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'''Dutch''' ({{Audio|nl-Nederlands.ogg|''Nederlands''}}) is a [[West Germanic languages|West Germanic language]] and the native language of the majority of the population of the [[Netherlands]], [[Belgium]], and [[Suriname]], the three member states of the [[Dutch Language Union]]. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second language for another 5 million people. It also holds official status in the [[Caribbean]] island nations of [[Aruba]], [[Curaçao]], and [[Sint Maarten]], while historical minorities remain in parts of [[France]] and [[Germany]], and to a lesser extent, in [[Indonesia]],In France, a historical dialect called [[French Flemish]] is spoken. There are about 80,000 Dutch-speakers in France; see {{harvnb|Simpson|2009|p=307}}. In French Flanders, only a remnant of between 50,000 to 100,000 Flemish-speakers remain; see {{harvnb|Berdichevsky|2004|p=90}}. Flemish is spoken in the north-west of France by an estimated population of 20,000 daily speakers and 40,000 occasional speakers; see {{harvnb|European Commission|2010}}.
A dialect continuum exists between Dutch and German through the [[South Guelderish]] and [[Limburgish language|Limburgish]] dialects.
In 1941, 400,000 Indonesians spoke Dutch, and Dutch exerted a major influence on Indonesian; see {{harvnb|Sneddon|2003|p=161}}. In 1941, about 0.5% of the inland population had a reasonable knowledge of Dutch; see {{harvnb|Maier|2005|p=12}}. At the beginning of World War II, about one million Asians had an active command of Dutch, while an additional half million had a passive knowledge; see {{harvnb|Jones|2008|p=xxxi}}. Many older Indonesians speak Dutch as a second language; see {{harvnb|Thomson|2003|p=80}}. Some of the ethnic Chinese in Indonesia speak Dutch amongst each other; see {{harvnb|Tan|2008|pp=62–64}}, {{harvnb|Erdentuğ|Colombijn|2002|p=104}}. Dutch is spoken by "smaller groups of speakers" in Indonesia; see {{harvnb|Bussmann|2002|p=83}}. Some younger Indonesians learn Dutch as a foreign language because their parents and grandparents may speak it and because in some circles, Dutch is regarded as the language of the elite; see {{harvnb|Vos|2001|p=91}}. At present, only educated people of the oldest generation, in addition to specialists for which knowledge of the language is required, can speak Dutch fluently; see {{harvnb|Ammon|2006|p=2017}}. Around 25% of present-day Indonesian vocabulary can be traced back to Dutch words, see {{harvnb|Maier|2005|p=17}}.
and up to half a million native Dutch-speakers may be living in the [[United States]], [[Canada]], and [[Australia]].{{#tag:ref|410,000 in USA, 159,000 in Canada, 47,000 in Australia; see {{harvnb|Simpson|2009|p=307}}. Between 200,000 and 400,000 in USA alone; see {{harvnb|McGoldrick|Giordano|Garcia-Preto|2005|p=536}}.|group="n"}} The [[Cape Dutch]] dialects of [[Southern Africa]] have been standardised into [[Afrikaans]], a [[mutual intelligibility|mutually intelligible]] daughter language of DutchAfrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see {{harvnb|Booij|1995|p=2}}, {{harvnb|Jansen|Schreuder|Neijt|2007|p=5}}, {{harvnb|Mennen|Levelt|Gerrits|2006|p=1}}, {{harvnb|Booij|2003|p=4}}, {{harvnb|Hiskens|Auer|Kerswill|2005|p=19}}, {{harvnb|Heeringa|de Wet|2007|pp=1, 3, 5}}.
Afrikaans was historically called Cape Dutch; see {{harvnb|Deumert|Vandenbussche|2003|p=16}}, {{harvnb|Conradie|2005|p=208}}, {{harvnb|Sebba|1997|p=160}}, {{harvnb|Langer|Davies|2005|p=144}}, {{harvnb|Deumert|2002|p=3}}, {{harvnb|Berdichevsky|2004|p=130}}.
Afrikaans is rooted in seventeenth century dialects of Dutch; see {{harvnb|Holm|1989|p=338}}, {{harvnb|Geerts|Clyne|1992|p=71}}, {{harvnb|Mesthrie|1995|p=214}}, {{harvnb|Niesler|Louw|Roux|2005|p=459}}.
Afrikaans is variously described as a creole, a partially creolised language, or a deviant variety of Dutch; see {{harvnb|Sebba|2007|p=116}}.
which today is spoken to some degree by an estimated total of 15 to 23 million people in [[South Africa]] and [[Namibia]].{{#tag:ref|It has the widest geographical and racial distribution of all official languages of South Africa; see {{harvnb|Webb|2003|pp=7, 8}}, {{harvnb|Berdichevsky|2004|p=131}}. It has by far the largest geographical distribution; see {{harvnb|Alant|2004|p=45}}.
It is widely spoken and understood as a second or third language; see {{harvnb|Deumert|Vandenbussche|2003|p=16}}, {{harvnb|Kamwangamalu|2004|p=207}}, {{harvnb|Myers-Scotton|2006|p=389}}, {{harvnb|Simpson|2008|p=324}}, {{harvnb|Palmer|2001|p=141}}, {{harvnb|Webb|2002|p=74}}, {{harvnb|Herriman|Burnaby|1996|p=18}}, {{harvnb|Page|Sonnenburg|2003|p=7}}, {{harvnb|Brook Napier|2007|pp=69, 71}}.
An estimated 40 percent of South Africans have at least a basic level of communication in Afrikaans; see {{harvnb|Webb|2003|p=7}} {{harvnb|McLean|McCormick|1996|p=333}}. Afrikaans is a lingua franca of Namibia; see {{harvnb|Deumert|2004|p=1}}, {{harvnb|Adegbija|1994|p=26}}, {{harvnb|Batibo|2005|p=79}}, {{harvnb|Donaldson|1993|p=xiii}}, {{harvnb|Deumert|Vandenbussche|2003|p=16}}, {{harvnb|Baker|Prys Jones|1997|p=364}}, {{harvnb|Domínguez|López|1995|p=399}}, {{harvnb|Page|Sonnenburg|2003|p=8}}, {{harvnb|CIA|2010}}.
While the number of total speakers of Afrikaans is unknown, estimates range between 15 and 23 million. Afrikaans has 16.3 million speakers; see {{harvnb|de Swaan|2001|p=216}}. Afrikaans has a total of 16 million speakers; see {{harvnb|Machan|2009|p=174}}. About 9 million people speak Afrikaans as a second or third language; see {{harvnb|Alant|2004|p=45}}, {{harvnb|Proost|2006|p=402}}. Afrikaans has over 5 million native speakers and 15 million second language speakers; see {{harvnb|Réguer|2004|p=20}}. Afrikaans has about 6 million native and 16 million second language speakers; see {{harvnb|Domínguez|López|1995|p=340}}. In South Africa, over 23 million people speak Afrikaans, of which a third are first-language speakers; see {{harvnb|Page|Sonnenburg|2003|p=7}}. L2 "Black Afrikaans" is spoken, with different degrees of fluency, by an estimated 15 million; see {{harvnb|Stell|2008-11|p=1}}.
Dutch and Afrikaans share mutual intelligibility; see {{harvnb|Gooskens|2007|p=453}}, {{harvnb|Holm|1989|p=338}}, {{harvnb|Baker|Prys Jones|1997|p=302}}, {{harvnb|Egil Breivik|Håkon Jahr|1987|p=232}}. For written mutual intelligibility; see {{harvnb|Sebba|2007|p=116}}, {{harvnb|Sebba|1997|p=161}}.
