Oh yes – we’re doing this. And obviously: SPOILERS AHEAD from this point. We dont just say and write we know how to combine fun and learning Dutch for real – we act on it. Want to know what we can learn from Squid Game regarding learning Dutch? The crazy popular Netflix series Squid Game set in South-Korea tells the tale of a broke and naïve single father, struggling to make something of his life. One thing leads to another, and before you know our main character Seong wakes up in a REAL life-and-death multiplayer game..

But everyone and their grandma’s seen Squid Game, right? We at LDO don’t believe its mere coincidence that this series broke all records – because it has a certain core human appeal, we feel. With this article we’re bringing you into the deep; every game has its lessons, as every game is a challenge. Challenge brings you growth. And that’s were true learning takes place! Are you ready? The following might change your life. Or at least the way you learn Dutch.


You should be loyal to yourself..and your team. Thats how the main character of Suid Game survived. He remained true to himself, did what’s right and kept an almost childish open mind. If you decide to learn Dutch, pick one method, one school, and one course (and preferably also one teacher) – and stick to it. Show loyalty, be consistent and you will reap the benefits soon enough! Loyalty is based on trust. If there’s one thing we can learn from Squid Game, it’s that you can’t win anything big without trust.

So, find a reliable, official Dutch course, with a teacher you can trust, and take on the game of learning Dutch together – as if your life depends on it ;).

Make it count!

If your life depends on it, better make it count..Is this not the most important lesson we all can derive from this dystopian series? How can this principle be translated to learning Dutch? Well, wouldn’t it be better to take your best shot at everything you do? If you give yourself no option to back out, lock yourself up in your room with your Dutch homework and books and REALLY focus on every single word you read and study – you bet your sweet behind your Dutch language skills will improve faster than Wilders bleaches his hair.

What we can learn from Squid Game regarding learning Dutch? Maybe that everyone could learn Dutch when their life’s on the line (grapje!)?

Believe in yourself and your principles

Seong survived the game because he stayed true to himself and his principles. Easier said than done? Maybe. Was he the smartest? Was he the strongest? No. He was, arguably, the most consistent in his beliefs. And that is what showed his true power – and true power in general – in the end.

The lesson you can apply to learning Dutch here: consistency is key,. Believe in yourself and your truths. Uphold them, honor them. That way, you’ll definitely stay on your very own track wich helps you to stay consistent with actually everything in life – and win at it sooner or later.


Another thing the main characters of this series have in common is that they keep eachother in check. Lies, backstabbing etc. are not tolerated, because you have to be able to REALLY trust eachother in the Squid Game.

There is no better example than the character of Ali in Squid Game. The main lesson you can derive from his broken trust is that you’ll pay for your betrayal..Eventually.

How can you apply the principle of accountability on your Dutch learning? Well, one way is to take on the challenge of learning Dutch together with others. As in: agree on checking in on eachother every week at the same time and keep eachother in check. Another way is to get a private LDO teacher and go for one of LearnDutchOnline.nl’s individual courses. That way, it’s just you, the amazing language of Dutch and your teacher. Can it get more real?

Watch Squid Game to improve your Dutch learning! - Now in the LDO Blog
What can you learn from record-breaking series ‘Squid Game’ that you can use in your Dutch learning game?

No pain no gain

Obviously, we at LDO condemn all kinds of violence. But we do believe you should punish yourself, the same way you would reward yourself in order to reach your Dutch language goals for real. The best way to do this is arguably by forming pacts with friends and family; for example, write up a contract between you and your best friend (oh oh) on which you both agree on learning 1000 new Dutch words by the end of 2021, on the condition you must do something (either one or both of you) you inherently hate if you break this pact.

This can be different for each individual involved in the pact – and you could add your whole family to it if you want. You might dislike a certain neighbour – so if you would break the pact in any way, you would not like to give this neighbour 100 euro’s, right? It has to be extreme enough (not breaking the law of course) to force you to uphold the pact. Can it get more Squid Game in here?

Bringing yourself the pain of the pact means the gain of very strong accountability and having to deal with the punishment if you do not respect it. Chances are you will reach your goals faster than ever if you apply this method. What are you waiting for?

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Gamify your Dutch language learning journey..

..the Squid Game way! So this means you should make (parts of) your Dutch learning a physical, mental and sometimes even emotional game. Several studies have showed this is when learning magic happens, and it makes sense – the more you engage your complete being – the more information you will retain.

Maybe the closest you can get – and it’s convenient too taking the pandemic and corona measures in account – to the crazy challenges in Squid Game is a home-made escape room that you can go through with friends and family. An escape room is a place (generally indoors) filled with puzzles and challenges, which you have to solve with your team. Only if you solve all the puzzles and challenges, you can escape the room.

A Squid Game – Dutch Escape Room can involve challenges, during which you can only speak and write Dutch. If you want to make it really hard, you can make all the puzzles in Dutch too. If this is too hard, agree on speaking Dutch and writing English. Keep the answers to the puzzles in Dutch though, since that’s how you improve and learn your Dutch language skills.

You can then re-enact the challenges from Squid Game..But then in a less life-threatening way (preferably a non-life-threatening way).

No time or feel for an escape room? Think of your favorite sports and combine it with learning Dutch. Maybe LearnDutchOnline.nl’s own Surprise Soccer Game can inspire you!

Respect older people

They have wisdom and experience. Think especially about the tug of war episode; wasn’t this one of the best episodes of the whole series? And how TRUE and REAL was it?

The take-away here, in terms of learning Dutch: respect your older teacher and old people around you. Talk to them. Listen to them. And learn Dutch from them – and believe us, if you are strong enough to put yourself to talk to and learn from old Dutch people, you will learn Dutch like no one else – as they actually still know the language at a level that is – unfortunately – dying out.

Not everything is what it seems..

Old man was the mastermind behind everything. How sick is that? Same goes for Dutch and Dutch culture. Racism is still a very Dutch thing. There, we said it. And that’s just one example. Oh no, we don’t want to destroy your expat dream of the ‘perfect’ Netherlands. Same goes for the Dutch language – but then on a more postive note: it’s not as hard as it seems.

Rules have exceptions. Rules are not as stiff as they look in the beginning. The Dutch language actually has a lot of flexibitiy in it if you pursue learning it long enough. If you have a true desire to learn this language, like Seong had to stay alive causing him to win the game, you will find this is a fact. So – how are you going to beat the game of learning Dutch?

What we can learn from Squid Game regarding learning Dutch

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