Dutch (Nederlands)

Dutch is a West Germanic language with about 24 million speakers, mainly in the Netherlands and Belgium. There are about 16 million Dutch speakers in the Netherlands, where it is the official language. There are about 7.6 million Dutch speakers in Belgium, mainly in Antwerp, East Flanders, Flemish Brabant and Limburg provinces, and also in Brussels.

Dutch is spoken in Curaçao, Aruba, Sint Maarten and elsewhere in the Caribbean Netherlands by about 19,760 people. There are about 126,200 Dutch speakers in Suriname, and in Indonesia some lawyers know Dutch as certain legal codes written in Dutch. Other countries with significiant numbers of Dutch speakers include Germany (151,000), the USA (142,000) and Canada (103,000) [source].

Dutch at a glance

  • Native name: Nederlands, [ˈneːdərlɑnts]
  • Linguistic affliation: Indo-European, Germanic, West Germanic, Low Franconian (Frankish)
  • Number of speakers: c. 28 million
  • Spoken in: Netherlands, Beligum, Suriname, Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, France (Flanders)
  • First written: 9th century
  • Writing system: Latin script
  • Status: Official language in Netherlands, Beligum, Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Suriname.

The official or standard form of Dutch is known as Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands (ABN), 'General Civilized Dutch'. It is taught in schools and used by authorities in the Netherlands, Flanders (Belgium), Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. An association known as the Taalunie (Language Union), which was set up by governments of the Netherlands and Flanders, regulates the orthography and spelling of ABN. Alternative names for ABN are Algemeen Nederlands (AN), General Dutch, and Standaardnederlands, Standard Dutch.

The Dutch dialects spoken in Belgium are collectively known as Flemish (Vlaams). They differ to some extent from the Dutch spoken in the Netherlands in terms of intonation and pronunciation, and there are minor differences in vocabulary, including loanwords from French and English not found in Standard Dutch.

The Dutch language developed from the Lower Franconian (Niederfränkisch) dialect of Low German. The earliest known example of written Old Franconian appears in a 9th century Latin manuscript, the Laws of the Salic Franks, and in translations of the Psalms. Some poetry written in Middle Dutch dating from the 12th and 13th centuries survives. The Dutch translation of the Bible, the Staten-Bijbel, of 1619-1637 was one of the first major works in Modern Dutch.

Dutch alphabet (Nederlands alfabet)

Dutch alphabet (Nederlands alfabet)

Note

There is also a digraph, IJ ij (lange ij), which was once written Y y, a letter which is now mainly used in foreign loanwords. Y is also known as Griekse ij, i-grec or ypsilon. ij is sometimes written with accents on both parts (íj́).

Dutch pronunciation (Nederlandse uitspraak)

Dutch pronunciation (Nederlandse uitspraak)

Hear Dutch pronounciation:

Notes

Download an alphabet chart for Dutch (Excel)

Sample text in Standard Dutch

Alle mensen worden vrij en gelijk in waardigheid en rechten geboren. Zij zijn begiftigd met verstand en geweten, en behoren zich jegens elkander in een geest van broederschap te gedragen.

A recording of this text

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample videos in Dutch

Information about Dutch | Useful Phrases | Silly Phrases | Colours | Numbers | Time | Family words | Weather words | Tongue twisters | Tower of Babel | Learning materials | My podcast about Dutch |

Links

Information about the Dutch language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_language
http://www.lowlands-l.net/anniversary/nederlands-info.php
http://www.onzetaal.nl
http://taalunieversum.org
https://www.clozemaster.com/blog/topics/language-learning/learn-dutch/

Online Dutch lessons
http://www.learndutch.org/
http://www.speakdutch.nl/
http://www.taalthuis.com
http://www.foreigndocuments.com/learndutch/
http://www.valley-trail.com/Dutch_Courses.htm
http://www.2bdutch.nl
http://www.dutchgrammar.com
http://polymath.org/dutch.php
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Dutch
https://learnanylanguages.com/free-dutch-course-online/
https://wp.me/p9L3un-5v
https://www.heardutchhere.net/sitemap.html

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More Dutch links

Germanic languages

Afrikaans, Alsatian, Bavarian, Cimbrian, Danish, Dutch, Elfdalian, English, Faroese, Flemish, Frisian (North), Frisian (Saterland), Frisian (West), German, Gothic, Gottscheerish, Gronings, Hunsrik, Icelandic, Limburgish, Low German, Luxembourgish, Mòcheno, Norn, Norwegian, Old English, Old Norse, Pennsylvania German, Ripuarian, Scots, Shetland(ic), Stellingwarfs, Swabian, Swedish, Swiss German, Transylvanian Saxon, Värmlandic, Wymysorys, Yiddish, Zeelandic

Languages written with the Latin alphabet


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