It is easier for Dutch-speakers to understand Afrikaans than the other way around; see {{harvnb|Gooskens|2007|p=454}}.|group="n"}} Dutch is closely related to [[English language|English]] and [[German language|German]]{{#tag:ref|Dutch and English are the closest relatives of German; see {{harvnb|Abraham|2006|p=124}}. Dutch is the closest relative of German; see {{harvnb|Czepluch|Abraham|2004|p=13}}. Dutch and English are closely related; see {{harvnb|Ingram|1989|p=494}}, {{harvnb|Todd|2004|p=37}}, {{harvnb|Kager|1989|p=105}}, {{harvnb|Hogg|2002|p=134}}, {{harvnb|De Bot|Lowie|Verspoor|2005|pp=130, 166}}, {{harvnb|Weissenborn|Höhle|2001|p=209}}, {{harvnb|Crisma|Longobarde|2009|p=250}}. Dutch and English are very closely related languages; see {{harvnb|Fitzpatrick|2007|p=188}}. Dutch is, after Frisian, the closest relative of English; see {{harvnb|Mallory|Adams|2006|p=23}}, {{harvnb|Classe|2000|p=390}}, {{harvnb|Hogg|2002|p=3}}, {{harvnb|Denning|Kessler|Leben|2007|p=22}}. English is most closely related to Dutch; see {{harvnb|Lightfoot|1999|p=22}}, and more so than to German; see {{harvnb|Sonnenschein|2008|p=100}}, {{harvnb|Kennedy Wyld|2009|p=190}}.|group="n"}} and is said to be between them.{{#tag:ref|Dutch is traditionally described as morphologically between English and German, while syntactically closer to German; see {{harvnb|Clyne|2003|p=133}}. Dutch has been positioned to be between English and German; see {{harvnb|Putnam|2011|p=108}}, {{harvnb|Bussmann|2002|p=83}}, {{harvnb|Müller|1995|p=121}}, {{harvnb|Onysko|Michel|2010|p=210}}. Typologically, Dutch takes a midway position between English and German, having a similar word order to that of German, having a grammatical gender, and a largely Germanic vocabulary. It is however morphologically close to English, and the case sytem and subjunctive have largely fallen out of use; see {{harvnb|Swan|Smith|2001|p=6}}.|group="n"}} Apart from not having undergone the [[High German consonant shift]], Dutch—as English—also differs from German by the overall abandonment of the [[grammatical case|grammatical case system]], the relative rarity of the [[Germanic umlaut]], and a more regular morphology.{{#tag:ref|Dutch shares with English its simplified morphology and the abandonment of the [[grammatical case|grammatical case system]]; see {{harvnb|Booij|1995|p=1}}, {{harvnb|Simpson|2009|p=309}}. In contrast to German, case markings have become vestigial in English and Dutch; see {{harvnb|Hogg|2002|p=134}}, {{harvnb|Abraham|2006|p=118}}, {{harvnb|Bussmann|2002|p=83}}, {{harvnb|Swan|Smith|2001|p=6}}. The umlaut in Dutch and English matured to a much lesser extent than in German; see {{harvnb|Simpson|2009|p=307}}, {{harvnb|Lass|1994|p=70}}, {{harvnb|Deprez|1997|p=251}}.|group="n"}} Dutch has effectively [[Gender in Dutch grammar|two grammatical genders]], but this distinction has far fewer grammatical consequences than in German.{{#tag:ref|Dutch has effectively two genders; see {{harvnb|Booij|1995|p=1}}, {{harvnb|Simpson|2009|p=309}}, {{harvnb|De Vogelaer|2009|p=71}}. Grammatical gender has little grammatical consequences in Dutch; see {{harvnb|Bussmann|2002|p=84}}|group="n"}} Dutch shares with German the use of [[subject–verb–object]] word order in main clauses and [[subject–object–verb]] in subordinate clauses.{{#tag:ref|{{harvnb|Simpson|2009|p=307}}, {{harvnb|Booij|1995|p=1}}. Dutch and German not have a strict SVO order as in English; see {{harvnb|Hogg|2002|pp=87, 134}}. In contrast to English, which has SVO as the underlying word order, for Dutch and German this is SOV; see {{harvnb|Ingram|1989|p=495}}, {{harvnb|Jordens|Lalleman|1988|pp=149, 150, 177}}. Dutch has almost the same word order as German; see {{harvnb|Swan|Smith|2001|p=6}}.|group="n"}} Dutch vocabulary is mostly Germanic and contains the same Germanic core as English, while incorporating more [[Romance languages|Romance loans]] than German and fewer than English.{{#tag:ref|Dutch vocabulary has more Germanic words than English and more Romance words than German; see {{harvnb|Simpson|2009|p=309}}, {{harvnb|Swan|Smith|2001|p=17}}. Dutch vocabulary is mostly Germanic; see {{harvnb|Swan|Smith|2001|p=6}}. Dutch has the most similar vocabulary to English; see {{harvnb|Mallory|Adams|2006|p=1}}.|group="n"}} ==Names== {{Main|Names for the Dutch language}} Though ''Dutch'' generally refers to the language as a whole, Belgian varieties, collectively known as [[Flemish]], are differentiated from the varieties spoken in the Netherlands. In Belgium as well as in the Netherlands, the official designation of the language as a whole is "Nederlands", and the different dialects have their own name (e.g., "Hollands", "Limburgs", "Brabants"). The language has been known under a variety of names. During the [[Middle Ages]], most continental West Germanic [[dialect]]s were referred to as ''dietsc'' and ''diutsc'', and ''duutsc'' and other varieties (from which [[English language|English]] ''Dutch'' is borrowed). These terms all derive from Old Frankish *''thiudisk'', from Proto-Germanic *''þiudiskaz'', which referred to the common people and their language - Dutch, Low German, and [[German language|German]]. The word was used to translate Latin ''(lingua) vulgaris'' "popular language" and to set apart the Germanic vernacular from [[Latin language|Latin]] (the language of writing and the [[Christian Church|Church]]) and the Romance vernaculars. This is seen most clearly in the [[Oaths of Strasbourg]] of the 9th century, in which the main language is Latin, but Old High German passages are introduced as "teudisca lingua" and Old French passages as "romana lingua". During the [[Renaissance]] in the 16th century, differentiation began to be made by opposing ''duytsch'' (modern ''Duits'') "German" and ''nederduytsch'' "Low German" with ''dietsch'' or ''nederlandsch'' "Dutch", a distinction that is echoed in English later the same century with the terms ''High Dutch'' "German" and ''Low Dutch'' "Dutch". However, due to Dutch commercial and colonial rivalry in the 16th and 17th centuries, the English term came to refer exclusively to the Dutch. In modern Dutch, ''Duits'' has narrowed in meaning to refer to "German", ''Diets'' went out of common use because of its [[Nazism|Nazi]] associations and now somewhat romantically refers to older forms of Dutch, whereas ''Hollands'' and ''Vlaams'' are popularly used to name the language. ''Nederlands'', the official Dutch word for "Dutch", did not become firmly established until the 19th century. The repeated use of "neder" or "low" to refer to the language is a reference to the [[Netherlands]]' downriver location at the mouth of the [[Rhine]] (harking back to Latin nomenclature, e.g., ''[[Germania inferior]]'' vs. ''[[Germania superior]]'') and the fact that it lies in the lowest dip of the [[Northern European Plain|Northern European plain]]. Dutch is sometimes confused with [[German language|German]], most probably as the German word for the official language of Germany is [[Deutsch]] (and "Niederländisch" for Dutch). This error is made in different movies and TV series such as [[Dracula (1992 film)|Bram Stoker's Dracula]]. ==Classification== *[[Indo-European languages]] ** [[Germanic languages|Germanic]] *** [[West Germanic languages|West Germanic]] **** [[Low Franconian languages|Low Franconian]] ***** '''Dutch''' ****** [[Afrikaans]], [[Dutch-based creole languages|Dutch-based creoles]] Dutch belongs to its own [[West Germanic languages|West Germanic]] dialect group, West [[Low Franconian languages|Low Franconian]], paired with its sister language [[Limburgish|Limburgian]], or East Low Franconian, both of which stand out by mixing characteristics of Low German and German; in Friedrich Maurer's classification, these languages are '''[[Istvaeones|Istsvaeonic]]'''. Dutch is at one end of a [[dialect continuum]] known as the [[Rhenish fan]] where German gradually turns into Dutch. There was also at one time a dialect continuum that blurred the boundary between Dutch and [[Low German]]. In some small areas, there are still dialect continua, but they are gradually becoming extinct. All three languages have shifted earlier /θ/ → /d/, show [[final obstruent devoicing]] (Du ''broo'''d''''' "bread" [bro:t]), and experienced lengthening of short [[vowel]]s in [[stress (linguistics)|stress]]ed open [[syllable]]s which has led to contrastive [[vowel length]] that is used as a [[morphology (linguistics)|morphological]] marker. Dutch stands out from Low German and German in its retention of the clusters ''sp''/''st'', shifting of ''sk'' to [sx] and initial ''g''- to [ɣ], highly simplified morphology, and the fact it did not develop [[i-mutation]] as a morphological marker. In earlier periods, Low Franconian of either sort differed from Low German by maintaining a three-way [[plural]] [[verb]] [[conjugation]] ([[Old Dutch]] -''un'', -''it'', -''unt'' → [[Middle Dutch]] -''en'', -''t'', -''en''). But as the old plural form became used in the singular as well (as happened in English, where [[you]] replaced [[thou]]), the older distinction was levelled into a single form -''en'' (Du ''jij maakt'' "you(sg) make", but ''we/jullie/ze maken'' "we/you(pl)/they make", although older also ''jullie maakt''); however, it is still possible to distinguish it from German (which has retained the three-way split) and Low German (which has -''t'' in the present tense: ''wi/ji/se niemmet'' "we/you(pl)/they take"). Dutch and Low German show the collapsing of older ''ol''/''ul''/''al'' + [[dental consonant|dental]] into ''ol'' + dental, but in Dutch wherever /l/ was pre-[[consonant]]al and after a short vowel, it vocalized, e.g., Du ''goud'' "gold", ''zout'' "salt", ''woud'' "woods" : LG ''Gold'', ''Solt'', ''Woold'' : Germ ''Gold'', ''Salz'', ''Wald''. With Low German, Dutch shares the development of /xs/ → /ss/ (Du ''vossen'' "foxes", ''ossen'' "oxen", LG ''Vösse'', ''Ossen'' vs. Germ ''Füchse'', ''Ochsen''), /ft/ → [xt] /cht/ though it is far more common in Dutch (Du ''zacht'' "soft", LG ''sacht'' vs. Germ ''sanft'', but Du ''lucht'' "air" vs. LG/Germ ''Luft''), generalizing the [[dative]] over the [[accusative]] [[case (linguistics)|case]] for certain [[pronoun]]s (Du ''mij'' "me" (MDu ''di'' "you (sg.)"), LG ''mi''/''di'' vs. Germ ''mich''/''dich''), and neither has undergone German's distinctive [[High German consonant shift|second consonant shift]]. Dutch and Low German have also [[monophthong]]ized [[Proto-Germanic|Germanic]] *''ai'' → ''ē'' and *''au'' → ''ō'' in all positions, e.g., Du ''steen'' "stone", ''oog'' "eye", LG ''Steen'', ''Oog'' vs. G ''Stein'', ''Auge'', though this is not true of Limburgian (cf. ''sjtein'', ''oug''). Dutch shares with German the [[reflexive pronoun]] ''zich'' (Germ ''sich''), though this was originally borrowed from Limburgian, which is why in most dialects ([[Flemish]], [[Brabantian|Brabantine]]) the usual reflexive is ''hem''/''haar'', just like in the rest of West Germanic. Also, both languages have [[diphthong]]ized Germanic ''ē²'' and long ''ō'' (Du ''hier'' "here", ''voet'' "foot", Germ ''hier'', ''Fuß'' (from earlier ''fuoz'') vs. LG ''hier'' [iː], ''Foot'' "foot" [oː]) and voiced pre-vocalic initial [[voiceless alveolar fricative]]s, e.g., Du '''''z'''even'' "seven", Germ ''sieben'' [z] vs. LG ''söven'', ''seven'' [s]. The German pronoun ''wir'' "we" is absent from Dutch, but Limburgian has ''veer'' "we" instead of Dutch ''we'' (''wij''). ==Geographic distribution== Dutch is an [[official language]] of the [[Netherlands]], [[Belgium]], [[Suriname]], [[Aruba]], [[Curaçao]] and [[Sint Maarten]]. Dutch is also an official language of several international organisations, such as the [[European Union]] and the [[Union of South American Nations]]. It is used unofficially in the [[Caribbean Community]]. ====Netherlands==== Dutch is the official and foremost language of the Netherlands, a nation of 16.7 million people, of whom 96 percent say Dutch is their mother tongue. In the province of [[Friesland]] and a small part of [[Groningen (province)|Groningen]], [[Frisian languages|Frisian]] is also recognised, but is spoken by only a few hundred thousand [[Frisian people|Frisians]]. In the [[Netherlands]] there are many different dialects, but these are often overruled and replaced by the language of the media, school, government (i.e., [[Standard Dutch]]). Immigrant languages are [[Indonesian language|Indonesian]], [[Turkish language|Turkish]], [[English language|English]], [[Spanish language|Spanish]], [[Berber languages|Berber]], [[Moroccan Arabic]], [[Papiamento]], and [[Sranan]]. In the second generation these newcomers often speak Dutch as their mother tongue, sometimes alongside the language of their parents. ====Belgium==== [[File:Langbel.jpg|200px|thumb|Language situation in Belgium]] [[Belgium]], a neighbouring nation of 11 million people, has three official languages, which are, in order from the greatest speaker population to the smallest, Dutch (sometimes colloquially referred to as ''[[Flemish]]''), [[French language|French]], and [[German language|German]]. An estimated 59% of all Belgians speak Dutch as their first language, while French is the mother tongue of 40%. Dutch is the official language of the [[Flemish Region]] (where it is the mother tongue of about 97% of the population) and one of the two official languages —along with French— of the [[Brussels|Brussels Capital Region]]. Dutch is not official nor a recognised minority language in the [[Wallonia|Walloon Region]], although on the border with the Flemish Region, there are four [[municipalities with language facilities]] for Dutch-speakers. The most important [[Dutch dialects]] spoken in Belgium are [[West Flemish]], which has a dialect [[dialect continuum|continuum]] in North-West French Flanders (Frans Vlaanderen); [[East Flemish]], [[Brabantian]] and [[Limburgish]], the latter having a dialect continuum in northeastern Wallonia (as [[Low Dietsch]]). =====Brussels===== [[File:Languages spoken at home in the Brussels Capital Region (2006).svg|200px|thumb|Home languages (Brussels Capital Territory, 2006)
{{legend|#0084ff|French only}}{{legend|#11cbd9|French & Dutch}}{{legend|#7700bb|French & language other than Dutch}}{{legend|#1abb45|Dutch only}}{{legend|#d00000|Neither French nor Dutch}}]] Since the founding of the [[Kingdom of Belgium]] in 1830, Brussels has transformed from being almost entirely Dutch-speaking, with a small French minority, to being a multilingual city with [[French language|French]] as the majority language and [[lingua franca]]. This language shift, the [[Frenchification of Brussels]], is rooted in the 18th century but accelerated after [[Belgium]] became [[Belgian revolution|independent]] and Brussels expanded past its original boundaries. Not only is French-speaking immigration responsible for the frenchification of Brussels, but more importantly the language change over several generations from Dutch to French was performed in Brussels by the [[Flemish people]] themselves. The main reason for this was the low social prestige of the Dutch language in Belgium at the time. From 1880 on more and more Dutch-speaking people became bilingual resulting in a rise of monolingual French-speakers after 1910. Halfway through the 20th century the number of monolingual French-speakers carried the day over the (mostly) bilingual Flemish inhabitants. Only since the 1960s, after the fixation of the Belgian [[Communities, regions and language areas of Belgium|language border]] and the socio-economic development of Flanders was in full effect, could Dutch stem the tide of increasing French use. This phenomenon is, together with the future of Brussels, one of the most controversial topics in all of [[Belgian politics]]. Today an estimated 16 percent of city residents are native speakers of Dutch, while an additional 13 percent claim to have a "good to excellent" knowledge of Dutch. ====France==== [[File:FlemishinDunkirkdistrict.PNG|thumb|300px|right|Language situation in the [[Arrondissement of Dunkirk|Dunkirk district]] of northern France in 1874 and then in 1972.]] [[French Flemish]], a variant of [[West Flemish]], is spoken in the north-east of [[France]] by an estimated population of 20,000 daily speakers and 40,000 occasional speakers. It is spoken alongside [[French language|French]], which is gradually replacing it for all purposes and in all areas of communication. Neither Dutch, nor its regional [[French Flemish]] variant, is afforded any legal status in France, either by the central or regional public authorities, by the education system or before the courts. In brief, the State is not taking any measures to ensure use of Dutch in France. In the 9th century the Germanic-Romance language border went from the mouth of the [[Canche]] to just north of the city of [[Lille]], where it coincided with the present language border in [[Belgium]]. From the late 9th century on, the border gradually started to shift northward and eastward to the detriment of the Germanic language. [[Boulogne-sur-Mer]] was bilingual up to the 12th century, [[Calais]] up to the 16th century, and [[Saint-Omer]] until the 18th century. The western part of the [[County of Flanders]], consisting of the castellanies of [[Bourbourg]], [[Bergues]], [[Cassel, Nord|Cassel]] and [[Bailleul, Nord|Bailleul]], became part of France between 1659 and 1678. However, the linguistic situation in this formerly monolingually Dutch-speaking region did not dramatically change until the [[French Revolution]] in 1789, and Dutch continued to fulfil the main functions of a cultural language throughout the 18th century. During the 19th century, especially in the second half of it, Dutch was banned from all levels of education and lost most of its functions as a cultural language. The cities of [[Dunkirk]], [[Gravelines]] and [[Bourbourg]] had become predominantly French-speaking by the end of the 19th century. In the countryside, until [[World War I]], many elementary schools continued to teach in Dutch, and the [[Roman Catholic Church]] continued to preach and teach the [[cathechism]] in Flemish in many parishes. Nonetheless, since French enjoyed a much higher status than Dutch, from about the interbellum onward everybody became bilingual, the generation born after World War II being raised exclusively in French. In the countryside, the passing on of Flemish stopped during the 1930s or 1940s. As a consequence, the vast majority of those still having an active command of Flemish belong to the generation of over the age of 60. Therefore, complete extinction of [[French Flemish]] can be expected in the coming decades. ===Asia=== [[File:Dutch Empire35.PNG|thumb|300px|right|The [[Dutch Empire]] at its height.]] [[File:Evolution of the Dutch East Indies.png|thumb|300px|The growth of the [[Dutch East Indies]].]] Despite the Dutch presence in [[Indonesia]] for almost three hundred and fifty years, the Dutch language has no official status there and the small minority that can speak the language fluently are either educated members of the oldest generation, or employed in the legal profession, as some legal codes are still only available in Dutch. Many universities include Dutch as a source language, mainly for law and history students (roughly 35,000 of them nationally). Contrary to other European nations, the Dutch chose not to follow a policy of language expansion amongst the indigenous peoples of their colonies. In the last quarter of the 19th century, however, a local elite gained [[Language proficiency|proficiency]] in Dutch so as to meet the needs of expanding bureaucracy and business. Nevertheless, the Dutch government remained reluctant to teach Dutch on a large scale out of fear of destabilising the colony. Dutch, the language of power, was supposed to remain in the hands of the leading elite. Instead, use of [[Languages of Indonesia|local