Visit Holland - The Netherlands

Term Definition

Dutch is a Germanic language spoken by about 27 million people world-wide. Most people living in the Netherlands and Flanders (the northern part of Belgium) use it as a first language, while in Suriname, Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles it is widely used as a second language. Historically, French Flanders and parts of the Lower Rhine Region in Germany also belong to the Dutch language sphere, and during the age of colonization it has also spread to Indonesia and other former Dutch colonies. Dutch is the ancestor of the Afrikaans language spoken in South Africa and Namibia, which is mutually intelligible to Dutch. Lastly, it is closely related with other West Germanic languages, such as German (especially the Low German dialects), English and West Frisian.