For some people the Netherlands is difficult to find on the globe. The country is so small that the name has to be written in the sea. Many Americans are familiar with the story of Hans Brinker; or The Silver Skates. In The Netherlands people know the story of Hans Brinkers, who is supposed to have saved the country by putting his finger in a leak in the dike.
About 130 years ago, Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge wrote the famous book Hans Brinker; or the Silver Skates.
In her book she writes about The Hero of Haarlem, a blond boy who put his fingers in the dyke to save the city of Haarlem. Nobody knows if this is a true story, but if so, Hans Brinker(s) mother-tongue was Dutch, and with him now about 15 million people in the Netherlands, about 5 million in Belgium and an estimate of 1 million in the rest of the world speak Dutch.
By the way; in Amsterdam there is the Hans Brinker Hotel. Visit their interesting website.
For most people it will be difficult to learn Dutch. We will start with a few words and if you find you like the idea, you can switch to Learn Dutch. Click on Hallo, ik ben Hans Brinker and see what happens.