languages]] —or, where this proved to be impractical, of [[Malay language|Malay]]— was encouraged. As a result, less than two percent of Indonesians could speak Dutch in 1940. Only when in 1928 the Indonesian nationalist movement had chosen Malay as a weapon against Dutch influence, the colonial authorities gradually began to introduce Dutch in the educational curriculum. But due to the 1942 [[Dutch East Indies campaign|Japanese invasion]] and the subsequent [[Indonesian Declaration of Independence|Indonesian independence]] in 1949, this shift in policy did not come into full effect. After independence, Dutch was dropped as an official language and replaced by Malay. Yet the [[Indonesian language]] inherited many words from Dutch, both in words for everyday life, and as well in scientific or technological terminology. One scholar argues that 20% of Indonesian words can be traced back to Dutch words, many of which transliterated to reflect phonetic pronunciation e.g. ''"kantoor"'' (Dutch for "office") in Indonesian is ''"kantor"'', while ''"bus"'' ("bus") becomes ''"bis"''. In addition, many Indonesian words are [[calque]]s on Dutch, for example, ''"rumah sakit"'' (Indonesian for "hospital") is calqued on the Dutch ''"ziekenhuis"'' (literally "sick house"), ''"kebun binatang"'' ("zoo") on ''"dierentuin"'' (literally "animal garden"), ''"undang-undang dasar"'' ("constitution") from ''"grondwet"'' (literally "basic law"). These account for some of the [[Differences between Malay and Indonesian#Vocabulary differences|differences in vocabulary]] between Indonesian and Malay. The original spelling system devised for Indonesian, devised by Charles van Ophuijsen was influenced by Dutch, with the use of Dutch letter combinations such as ''"oe"''. For example, ''"tempo doeloe"'' (meaning "the past") was pronounced as one vowel like in ''"moeder"'' (Dutch for "mother"). In [[1947]], this was changed to ''"u"'', hence ''"tempo dulu"''. However, the letter combination ''"oe"'' continued to be used in people's names, for example, the spelling of the names of the first and second [[President of Indonesia|Presidents]], [[Sukarno]] and [[Suharto]] are often written as ''"Soekarno"'' and ''"Soeharto"''. In [[1972]], following an agreement with [[Malaysia]] to harmonise the spelling of Indonesian and Malay, other Dutch-influenced letter combinations such as ''"tj"'' and ''"dj"'' were replaced with ''"c"'' and ''"j"'', hence ''"tjap"'' ("brand" in Indonesian) became ''"cap"'' and ''"Djakarta"'', the country's capital, became ''"[[Jakarta]]"''. [[Dutch-based creole languages]] (once) spoken in the [[Dutch East Indies]] include [[Javindo language|Javindo]] and [[Petjo language|Petjo]], most of whose speakers were [[Indo people|Indo]] or [[Eurasian]]s. As a result of Indo emigration to the [[Netherlands]] following independence, the use of these languages declined. The century and half of Dutch rule in Ceylon (now [[Sri Lanka]]) and southern [[India]] left few or no traces of the Dutch language. ===Oceania=== After the declaration of independence of Indonesia, [[Western New Guinea]] remained a Dutch colony until 1962, known as [[Netherlands New Guinea]]. Despite prolonged Dutch presence, the Dutch language is not spoken by many Papuans, the colony having been ceded to Indonesia in 1963. Immigrant communities can be found in [[Australia]] and [[New Zealand]]. The 2006 [[Census in Australia|Australian census]] showed 36,179 people speaking Dutch at home. According to the 2006 [[New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings|census in New Zealand]], 16,347 people claim sufficient fluency in Dutch to hold an everyday conversation. ===Americas=== [[File:LocationSuriname.png|thumb|right|300px|Location of [[Suriname]] in [[South America]].]] [[File:LocationNetherlandsAntilles.png|thumb|right|300px|Location of the former [[Netherlands Antilles]] in the southern [[Caribbean]].]] [[File:LocationAruba.png|thumb|right|300px|Location of [[Aruba]] off the north coast of [[South America]].]] In contrast to the colonies in the [[Dutch East Indies|East Indies]], from the second half of the 19th century onwards, the Netherlands envisaged expansion of Dutch in its colonies in the [[Caribbean|West Indies]]. Until 1863, when [[slavery]] was abolished in the West Indies, slaves were forbidden to speak Dutch. Most important were the efforts of [[Christianisation]] through Dutchification, which did not occur in Indonesia due to a policy of non-involvement in already [[Islamisation|Islamised]] regions. Secondly, most of the people in [[Dutch Guiana]] (now [[Suriname]]) worked on Dutch plantations, which reinforced the importance of Dutch as a means for direct communication. In [[Indonesia]], the colonial authorities had less interference in economic life. The size of the population was decisive: whereas the Antilles and Dutch Guiana combined only had a few hundred thousand inhabitants, Indonesia had many millions, by far outnumbering the population of the Netherlands. ====Suriname==== In [[Suriname]], where in the second half of the 19th century the Dutch authorities introduced a [[language policy|policy]] of [[Language shift|assimilation]], Dutch is the sole official language and over 60 percent of the population speaks it as a [[First language|mother tongue]]. A further twenty-four percent of the population speaks Dutch as a [[second language]]. Suriname gained its independence from the [[Netherlands]] in 1975 and has been an associate member of the [[Dutch Language Union]] since 2004. The [[lingua franca]] of Suriname, however, is [[Sranan Tongo]], spoken natively by about a fifth of the population. Recognition of ''"Surinaams-Nederlands"'' (''"Surinam Dutch"'') as an equal natiolect was expressed in 1976 by the publication of the ''Woordenboek van het Surinaams-Nederlands - een geannoteerde lijst van Surinaams-Nederlandse woorden en uitdrukkingen'' (''Dictionary of Surinam Dutch - an annotated list of Surinam-Dutch words and expressions''), published in 1989 as the ''Woordenboek van het Surinaams-Nederlands'' (''Dictionary of Surinam Dutch''), by Van Donselaar, and later by the publication of the ''Woordenboek Surinaams Nederlands'' (''Dictionary Surinam Dutch'') in 2009 (editor Renata de Bies, in cooperation with lexicologists Willy Martin en Willy Smedts), which was previously published as the ''Woordenboek van de Surinaamse Bijdrage aan het Nederlands'' (''Dictionary of the Surinam Contribution to Dutch"''). ====Caribbean==== In [[Aruba]], [[Curaçao]] and [[Sint Maarten]], all part of the [[Kingdom of the Netherlands]], Dutch is the official language but spoken as a first language by only seven to eight percent of the population, although most native-born people on the islands can speak the language since the education system is in Dutch at some or all levels. The [[lingua franca]] of [[Aruba]], [[Bonaire]] and [[Curaçao]] is [[Papiamento]], a [[creole language]] that originally developed among the slave population. The population of the three northern Antilles, [[Sint Maarten]], [[Saba]], and [[Sint Eustatius]], is predominantly English-speaking. ====North America==== In [[New Jersey]] in the [[United States]], an almost extinct dialect of Dutch, [[Jersey Dutch]], spoken by descendants of 17th century Dutch settlers in Bergen and Passaic counties, was still spoken as late as 1921. Other [[Dutch-based creole languages]] once spoken in the Americas include [[Mohawk Dutch]] (in [[Albany, New York]]), [[Berbice Creole Dutch|Berbice]] (in [[Guyana]]), [[Skepi Creole Dutch|Skepi]] (in [[Essequibo (colony)|Essequibo, Guyana]]) and [[Negerhollands]] (in the [[United States Virgin Islands]]). [[Pennsylvania Dutch]] is something of a misnomer as that language is more closely related to [[German language|German]]. [[Martin Van Buren]], former [[President of the United States]], spoke Dutch as his first language and is the only U.S. President to have spoken a language other than English as his first language. Dutch prevailed for many generations as the dominant language in parts of [[New York]] along the [[Hudson River]]. Another famous American born in this region who spoke Dutch as a first language was [[Sojourner Truth]]. According to the [[2000 United States Census|2000 United States census]], 150,396 people spoke Dutch at home, while according to the [[Canada 2006 Census|2006 Canadian census]], this number reaches 160,000 Dutch-speakers. In Canada, Dutch is the fourth most spoken language by farmers, after English, French and German, and the fifth most spoken non-official language overall (by 0.6% of Canadians). ====Belgian Africa==== [[File:LocationCongoFreeState.png|thumb|300px|right|The [[Belgian colonial empire]].]] [[Belgium]], which had gained its independence from the Netherlands in 1830, [[Belgian colonial empire|also held a colonial empire]] from 1901 to 1962, consisting of the [[Belgian Congo]] and [[Ruanda-Urundi]]. Contrary to Belgium itself, the colonies had no [[de jure]] official language. Although a majority of Belgians residing in the colonies were Dutch-speaking, [[French language|French]] was [[de facto]] the sole language used in administration, jurisdiction and secondary education. After World War II, proposals of dividing the colony into a French-speaking and a Dutch-speaking part—after the example of Belgium—were discussed within the [[Flemish Movement]]. In general, however, the Flemish Movement was not as strong in the colonies as in the mother country. Although in 1956, on the eve of Congolese independence, an estimated 50,000 out of a total of 80,000 Belgian nationals would have been [[Flemish people|Flemish]], only 1,305 out of 21,370 children were enrolled in Dutch-language education. When the call for a better recognition of Dutch in the colony got louder, the ''évolués'' ("developed Congolese")—among them [[Mobutu Sese Seko]]—argued that Dutch had no right over the indigenous languages, defending the privileged