LEARNING ABOUT THE DUTCH LANGUAGE
There are around 23 million native speakers of Dutch worldwide. On top of that, there are also 4 million people worldwide who speak Dutch as a second or foreign language. So not so small after all!
Let’s discover some interesting facts about the Dutch language:
Dutch is the language of most of the Netherlands, of northern Belgium, and of a relatively small part of France along the North Sea immediately to the west of Belgium.
Many believe that Dutch and Flemish are the same, or that their only difference is their geographical location. In essence, a Dutch speaker will be able to understand a Flemish speaker and respond back, and the same goes for the opposite. But just like British English and American English, they differ to some extent in terms of intonation and pronunciation with differences in vocabulary.
Dutch is also used as the language of administration in Suriname and on the islands of Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Aruba, Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius, which together once made up an entity called Netherlands Antilles.
Dutch is a West Germanic language and national language of the Netherlands. It is also one of the three official languages of Belgium together with French and German.
Afrikaans, which is a derivative of Dutch, is one of the official languages of South Africa.
Around 5 million people in the EU speak Dutch as a second language. Outside Dutch-speaking regions, Dutch is taught at more than 220 universities in 40 countries but especially, in Germany, the United States and France.
Dutch is one of the official languages of the Benelux Union and the European Union.
Dutch is also an official language of the Association of Caribbean States and the Union of South American Nations, because of Suriname’s membership of these international bodies.
A lot of Dutch slang comes from Hebrew words from the Jewish population living in the Netherlands. Much of it can be found especially in the Amsterdam dialect of Dutch. This makes sense because the majority of Dutch Jews lived in Amsterdam in 1940.
Do you know any other interesting fact about the Dutch language? Let us know below!