of the most effective ways to practice and improve your vocabulary and exposure to Dutch grammar.
Reading children’s stories is a great option at first. Being able to read and understand Dutch can be very exciting! These early wins are so important in keeping you encouraged and motivated on your Dutch learning journey.
But as you progress, you may grow out of Nijntje stories and seek something with a little bit more difficulty.
If you’re looking for some inspiration on what else you might be capable of reading in Dutch, look no further.
I’ve put together this list of 19 different ideas for reading material you can find online to help you practice your Dutch reading comprehension. For most of these, you have the option to translate directly in your internet browser, so a translation is only a couple clicks away for when you’re stuck on a specific word or phrase.
Here are some ideas for Dutch reading material that was specifically created as educational content.
1. NT2 Taal Menu
This website is for Dutch learners at levels A1-B2. At each level you will find several short texts (about the Netherlands, history, well-known Dutch figures, short stories, etc.) paired with exercises to test your comprehension.
2. Canon van Nederland
Canon van Nederland takes you through moments in Dutch history from 5500 B.C. to present day. Each article has 4 reading levels for you to choose from. Change the ‘Taalniveau’ to increase or decrease the difficulty of the article. Groep 5 en 6 is aimed at (Dutch speaking) students aged 8-10. Groep 7 en 8 is for students aged 10-12. VO onderbouw is for students between 12-14, and VO bovenbouw for students between 14-17.
3. Lees Trainer
Lees Trainer is a free online learning platform. Start by selecting a “groep” (grade) on the home page (groep 1 is for Dutch speaking students aged 4-5, and difficulty increases with each level). From groep 3 to 7/8 you have the option to select “Begrijpend lezen” for reading and comprehension exercises.
Here is an example of an exercise for groep 4 students about the topic SKATING.
NedBox is a website made specifically for you to practice Dutch, and is supported by the European Integration Fund and the Flemish government. There are several articles to read and for each one you can choose your difficulty — from easy, average, and difficult. Difficult words or phrases are underlined and you can hover to see the definition and an example sentence. There are even comprehension exercises to check how well you understood the text.
Lingua is a website offering free reading and comprehension activities in Dutch and several other languages. They currently offer 24 free texts, each accompanied by a short quiz to assess your comprehension of the text. Reading levels range from A1 to B2.
6. DIY DUTCH
Naturally I have to reference the texts that are available on this very website! For now these are at the beginner, intermediate, and upper intermediate level and cover typical Dutch topics followed by English translation.
See the latest beginner posts:
Content for young audiences
There are many websites covering various topics with content geared towards a younger audience (aged 7-15).
This is great for Dutch learners as it is written in a clear and simple manner, but can still be informative and interesting for the reader.
Kidsweek is a Dutch newspaper created especially for children aged 7-12 years old. Articles cover various topics including news, animals, sports, new films, books, and games.
This site has over 30 short stories written by Joop Bruins and previously published as bedtime stories in his local newspaper (aimed primarily at 3-8 year olds). Each short story also includes audio.
9. NOS Jeugdjournaal
NOS Jeugdjournaal is a news program for children between 9 and 12 years old, and has been around for 35 years. The news program airs on live television on NPO 3, but at their website you will can find approximately 50 of their latest articles. Being targeted for 9-12 year olds, the writing is perfect for a beginner.
10. Zo Zit Dat
Zo Zit Dat is a website and information magazine for curious kids aged 9-15. The website features several articles (“weetjes”) about nature and animals, science and technology, sports, adventure, computers, and games — e.g. how did dolphins evolve from living on land to water?
11. NEMO Science Museum
Do you know why snakes have a split tongue? Or which animals can see infrared light? On the ‘discover’ page for the NEMO Science Museum, you can find plenty of articles answering such questions in a few short paragraphs.
12. De Bibliotheek
De Bibliotheek website has tons of short articles on hundreds of topics. On each article you can toggle between three reading levels, increasing in difficulty level — basisschool groep 5-6, basisschool groep 7-8, and klas 1-2.
Blogs & entertainment
Blogs are often written in a casual, conversational tone, making them ideal for beginner to intermediate Dutch students.
The bonus is that if you find one which really interests you, you can practice reading in Dutch and learn new vocabulary without feeling like you’re studying.
For a full list of 25 Dutch blogs to read, check out this post.
13. Esmée Lifestyle
Esmée Lifestyle is a blog written by full-time Dutch blogger Esmée Bos. She writes about various topics including beauty, food & drink (e.g. Good white wine from the Aldi: 5 suggestions), fashion, travel, social media, and blogging itself. You can find many articles (including the wine article mentioned above) which are perfectly suitable for a beginner.
14. Maak het Glutenvrij
This blog by Marit Kuperus is all about the most delicious gluten-free products, recipes, and restaurants.
15. Puur Gezond
Puur Gezond is a website written by dieticians and health scientists about healthy eating and lifestyle, sleep, relaxation, movement, and enjoying life! You can read about these topics on their blog and receive tips on how to easily incorporate them into your daily life.
16. Go Kids
Go Kids is a website made for parents and children in the Netherlands. First, select your region in the Netherlands, then from the main menu check out the “uitjes” (outings), or blog for articles full of ideas and tips for getting out and about in the Netherlands.
This website by Jelle Hermus shares articles about living a happy, healthy, successful, free, loving, and conscious life. Depending on the topic, his articles are great for beginner or intermediate Dutch students.
18. Ik Woon Fijn
Ik Woon Fijn is a website with more than 1,500 articles full of living and interior design inspiration and tips. Interested in DIY or need some ideas on how to refresh your home? You’re sure to find some inspiration here — all while picking up tons of vocabulary for items around the house.
Superguide is a Netherlands based TV, movie, and series guide and news website. You can read about the newest releases, as well as reviews and top lists. Written in fairly simple Dutch, this website will come in handy when you’re trying to figure out what series to watch next on Netflix.
Is your favourite website not on the list? Leave a comment and let me know what your go-to website is for Dutch reading practice!