position of French. Moreover, the image of [[Afrikaans]] as the language of the [[apartheid]] was injurious to the popularity of Dutch. The colonial authorities used [[Lingala language|Lingala]], [[Kongo language|Kongo]], [[Swahili language|Swahili]] and [[Tshiluba language|Tshiluba]] in communication with the local population and in education. In [[Ruanda-Urundi]] this was [[Kirundi]]. Knowledge of French—or, to an even lesser extent, Dutch—was hardly passed on to the natives, of whom only a small number were taught French to work in local public services. After their independence, French would become an official language of the [[Democratic Republic of the Congo]], [[Rwanda]] and [[Burundi]]. Of these, Congo is the most francophone country. Knowledge of Dutch in former Belgian Africa is virtually nonexistent. ====Afrikaans==== {{Main|Afrikaans}} [[File:South Africa Afrikaans speakers proportion map.svg|thumb|right|250px|Distribution of Afrikaans across South Africa: proportion of the population speaking Afrikaans in the home. {{columns |col1= {{legend|#eff3ff|0–20%}} {{legend|#bdd7e7|20–40%}} {{legend|#6baed6|40–60%}} |col2= {{legend|#3182bd|60–80%}} {{legend|#08519C|80–100%}}}}]] [[File:South Africa Afrikaans speakers density map.svg|thumb|right|250px|Distribution of Afrikaans across South Africa: density of Afrikaans home-language speakers. {{columns |col1= {{legend|#ffffcc|<1 /km²}} {{legend|#ffeda0|1–3 /km²}} {{legend|#fed976|3–10 /km²}} {{legend|#feb24c|10–30 /km²}} {{legend|#fd8d3c|30–100 /km²}} |col2= {{legend|#fc4e2a|100–300 /km²}} {{legend|#e31a1c|300–1000 /km²}} {{legend|#bc0026|1000–3000 /km²}} {{legend|#800026|>3000 /km²}}}}]] The largest legacy of the Dutch language lies in [[South Africa]], which attracted large numbers of Dutch, Flemish and other northwest European farmer (in Dutch, ''[[boer]]'') settlers, all of whom were quickly assimilated. After the colony passed into British hands in the early 19th century, the [[Great Trek|settlers spread into the hinterland]], taking their language with them. The subsequent isolation from the rest of the Dutch-speaking world made the Dutch as spoken in Southern Africa evolve into what is now [[Afrikaans]]. European Dutch remained the [[literary language]] until the early 20th century, when under pressure of [[Afrikaner nationalism]] the local "African" Dutch was preferred over the written, European-based standard. In 1925, section 137 of the 1909 constitution of the [[Union of South Africa]] was amended by Act 8 of 1925, stating "the word ''Dutch'' in article 137 [...] is hereby declared to include Afrikaans". The new constitution of 1961 only listed English and Afrikaans as official languages. It is estimated that between 90% to 95% of Afrikaans vocabulary is ultimately of Dutch origin. Both languages are still largely [[Mutual intelligibility|mutually intelligible]], although this relation can in some fields (such as lexicon, spelling and grammar) be asymmetric, as it is easier for Dutch-speakers to understand written Afrikaans than it is for Afrikaans-speakers to understand written Dutch. Afrikaans is grammatically far less complex than Dutch, and vocabulary items are generally altered in a clearly patterned manner, e.g. ''vogel'' becomes ''voël'' "bird" and ''regen'' becomes ''reën'' "rain"). {{See also|Differences between Afrikaans and Dutch}} It is the third language of [[South Africa]] in terms of native speakers (~13.3%), of whom 53 percent are [[Coloured]]s and 42.4 percent [[White South African|Whites]]. In 1996, 40 percent of South Africans reported to know Afrikaans at least at a very basic level of communication. It is the [[lingua franca]] in [[Namibia]], where it is spoken natively in 11 percent of households. In total, Afrikaans is the [[first language]] for about 6 million and a [[second language]] for 10 million people, compared to over 23 million and 5 million respectively, for Dutch. ==History== {{Main|History of Dutch}} The history of the Dutch language begins around AD 450–500 after [[Old Frankish]], one of the many [[West Germanic]] tribal languages, was split by the [[Second Germanic consonant shift]]. At more or less the same time the [[Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law]] led to the development of the direct ancestors of modern [[Dutch Low Saxon]], [[Frisian languages|Frisian]] and English. The northern dialects of Old Frankish generally did not participate in either of these two shifts, except for a small amount of phonetic changes, and are hence known as [[Old Dutch|Old Low Franconian]]; the "Low" refers to dialects not influenced by the consonant shift. The most south-eastern dialects of the [[Franconian languages]] became part of [[High German|High]] – though not [[Upper German|Upper]] – [[Old German|German]] even though a [[dialect continuum]] remained. The fact that Dutch did not undergo the sound changes may be the reason why some people say that Dutch is like a bridge between [[English language|English]] and [[German language|German]]. Within Old Low Franconian there were two subgroups: Old East Low Franconian and Old West Low Franconian, which is better known as [[Old Dutch]]. East Low Franconian was eventually absorbed by Dutch as it became the dominant form of Low Franconian, although it remains a noticeable [[substratum|substrate]] within the southern Limburgish dialects of Dutch. As the two groups were so similar, it is often difficult to determine whether a text is Old Dutch or Old East Low Franconian; hence most linguists will generally use Old Dutch synonymously with Old Low Franconian and mostly do not differentiate. Dutch, like other Germanic languages, is conventionally divided into three development phases which were: * '''450(500)–1150''' [[Old Dutch]] (''First attested in the [[Salic Law]]'') * '''1150–1500''' [[Middle Dutch]] (''Also called "[[Dietsch|Diets]]" in popular use, though not by linguists'') * '''1500–present''' Modern Dutch (''Saw the creation of the Dutch standard language and includes contemporary Dutch'') The transition between these languages was very gradual and one of the few moments [[Linguistics|linguists]] can detect somewhat of a revolution is when the Dutch standard language emerged and quickly established itself. Standard Dutch is very similar to most Dutch dialects. The development of the Dutch language is illustrated by the following sentence in Old, Middle and Modern Dutch: :"''Irlôsin sol an frithe sêla mîna fan thên thia ginâcont mi, wanda under managon he was mit mi''" ('''''Old Dutch''''') :"''Erlossen sal [hi] in vrede siele mine van dien die genaken mi, want onder menegen hi was met mi''" ('''''Middle Dutch''''') (Using same [[word order]]) :"''Verlossen zal hij in vrede ziel mijn van degenen die [te] na komen mij, want onder menigeen hij was met mij''" ('''''Modern Dutch''''') (Using correct contemporary Dutch word order) :"''Hij zal mijn ziel in vrede verlossen van degenen die mij te na komen, want onder menigeen was hij met mij''" ('''''Modern Dutch''''') (see [http://www.statenvertaling.net/bijbel/psal/55.html Psalm 55:19]) :"''He shall my soul in peace free from those who me too near come, because amongst many was he with me''" ('''''English literal translation in the same word order''''') :"''He will deliver my soul in peace from those who attack me, because, amongst many, he was with me''" ('''''English translation in [[Markedness|unmarked]] word order''''') (see [http://bible.cc/psalms/55-18.htm Psalm 55:18]) A process of [[standard language|standardisation]] started in the [[Middle Ages]], especially under the influence of the [[Duchy of Burgundy|Burgundian]] Ducal Court in Dijon ([[Brussels]] after 1477). The dialects of Flanders and [[Brabantic|Brabant]] were the most influential around this time. The process of standardisation became much stronger at the start of the 16th century, mainly based on the urban dialect of [[Antwerp]]. In 1585 Antwerp [[Fall of Antwerp (1584–1585)|fell]] to the Spanish army: many fled to the Northern Netherlands, especially the province of Holland, where they influenced the urban dialects of that province. In 1637, a further important step was made towards a unified language, when the [[Statenvertaling]], the first major Bible translation into Dutch, was created that people from all over the [[Republic of the Seven United Provinces of the Low Countries|United Provinces]] could understand. It used elements from various, even [[Dutch Low Saxon]], dialects but was predominantly based on the urban dialects of [[Holland]]. ==Dialects== {{Main|Dutch dialects}} [[File:Languages Benelux.PNG|thumb|upright|Dutch dialects in the [[Low Countries]]]] Dutch dialects are remarkably diverse and distinct in the Netherlands. The same applies to the dialects in the [[Flanders]] region in [[Belgium]]. A dedicated article on [[Dutch dialects]] provides more information. ==Sounds== {{Main|Dutch phonology}} {{IPA notice}} Dutch [[Final obstruent devoicing|devoices all obstruents]] at the ends of words (e.g. a final {{IPA|/d/}} becomes {{IPA|[t]}}), which presents a problem for Dutch speakers when learning English{{Citation needed|date=September 2010}}. This is partly reflected in the spelling: the singular of ''hui'''z'''en'' (houses) becomes ''hui'''s''''', and that of ''dui'''v'''en'' (doves) becomes ''dui'''f'''''. The other cases, viz. "p"/"b" and "d"/"t" are always written with the letter for the voiced consonant, although a devoiced one is actually pronounced, e.g. sg. ''baar'''d''''' (beard), pronounced as ''baar'''t''''', has plural ''baar'''d'''en'' and sg. ''ri'''b''''' (rib), pronounced as ''rip'' has plural ''ribben''. Because of assimilation, often the initial consonant of the next word is also devoiced, e.g. ''het vee'' (the cattle) is {{IPA|/(h)ətfe/}}. This process of devoicing is taken to an extreme in some regions (Amsterdam, Friesland) with almost complete loss of {{IPA|/v/}}, {{IPA|/z/}} and {{IPA|/ɣ/}}. These