Dutch language

Pronunciation [ˈneːdərlɑnts] ( About this sound  listen)
Native to Mainly the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname; also in Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, as well as France ( French Flanders).
Region Mainly Western Europe, today also in Africa, South America and the Caribbean.
Ethnicity Dutch people
Flemish people
Native speakers
22 million (2016) [1]
Total ( L1 plus L2 speakers): 28 million (2012) [2] [3]
Early forms
Latin ( Dutch alphabet)
Dutch Braille
Signed Dutch (NmG)
Official status
Official language in

  Sint Maarten

European Union
Union of South American Nations South American Union
Caribbean Community Caricom
Regulated by Nederlandse Taalunie
( Dutch Language Union)
Language codes
ISO 639-1 nl
ISO 639-2 dut (B)
nld (T)
ISO 639-3 nld Dutch/ Flemish
Glottolog mode1257 [4]
Linguasphere 52-ACB-a
Map Dutch World scris.png
Dutch-speaking world (included are areas of daughter-language Afrikaans)
Idioma neerlandés.PNG
Distribution of the Dutch language and its dialects in Western Europe
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The Dutch language ( About this sound  Nederlands ) is a West Germanic language that is spoken by around 24 million people as a first language—including the population of the Netherlands and about sixty percent of Belgium —and by another 5 million as a second language. [2] [3] [5] [6] It is the third most widely spoken Germanic language, after English and German.

Outside the Low Countries, it is the native language of the majority of the population of Suriname, and also holds official status in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, which are constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Historical minorities on the verge of extinction remain in parts of France [7] and Germany, and in Indonesia, [n 1] while up to half a million native speakers may reside in the United States, Canada and Australia combined. [n 2] The Cape Dutch dialects of Southern Africa have evolved into Afrikaans, a mutually intelligible daughter language [n 3] which is spoken to some degree by at least 16 million people, mainly in South Africa and Namibia. [n 4]

Dutch is one of the closest relatives of both German and English [n 5] and is colloquially said to be "roughly in between" them. [n 6] Dutch, like English, has not undergone the High German consonant shift, does not use Germanic umlaut as a grammatical marker, has largely abandoned the use of the subjunctive, and has levelled much of its morphology, including most of its case system. [n 7] Features shared with German include the survival of two to three grammatical genders—albeit with few grammatical consequences [n 8]—as well as the use of modal particles, [8] final-obstruent devoicing, and a similar word order. [n 9] Dutch vocabulary is mostly Germanic and incorporates slightly more Romance loans than German but far fewer than English. [n 10]


In both Belgium and the Netherlands, the native official name for Dutch is Nederlands, and its dialects have their own names, e.g. Hollands (" Hollandic"), West-Vlaams (" West Flemish"), Brabants (" Brabantian"). [9] [10] Sometimes Vlaams ("Flemish") is used as well to describe Standard Dutch in Flanders. [11] Over time, the Dutch language has been known under a variety of names. In Middle Dutch Dietsc, Duutsc or Duitsc was used. [12] It derived from the Old Germanic word theudisk, which literarily means "popular" or "belonging to the populace". In Western Europe the term was used for the language of the local Germanic populace as opposed to Latin, the non-native language of writing and the Catholic Church. [13] In the first text in which it is found, dating from 784, theodisce refers to Anglo-Saxon, the West Germanic dialects of Britain. [14] [15] Although in Britain the name Englisc replaced theodisce on an early age, speakers of West Germanic in other parts of Europe kept on using it as a reference to their local speech.

Owing to commercial and colonial rivalry in the 16th and 17th centuries between England and the Low Countries, the English cognate of theodisk developed into the exonym Dutch, which came to refer exclusively to the people of the Netherlands. Although the wider definition of Dutch that included "German" continued for a while longer in the US and survived there in the name Pennsylvania Dutch, a local German dialect. In the Low Countries on the contrary, Dietsch or Duytsch as endonym for Dutch went out of common use and had been gradually replaced by the Dutch endonym Nederlands. This designation started at the Burgundian court in the 15th century, although the use of neder, laag, bas and inferior ("nether" or "low") to refer to the area known as the Low Counties, goes back further in time. Earlier the Romans have been referring to the region as Germania Inferior ("Lower" Germania). [16] [17] [18] It is a reference to the Low Countries' downriver location at the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta near the North Sea.