phonemes are certainly present in the middle of a word. Compare standard Dutch pronunciation ''logen'' and ''loochen'' {{IPA|/loɣən/}} vs. {{IPA|/loxən/}}. In the dialects the contrast is even greater: {{IPA|/loʝən/}} vs. {{IPA|/loçən/}}. The final ''n'' of the plural ending -''en'' is often not pronounced (as in Afrikaans where it is also dropped in the written language), except in the northeast Netherlands where dialects of [[Low German]] are traditionally spoken. ===Vowels=== The [[vowel]] inventory of Dutch is large, with 13 simple vowels and four diphthongs. The vowels {{IPA|/eː/}}, {{IPA|/øː/}}, {{IPA|/oː/}} are included on the diphthong chart because they are actually produced as narrow closing diphthongs in many dialects, but behave phonologically like the other simple vowels. {{IPA|[ɐ]}} (a [[near-open central vowel]]) is an allophone of unstressed {{IPA|/a/}} and {{IPA|/ɑ/}}. {| align="right" !align="right"|IPA chart of Netherlandic Dutch [[monophthong]]s |- |[[File:Dutch-monophthongs.png]] |- |  |- !align="right"|IPA chart of Netherlandic Dutch [[diphthong]]s |- |[[File:Dutch-diphthongs.png]] |} {| class="wikitable" |+ '''Dutch Vowels with Example Words''' !align=center|'''Symbol''' !colspan=3 align=center|'''Example''' |- ![[help:IPA|IPA]] !IPA ![[orthography]] !English translation |- |{{IPA|ɪ}} |{{IPA|kɪp}} |''kip'' |'chicken' |- |{{IPA|i}} |{{IPA|bit}} |''biet'' |'beetroot' |- |{{IPA|ʏ}} |{{IPA|ɦʏt}} |''hut'' |'cabin' |- |{{IPA|y}} |{{IPA|fyt}} |''fuut'' |'grebe' |- |{{IPA|ɛ}} |{{IPA|bɛt}} |''bed'' |'bed' |- |{{IPA|eː}} |{{IPA|beːt}} |''beet'' |'bite' |- |{{IPA|ə}} |{{IPA|də}} |'' de'' |'the' |- |{{IPA|øː}} |{{IPA|nøːs}} |''neus'' |'nose' |- |{{IPA|ɑ}} |{{IPA|bɑt}} |''bad'' |'bath' |- |{{IPA|aː}} |{{IPA|zaːt}} |''zaad'' |'seed' |- |{{IPA|ɔ}} |{{IPA|bɔt}} |''bot'' |'bone' |- |{{IPA|oː}} |{{IPA|boːt}} |''boot'' |'boat' |- |{{IPA|u}} |{{IPA|ɦut}} |''hoed'' |'hat' |- |{{IPA|ɛi}} |{{IPA|ɛi, ʋɛin}} |''ei'', ''wijn'' |'egg', 'wine' |- |{{IPA|œy}} |{{IPA|œy}} |''ui'' |'onion' |- |{{IPA|ʌu}} |{{IPA|zʌut, fʌun}} |''zout'', ''faun'' |'salt', 'faun' |} Some vowels are pronounced differently when followed by 'r', but this is not normally reflected in the IPA rendering, since they are allophones. The vowel in ''beer'', being different from both ''bet'' and ''beet'', is usually represented by {{IPA|/eː/}}. Similarly the one in ''boor'', is neither like ''bot'' nor ''boot'', and represented by {{IPA|/oː/}}. ===Consonants=== The [[syllable structure]] of Dutch is (C)(C)(C)V(C)(C)(C)(C). Many words, as in English, begin with three consonants; for example, straat ''(street)''. There are words that end in four consonants, e.g., ''herfst'' 'autumn', ''ergst'' 'worst', ''interessantst'' 'most interesting', ''sterkst'' 'strongest', the last three of which are [[superlative]] adjectives. The most number of consonants in a single cluster is found in the word ''sle'''chtstschr'''ijvend'' 'writing worst' with 7 consonant phonemes (though in normal speech the number of phonemes is usually reduced to 6 because of assimilation of 'tstsch' to 'stsch', or even to 5 by many speakers who pronounce the cluster 'schr' as 'sr'). Like most Germanic languages, Dutch [[consonant]] system did not undergo the [[High German consonant shift]] and has a [[syllable]] structure that allows fairly complex [[consonant clusters]]. Dutch is often noted for its prominent use of [[velar consonant|velar]] [[fricative]]s. {| class="wikitable" style="text-align: center" ! colspan=2|  ![[Bilabial consonant|Bilabial]] ![[Labiodental consonant|Labio-
dental]] !|[[Alveolar consonant|Alveolar]] ![[Postalveolar consonant|Post-
alveolar]] ![[Palatal consonant|Palatal]] ![[Velar consonant|Velar]] ![[Uvular consonant|Uvular]] ![[Glottal consonant|Glottal]] |- !style="text-align:left" colspan=2 |[[nasal consonant|Nasal]] | {{IPA|m}} | | {{IPA|n}} | | | {{IPA|ŋ}} | | |- !style="text-align:left" rowspan=2 | [[Plosive consonant|Plosive]] !voiceless | {{IPA|p}} | |{{IPA|t}} | | |{{IPA|k}} | | {{IPA|(ʔ)}}{{ref|1|1}} |- !voiced | {{IPA|b}} | | {{IPA|d}} | | | {{IPA|ɡ}} {{ref|2|2}} | | |- !style="text-align:left" rowspan=2|[[Fricative consonant|Fricative]] !voiceless | | {{IPA|f}} | {{IPA|s}} | {{IPA|ʃ}} {{ref|3|3}} | {{IPA|ç}} {{ref|4|4}} | colspan=2|{{IPA|x ~ χ}} {{ref|4|4}} | |- !voiced | | {{IPA|v}} {{ref|5|5}} | {{IPA|z}} {{ref|5|5}} | {{IPA|ʒ}} {{ref|3|3}} | {{IPA|ʝ}} {{ref|5|5}} | {{IPA|ɣ}} {{ref|5|5}} | {{IPA|ʁ}} {{ref|6|6}} | {{IPA|ɦ}} {{ref|5|6}} |- !style="text-align:left" colspan=2 | [[Trill consonant|Trill]] | | | {{IPA|r}} {{ref|6|6}} | | | | | |- !style="text-align:left" colspan=2 | [[Approximant consonant|Approximant]] | colspan=2| {{IPA|β ~ ʋ}} {{ref|7|7}} | {{IPA|l}} {{ref|8|8}} | | {{IPA|j}} | | | |} Notes: {{refbegin}} {{IPA|[ʔ]}} is not a separate phoneme in Dutch, but is inserted before vowel-initial syllables within words after {{IPA|/a/}} and {{IPA|/ə/}} and often also at the beginning of a word. {{IPA|/ɡ/}} is not a native phoneme of Dutch and only occurs in borrowed words, like ''goal'' or when {{IPA|/k/}} is voiced, like in ''zakdoek'' {{IPA|[zɑɡduk]}}. {{IPA|/ʃ/}} and {{IPA|/ʒ/}} are not native phonemes of Dutch, and usually occur in borrowed words, like ''show'' and ''bagage'' ('baggage'). However, {{IPA|/s/}} + {{IPA|/j/}} phoneme sequences in Dutch are often realized as {{IPA|[ʃ]}}, like in the word ''huisje'' ('little house'). The sound spelled is a uvular fricative in Standard Dutch and velar in Belgian dialects. In some dialects, the voiced fricatives have almost completely merged with the voiceless ones; {{IPA|/ɦ/}} is usually realized as {{IPA|[h]}}, in the North {{IPA|/v/}} is usually realized as {{IPA|[f]}}, {{IPA|/z/}} is usually realized as {{IPA|[s]}}, yet only in the North. In the South {{IPA|/v/}} is pronounced {{IPA|[v]}} and {{IPA|/z/}} is {{IPA|[z]}}. In the North {{IPA|/ɣ/}} is usually realized as {{IPA|[x]}}, whereas in the South the distinction between {{IPA|/ʝ/}} and {{IPA|/ç/}} has been preserved. The realization of the {{IPA|/r/}} phoneme varies considerably from dialect to dialect. In "standard" Dutch, {{IPA|/r/}} is realized as the [[alveolar trill]] {{IPA|[r]}}, but the [[uvular trill]] {{IPA|[ʀ]}} is a common alternative. In some dialects it is realized as the [[alveolar tap]] {{IPA|[ɾ]}}, the [[voiced uvular fricative]] {{IPA|[ʁ]}}, or as the [[alveolar approximant]] {{IPA|[ɹ]}}. The realization of the {{IPA|/ʋ/}} varies considerably from the Northern to the Southern and Belgium dialects of the Dutch language. A number of Belgian dialects pronounce it like a bilabial approximant ({{IPA|[β]}}). Other, mainly Northern Dutch, dialects pronounce it as a labiodental approximant: {{IPA|[ʋ]}}. Furthermore, in Suriname it is pronounced {{IPA|[w]}}. The lateral {{IPA|/l/}} is slightly velarized postvocalically. {{refend}} {| class="wikitable" |+ style="margin-top:1em" | Dutch consonants with example words !colspan=1 align=center|'''Symbol''' !colspan=4 align=center|'''Example''' |- ![[help:IPA|IPA]] !IPA ![[orthography]] !English translation |- |{{IPA|p}} |{{IPA|pɛn}} |''pen'' |'pen' |- |{{IPA|b}} |{{IPA|bit}} |''biet'' |'beetroot' |- |{{IPA|t}} |{{IPA|tɑk}} |''tak'' |'branch' |- |{{IPA|d}} |{{IPA|dɑk}} |''dak'' |'roof' |- |{{IPA|k}} |{{IPA|kɑt}} |''kat'' |'cat' |- |{{IPA|ɡ}} |{{IPA|ɡoːl}} |''goal'' |'goal' (sports) |- |{{IPA|m}} |{{IPA|mɛns}} |''mens'' |'human being' or 'mankind' |- |{{IPA|n}} |{{IPA|nɛk}} |''nek'' |'neck' |- |{{IPA|ŋ}} |{{IPA|ɛŋ}} |''eng'' |'scary' |- |{{IPA|f}} |{{IPA|fits}} |''fiets'' |'bicycle' |- |{{IPA|v}} |{{IPA|oːvən}} |''oven'' |'oven' |- |{{IPA|s}} |{{IPA|sɔk}} |''sok'' |'sock' |- |{{IPA|z}} |{{IPA|zeːp}} |''zeep'' |'soap' |- |{{IPA|ʃ}} |{{IPA|ʃaːɫ}} |''sjaal'' |'shawl' |- |{{IPA|ʒ}} |{{IPA|ʒyːri}} |''jury'' |'jury' |- |{{IPA|x}} (North) |{{IPA|ɑxt}} |''acht'' |'eight' |- |{{IPA|ç}} (South) |{{IPA|ɑçt}} |''acht'' |'eight' |- |{{IPA|ɣ}} (North) |{{IPA|ɣaːn}} |''gaan'' |'to go' |- |{{IPA|ʝ}} (South) |{{IPA|ʝaːn}} |''gaan'' |'to go' |- |{{IPA|r}} |{{IPA|rɑt}} |''rat'' |'rat' |- |{{IPA|ɦ}} |{{IPA|ɦut}} |''hoed'' |'hat' |- |{{IPA|ʋ}} |{{IPA|ʋɑŋ}} |''wang'' |'cheek' |- |{{IPA|j}} |{{IPA|jɑs}} |''jas'' |'coat' |- |{{IPA|l}} |{{IPA|lɑnt}} |''land'' |'land / country' |- |{{IPA|ɫ}} |{{IPA|ɦeːɫ}} |''heel'' |'whole' |- |{{IPA|ʔ}} |{{IPA|bəʔaːmən}} |''beamen'' |'to confirm' |} ===Common difficulties=== Some Dutch vowel sounds are not straightforward. [[Diphthong]]s such as the sound in such words as ''zuid'' "south" or ''huis'' "house", the in ''pauw'' "peacock" or ''koud'' "cold", and the sound in words like ''mijt'' "mite" or ''wijn'' "wine" present difficulties. Even though some of these words are superficially like their English equivalents the correct sound is very different. Another issue with pronunciation is the -sound if preceded by ''s'', which Dutch native speakers pronounce as /[[voiceless uvular fricative|χ]]/ (North) or /[[voiceless palatal fricative|ç]]/ (South). It has no counterpart in English. Particularly the voiced equivalents, northern /[[voiced velar fricative|ɣ]]/ and /[[voiced palatal fricative|ʝ]]/ in the south, are rare among other European languages. In Northern Dutch there is a tendency for using the voiceless sound in all places. The morphological flexibility and cohesiveness of Dutch sometimes produces words that might baffle speakers of other languages due to the large number of consonant clusters, such as the word ''angstschreeuw'' {{IPA-nl|ɑŋstsxreːw||angstschreeuw.ogg}} "scream in fear", which has a total of six in a row -''ngstschr''- (the ''ng'' and ''ch'' being [[digraph (orthography)|digraphs]]). It has to be noted though that the pronunciation of a word can differ greatly from its written form. In this case, ''angstschreeuw'' actually contains 6 consonant sounds (ng-s-t-s-ch-r) originating from two distinct [[compound (linguistics)|compounded]] words (''angst'' and ''schreeuw''), which is reduced further by some speakers in connected speech by blending consecutive consonants (''ch'' and ''r'') into one sound. This can be even further shortened to {{IPA|[ɑŋsreːw]}} by those who normally reduce the ''schr''-sequence to ''sr''. ===Historical sound changes=== Dutch (with the exception of the Limburg dialects) did not undergo the second or [[High German consonant shift]]—compare German ''machen'' {{IPA|/-x-/}} vs. Dutch ''maken'', English ''make''; German ''Pfanne'' {{IPA|/pf-/}} vs. Dutch ''pan'', English ''pan''; German ''zwei'' {{IPA|/ts-/}} vs. Dutch ''twee'', English ''two''. Dutch underwent a few changes of its own. For example, words in -''old''/''olt'' lost the /l/ to a [[diphthong]] after [[l-vocalization]] (compare English ''old'', German ''alt'' vs. Dutch ''oud''), and -ks- sounds were reduced to -s- (compare English ''fox'', German ''Fuchs'' vs. Dutch ''vos''). Germanic {{IPA|*/uː/}} fronted to {{IPA|/y/}}, which in turn became a diphthong {{IPA|/œy/}}, spelt 〈ui〉. Long {{IPA|*/iː/}} also [[vowel breaking|diphthongized]] to {{IPA|/ɛi/}}, spelt 〈ij〉. Unusually for a Germanic language (but like some Slavic ones), the phoneme {{IPA|/ɡ/}}, originally in allophonic variation with {{IPA|/ɣ/}}, became {{IPA|/ɣ/}} in every position except after {{IPA|/n/}} (where it instead merged with {{IPA|/n/}} into {{IPA|/ŋ/}}). It later [[palatalization|palatalised]] to {{IPA|/ʝ/}} in the South (Flanders, Limburg, Brabant). ===Polder Dutch=== A notable deviation from the official pronunciation of Standard Dutch in younger generations in the Netherlands has been dubbed "Polder Dutch" by Jan Stroop. The diphthongs spelt , , and are pronounced not as {{IPA|/ɛi/}}, {{IPA|/ʌu/}}, and {{IPA|/œy/}}, but lowered, as {{IPA|/ai/}}, {{IPA|/au/}}, and {{IPA|/ay/}} respectively. Instead, {{IPA|/eː/}}, {{IPA|/oː/}}, and {{IPA|/øː/}} are pronounced as [[diphthong]]s now, as {{IPA|/ɛi/}}, {{IPA|/ɔu/}}, and {{IPA|/œy/}} respectively, which makes this change an instance of a [[chain shift]]. This change is interesting from a sociolinguistic point of view because it has apparently happened relatively recently, in the 1970s, and was pioneered by older well-educated women from the upper middle classes. The lowering of the diphthongs has long been current in many Dutch dialects, and is comparable to the English [[Great Vowel Shift]], and the diphthongisation of long high vowels in Modern [[German language|High German]], which centuries earlier reached the state now found in Polder Dutch. It appears that the diphthongisation of the high vowels is part of a trend widespread in the [[West Germanic languages]], which has, however, been artificially frozen in an intermediary state by the standardisation of Dutch pronunciation in the 16th century, where lowered diphthongs found in rural dialects were perceived as ugly by the educated classes and accordingly declared substandard. Stroop compares the role of Polder Dutch with the urban variety of British English pronunciation called [[Estuary English]]. Among Belgian Dutch-speakers, this vowel shift is not taking place. In its central provinces, the diphthongs {{IPA|/ɛi/}}, {{IPA|/ɔu/}} and {{IPA|/œy/}} are often pronounced as the [[monophthong]]s {{IPA|/ɛː/}}, {{IPA|/ɔː/}} and {{IPA|/œː/}}, although this is considered substandard. ==Grammar== {{Main|Dutch grammar}} Dutch is grammatically similar to [[German grammar|German]], such as in [[syntax]] and verb [[Morphology (linguistics)|morphology]] (for a comparison of verb morphology in English, Dutch and German, see [[Germanic weak verb]] and [[Germanic strong verb]]). Dutch has [[grammatical case]]s, but these are now mostly limited to pronouns and a large number of [[set phrase]]s. Inflected forms of the articles are also often found in surnames and toponyms. [[Gender in Dutch grammar|Originally]], Dutch had three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter, although for many speakers, masculine and feminine have merged to form the common gender (de), while the neuter (het) remains distinct as before. This gender system is similar to those of most [[North Germanic languages#Classification|Continental Scandinavian languages]]. Many Belgian speakers still make a clear distinction between masculine and feminine words( see [[Gender in Dutch]]). As in [[English language|English]], but to a lesser degree, the inflectional grammar of the language (e.g., adjective and noun endings) has simplified over time. ===Genders and cases=== The table of definite articles below demonstrates that contemporary Dutch is less complex than German. The article has just two forms, ''de'' and ''het'', more complex than English, which has only "the". {|class=wikitable !||colspan=4|Dutch||colspan=4|German |- !!!Masculine singular!!Feminine singular!!Neuter singular!!Plural (any gender) !Masculine singular!!Feminine singular!!Neuter singular!!Plural (any gender) |- !Nominative |de||de||het||de||der||die||das||die |- !Genitive |des / van de||der / van de||des / van het||der / van de||des||der||des||der |- !Dative |de||de||het||de||dem||der||dem||den |- !Accusative |de||de||het||de||den||die||das||die |} The genitive articles 'des' and 'der' are not frequently used and are often considered prosaic or archaic. In most circumstances the preposition 'van' is instead used, followed by the normal definitive article 'de' or 'het'. For the use of the articles in the genitive, see for example: *Masculine singular: "des duivels" (''of the devil'') *Feminine singular: het woordenboek '''der''' Friese taal (''the dictionary of the Frisian language'') *Neuter singular: de vrouw '''des''' huizes (''the lady of the house'') *Plural: de voortgang '''der''' werken (''the progress of (public) works'') Dutch also has a range of fixed expressions that make use of the genitive articles, such as for example "'s ochtends" (with 's as abbreviation of des; ''in the morning'') and "desnoods" (lit: ''of the need'', translated: ''if necessary''). The Dutch written grammar has simplified over the past 100 years: [[grammatical case|cases]] are now mainly used for the pronouns, such as ''ik'' (I), ''mij, me'' (me), ''mijn'' (my), ''wie'' (who), ''wiens'' (whose: masculine or neuter singular), ''wier'' (whose: feminine singular, masculine or feminine plural). Nouns and adjectives are not case inflected (except for the genitive of proper nouns (names): -s, -'s or -'). In the spoken language cases and case inflections had already gradually disappeared from a much earlier date on (probably the 15th century) as in many continental West Germanic dialects. Inflection of adjectives is a little more complicated: nothing with indefinite neuter nouns in singular and -e in all other cases. Note that ''water'' and ''huis'' are neuter, the other words in the table are masculine or feminine. (This was also done in Middle English, as in "a goode man".) {|class=wikitable ! !!Masculine singular
Feminine singular
Plural (any gender)!!Neuter singular |- !Definite
(with definite article
or pronoun) |de mooi'''e''' huizen (the beautiful houses)
die mooi'''e''' vrouwen (those beautiful women)||het mooi'''e''' huis (the beautiful house)
mijn mooi'''e''' huis (my beautiful house)
dit koud'''e''' water (this cold water)
|- !Indefinite
with indefinite article or
no article and no pronoun) |een mooi'''e''' vrouw (a beautiful woman)
mooi'''e''' huizen (beautiful houses)
koud'''e''' soep (cold soup)||een mooi huis (a beautiful house)
koud water (cold water) |} An adjective has no '''e''' if it is in the [[Predicative (adjectival or nominal)|predicative]]: ''De soep is koud''. More complex inflection is still found in certain lexicalized expressions like ''de heer de'''s''' hui'''zes''''' (literally, the man of the house), etc. These are usually remnants of cases (in this instance, the genitive case which is still used in German, cf. ''Der Herr des Hauses'') and other inflections no longer in general use today. In such lexicalized expressions remnants of strong and weak nouns can be found too, e.g. ''in het jaar des Her'''en''''' (Anno Domini), where “-en” is actually the genitive ending of the weak noun. Also in this case, German [[German grammar#Irregular declensions|retains this feature]]. ===Word order=== Dutch exhibits [[subject–object–verb]] word order, but in main clauses the [[Dutch conjugation|conjugated verb]] is moved into the second position in what is known as verb second or [[V2 word order]]. This makes Dutch word order almost identical to that of German, but often different from English, which has [[subject–verb–object]] word order and has since lost the V2 word order that existed in [[Old English]]. An example sentence used in some Dutch language courses and textbooks is "Ik kan mijn pen niet vinden omdat het veel te donker is", which translates into English word for word as "I can my pen not find because it far too dark is", but in standard English word order would be written "I cannot find my pen because it is far too dark". If the sentence is split into a main and subclause and the verbs highlighted, the logic behind the word order can be seen. Main clause: "Ik '''kan''' mijn pen niet '''vinden'''"
Verbs are placed in the final position, but the conjugated verb, in this case "kan" (can), is made the second element of the clause. Subclause: "omdat het veel te donker '''is'''"