Vlaemsch, Hollandsch or Brabantsch were locally used endonyms to refer to the Dutch language as a whole. [19] Apart from these, the name Nederlands received since 1551 strong competition from the name Nederduits (literally "Low Dutch", i.e. "Dutch"). It is a calque of the before mentioned Roman province Germania Inferior. Early grammarians linked the name of the Dutch language to the Romans, in an attempt to give it more prestige. In addition, the Dutch exonym Hoogduits (literarily "High Dutch", i.e. the Germanic dialects spoken on higher grounds) for the German standard language came into use. [20]

However, the 19th century saw the rise of dialectology and the categorisation of dialects. German dialectologists termed the Germanic varieties spoken in the mountainous south of Germany as Hochdeutsch ("High German"). Subsequently, Germanic varieties spoken in the north were designated as Niederdeutsch ("Low German"). These were in the Dutch language area calqued as the exonyms Nederduits and Hoogduits and referred now to the Germanic spoken in the German state. As a result, the Hoog ("High") was dropped in the Dutch exonym Hoogduits in the sense of the German standard language, meaning that Duits narrowed down as Dutch exonym for German. Moreover, Nederduits lost its meaning as endonym for Dutch, and Nederlands prevailed as sole Dutch endonym.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Nederlands
አማርኛ: ሆላንድኛ
العربية: لغة هولندية
arpetan: Nêrlandês
asturianu: Neerlandés
Avañe'ẽ: Neelándañe'ẽ
azərbaycanca: Niderland dili
تۆرکجه: هولند دیلی
Bân-lâm-gú: Hô-lân-gí
Basa Banyumasan: Basa Landa
башҡортса: Нидерланд теле
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Нідэрляндзкая мова
bosanski: Holandski jezik
brezhoneg: Nederlandeg
català: Neerlandès
Cebuano: Inolandes
čeština: Nizozemština
Cymraeg: Iseldireg
davvisámegiella: Hollánddagiella
ދިވެހިބަސް: ޑަޗު
dolnoserbski: Nižozemšćina
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Ulandais
euskara: Nederlandera
Fiji Hindi: Dutch bhasa
français: Néerlandais
Gaeilge: An Ollainnis
Gaelg: Ollanish
Gàidhlig: Duitsis
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Hò-làn-ngî
한국어: 네덜란드어
Հայերեն: Հոլանդերեն
हिन्दी: डच भाषा
hornjoserbsce: Nižozemšćina
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa Belanda
interlingua: Lingua nederlandese
isiXhosa: IsiHolani
isiZulu: IsiHolandi
íslenska: Hollenska
italiano: Lingua olandese
עברית: הולנדית
Basa Jawa: Basa Walanda
kernowek: Iseldiryek
Kiswahili: Kiholanzi
Lëtzebuergesch: Hollännesch
lietuvių: Olandų kalba
Limburgs: Nederlands
lingála: Lifalamá
lumbaart: Lengua ulandesa
македонски: Холандски јазик
മലയാളം: ഡച്ച് ഭാഷ
मराठी: डच भाषा
მარგალური: ჰოლანდიური ნინა
مصرى: هولندى
Bahasa Melayu: Bahasa Belanda
Baso Minangkabau: Bahaso Balando
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Hò̤-làng-ngṳ̄
Nederlands: Nederlands
Nedersaksies: Nederlaands
नेपाल भाषा: डच भाषा
日本語: オランダ語
Nordfriisk: Neederluns/öö
norsk nynorsk: Nederlandsk
Novial: Nederlandum
occitan: Neerlandés
олык марий: Нидерланд йылме
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Niderland tili
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਡੱਚ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ
Pälzisch: Niederländisch
پنجابی: ڈچ
Papiamentu: Hulandes
Patois: Doch
Перем Коми: Недерландісь кыв
Picard: Nirlindé
Piemontèis: Lenga neerlandèisa
Plattdüütsch: Nedderlandsche Spraak
qırımtatarca: Felemenk tili
Runa Simi: Urasuyu simi
саха тыла: Нидерлаан тыла
Gagana Samoa: Fa'aholani
संस्कृतम्: डच भाषा
Scots: Dutch leid
Sesotho: Se-dutch
Sesotho sa Leboa: Sedutch
Setswana: Se-dutch
sicilianu: Lingua ulannisa
Simple English: Dutch language
slovenčina: Holandčina
slovenščina: Nizozemščina
Soomaaliga: Af-Holandees
Sranantongo: Bakratongo
српски / srpski: Холандски језик
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Holandski jezik
Basa Sunda: Basa Walanda
svenska: Nederländska
татарча/tatarça: Нидерланд теле
తెలుగు: డచ్ భాష
Türkçe: Felemenkçe
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: گوللاندىيە تىلى
vepsän kel’: Alaman kel'
Tiếng Việt: Tiếng Hà Lan
Volapük: Nedänapük
West-Vlams: Nederlands
Winaray: Inolandes
吴语: 荷蘭語
ייִדיש: האלענדיש
粵語: 荷蘭文
Zazaki: Flemenki
Zeêuws: Nederlands
中文: 荷蘭語