The verb or verbs always go in the final position. ===Diminutives=== Dutch nouns can take endings for size: -je for singular [[diminutive]] and -jes for plural diminutive. Between these [[Affix|suffixes]] and the radical can come extra letters depending on the ending of the word: :''boom'' (tree) - ''boom'''pje''''' :''ring'' (ring) - ''ring'''etje''''' :''koning'' (king) - ''konin'''kje''''' :''tien'' (ten) - ''tien'''tje''''' (a ten euro note) These diminutives are very common. As in German, all diminutives are neuter. In the case of words like "het meis'''je'''" (the girl), this is different from the natural gender. A diminutive ending can also be appended to an adverb or adjective (but not when followed by a noun). :''klein'' (little, small) - ''een kleintje'' (a small one) ===Compounds=== Like most Germanic languages, Dutch forms noun [[compound (linguistics)|compounds]], where the first noun modifies the category given by the second, for example: ''hondenhok'' (doghouse). Unlike English, where newer compounds or combinations of longer nouns are often written in open form with separating spaces, Dutch (like the other Germanic languages) either uses the closed form without spaces, for example: boomhuis (Eng. tree house) or hyphenated: VVD-coryfee (outstanding member of the VVD, a political party). Like German, Dutch allows arbitrarily long compounds, but the longer they get, the less frequent they tend to be. The longest serious entry in the [[Van Dale]] dictionary is {{Audio|wapenstilstandsonderhandeling.ogg|''wapenstilstandsonderhandeling''}} (ceasefire negotiation). Leafing through the articles of association (Statuten) one may come across a 30-letter {{Audio|vertegenwoordigingsbevoegdheid.ogg|''vertegenwoordigingsbevoegdheid''}} (authorisation of representation). An even longer word cropping up in official documents is ''ziektekostenverzekeringsmaatschappij'' (health insurance company) though the shorter ''ziektekostenverzekeraar'' (health insurer) is more common. Notwithstanding official spelling rules, some Dutch people nowadays tend to write the parts of a compound separately, which is sometimes dubbed “the English disease” or "''de Engelse ziekte''". ==Vocabulary== Dutch vocabulary is predominantly Germanic in origin, considerably more so than English. This is to a large part due to the heavy influence of [[Norman language|Norman]] on English, and to Dutch patterns of word formation, such as the tendency to form long and sometimes very complicated [[compound noun]]s, being more similar to those of German and the Scandinavian languages. The Dutch vocabulary is one of the richest in the world and comprises at least 268,826 [[headword]]s. In addition, the [[Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal]] (English: "The Dictionary of the Dutch language") is the largest dictionary in the world in print and has over 430,000 entries of Dutch words. Like English, Dutch includes words of Greek and Latin origin. Somewhat paradoxically, most loanwords from French have entered into Dutch vocabulary via the Netherlands and not via Belgium, in spite of the cultural and economic dominance exerted by French speakers in Belgium until the first half of the 20th century. This happened because the status French enjoyed as the language of refinement and high culture inspired the affluent upper and upper-middle classes in the Netherlands to adopt many French terms into the language. In Belgium no such phenomenon occurred, since members of the upper and upper-middle classes would have spoken French rather than Frenchify their Dutch. French terms heavily influenced Dutch dialects in Flanders, but Belgian speakers did (and do) tend to resist French loanwords when using standard Dutch. Nonetheless some French loanwords of relatively recent date have become accepted in standard Dutch, also in Belgium, albeit with a shift in meaning and not as straight synonyms for existing Dutch words. For example, "blesseren" (from French ''blesser'', to injure) is almost exclusively used to refer to sports injuries, while in other contexts the standard Dutch verbs "kwetsen" and "verwonden" continue to be used. Especially on the streets and in many professions, there is a steady increase of English loanwords, rather often pronounced or applied in a different way (see [[Dutch pseudo-anglicisms]]). The influx of English words is maintained by the dominance of English in the mass media and on the Internet. The most important dictionary of the modern Dutch language is the [[Van Dale|Van Dale groot woordenboek der Nederlandse taal]], more commonly referred to as the ''Dikke van Dale'' ("dik" means "thick"). However, it is dwarfed by the 45,000-page ''[[Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal]]'', a scholarly endeavour that took 147 years from initial idea to first edition. ==Writing system== {{Main|Dutch alphabet|Dutch orthography}} Dutch is written using the [[Latin alphabet]]. Dutch uses one additional character beyond the standard alphabet, the [[digraph (orthography)|digraph]] [[IJ (digraph)|IJ]]. It has a relatively high proportion of doubled letters, both vowels and consonants. This is due to the formation of compound words and also to the spelling devices for distinguishing the many vowel sounds in the Dutch language. An example of five consecutive doubled letters is the word ''voorraaddoos'' (supply box). The [[Diaeresis (diacritic)|diaeresis]] (Dutch: ''trema'') is used to mark vowels that are pronounced separately. In the most recent spelling reform, a hyphen has replaced the diaeresis in compound words (i.e., if the vowels originate from separate words, not from prefixes or suffixes), e.g. ''zeeëend'' (seaduck) is now spelled ''zee-eend''. The [[acute accent]] occurs mainly on loanwords like ''café'', but can also be used for emphasis or to differentiate between two forms. Its most common use is to differentiate between the indefinite [[article (grammar)|article]] 'een' (a, an) and the numeral 'één' (one); also 'hé' (hey, also written 'hee'). The [[grave accent]] is used to clarify pronunciation ('hè' [what?, what the ...?, tag question 'eh?'], 'bèta') and in loanwords ('caissière' [female cashier], 'après-ski'). In the recent spelling reform, the accent grave was dropped as stress sign on short vowels in favour of the [[acute accent]] (e.g. 'wèl' was changed to 'wél'). Other [[Diacritic|diacritical marks]] such as the [[circumflex]] only occur on a few words, most of them loanwords from [[French language|French]]. The official spelling is set by the ''Wet schrijfwijze Nederlandsche taal'' (Law on the writing of the Dutch language; Belgium 1946, Netherlands 1947; based on a 1944 spelling revision; both amended in the 1990s after a 1995 spelling revision). The ''Woordenlijst Nederlandse taal'', more commonly known as "het groene boekje" (i.e. "the green booklet", because of its colour), is usually accepted as an informal explanation of the law. However, the official 2005 spelling revision, which reverted some of the 1995 changes and made new ones, has been welcomed with a distinct lack of enthusiasm in both the Netherlands and Belgium. As a result, the [http://www.onzetaal.nl/ Genootschap Onze Taal] (Our Language Society) decided to publish an alternative list, "het witte boekje" ("the white booklet"), which tries to simplify some complicated rules and offers several possible spellings for many contested words. This alternative orthography is followed by a number of major Dutch media organisations but mostly ignored in Belgium. ==Dutch as a foreign language== As a [[foreign language]], Dutch is mainly taught in primary and secondary schools in areas adjacent to the [[Netherlands]] and [[Flanders]]. In [[French Community of Belgium|French-speaking Belgium]], over 300,000 pupils are enrolled in Dutch courses, followed by over 20,000 in the [[States of Germany|German states]] of [[Lower Saxony]] and [[North Rhine-Westphalia]], and over 7,000 in the [[Regions of France|French region]] of [[Nord-Pas de Calais]] (of which 4,550 already in primary school). Dutch is the obligatory medium of instruction in schools in [[Suriname]], even for non-native speakers. Dutch is taught in various educational centres in [[Indonesia]], the most important of which is the Erasmus Language Centre (ETC) in [[Jakarta]]. Each year, some 1,500 to 2,000 students take Dutch courses there. In total, several thousand Indonesians study Dutch as a foreign language. At an academic level, Dutch is taught in over 225 universities in more than 40 countries. About 10,000 students worldwide study Dutch at university. The largest number of faculties of ''neerlandistiek'' can be found in [[Germany]] (30 universities), followed by [[France]] and the [[United States of America|United States]] (20 each). 5 universities in the [[United Kingdom]] offer the study of Dutch. Due to centuries of Dutch rule in [[Indonesia]], many old documents are written in Dutch. Many universities therefore include Dutch as a source language, mainly for law and history students. In Indonesia this involves about 35,000 students. In [[South Africa]], the number is difficult to estimate, since the academic study of [[Afrikaans]] inevitably includes the study of Dutch. Elsewhere in the world, the number of people learning Dutch is relatively small. ==External links== {{wiktionary|Category:Dutch language}} {{wiktionary|Dutch}} {{InterWiki|code=nl}} {{Wiktionary|Dutch}} {{Commons category|Dutch pronunciation}} {{Wikibooks|Dutch}} {{Wikiversity|Introduction to the Dutch language}} Organisations *[http://taalunieversum.org/en/ The Nederlandse Taalunie], Dutch language union Dictionaries *[http://www.majstro.com/Web/Majstro/sdict.php?gebrTaal=dut Majstro], simple translation dictionary *[http://www.woordenboek.eu Woordenboek.EU], Dutch dictionary translates into 75+ languages *[http://lookwayup.com/free/EnglishDutchDictionary.htm Look Way Up], English-Dutch and Dutch-English dictionary Learning resources *[http://wikitravel.org/en/Dutch_phrasebook Dutch phrasebook] at Wikitravel *[http://users.telenet.be/orandago/ Orandago], free learn Dutch website *[http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/sampa/dutch.htm Dutch], SAMPA information *[http://www.dutch-flashcards.com/ Dutch Flash Cards], learn Dutch online *[http://learn-dutch-language.blogspot.com/ Learn Dutch Language], video weblog *[http://www.woordvanvandaag.nl/ Het woord van vandaag], Dutch word of the day mailing list {{Template group |list = {{West Germanic languages}} {{Germanic languages}} {{Official EU languages}} {{Official languages of South America}} }} {{DEFAULTSORT:Dutch Language}}