Languages of the Netherlands

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Languages of Netherlands
Official languagesDutch (>90%)
Regional languagesFrisian (2.50%), English (BES Islands), Papiamento (Bonaire), Limburgish (4.50%) (not official), Dutch Low Saxon (not official)
Main immigrant languages

Varieties of Arabic (1.5%), Turkish (1.5%), Berber languages (1%)

See further: Immigration to the Netherlands
Main foreign languagesEnglish (89%) (Recognised in the Dutch Caribbean), German (70%), French (29%), Spanish (5%)
Sign languagesDutch Sign Language
Common keyboard layouts
US international QWERTY
KB US-International.svg
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Languages of Netherlands
Official languagesDutch (>90%)
Regional languagesFrisian (2.50%), English (BES Islands), Papiamento (Bonaire), Limburgish (4.50%) (not official), Dutch Low Saxon (not official)
Main immigrant languages

Varieties of Arabic (1.5%), Turkish (1.5%), Berber languages (1%)

See further: Immigration to the Netherlands
Main foreign languagesEnglish (89%) (Recognised in the Dutch Caribbean), German (70%), French (29%), Spanish (5%)
Sign languagesDutch Sign Language
Common keyboard layouts
US international QWERTY
KB US-International.svg
Knowledge of foreign languages in the Netherlands, in per cent of the adult population (+15), 2005. Data taken from an EU survey. ebs_243_en.pdf (europa.eu)
Knowledge of the German language in the Netherlands, 2005. According to the Eurobarometer: [1] 70% of the respondents indicated that they know German well enough to have a conversation. Of these 12% (per cent, not percentage points) reported a very good knowledge of the language whereas 22% had a good knowledge and 43% basic German skills.

The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch, spoken by almost all people in the Netherlands. Dutch is also spoken and official in Aruba, Brussels, Curaçao, Flanders, Sint Maarten and Suriname. It is a West Germanic, Low Franconian language that originated in the Early Middle Ages (c. 470) and was standardized in the 16th century.

There are also some recognized provincial languages and regional dialects.

However, both Low Saxon and Limburgish spread across the Dutch-German border and belong to a common Dutch-Low German dialect continuum.

The Netherlands also has its separate Dutch Sign Language, called Nederlandse Gebarentaal (NGT). It is still waiting for recognition and has 17,500 users.[4]

There is a tradition of learning foreign languages in the Netherlands: about 89% of the total population have good knowledge of English, 70% of German, 29% of French and 5% of Spanish.

Minority languages, regional languages and dialects in the Benelux[edit]

Frisian dialects[edit]

West Frisian is an official language in the Dutch province of Friesland (Fryslân in West Frisian). The government of the Frisian province is bilingual. Since 1996 Frisian has been recognised as an official minority language in the Netherlands under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, although it had been recognised by the Dutch government as the second state language (tweede rijkstaal), with official status in Friesland, since the 1950s.

Low Saxon dialects[edit]

Minority languages, regional languages and dialects in the Benelux countries

Low Franconian dialects[edit]

The Rhinelandic dialect continuum
—— Low Franconian (Dutch) ——
  (2) Limburgish (incl. Low Bergish)
—— West Central German (Central and Rhine Franconian) ——
  (3) Ripuarian (incl. South Bergish)
  (4), (5) Moselle Franconian (incl. Luxembourgish)

Dialects fully outside the Netherlands[edit]

Luxembourgish is divided into Moselle Luxembourgish, West Luxembourgish, East Luxembourgish, North Luxembourgish and City Luxembourgish.[citation needed] The Oïl dialects in the Benelux are Walloon (divided into West Walloon, Central Walloon, East Walloon and South Walloon), Lorrain (including Gaumais), Champenois and Picard (including Tournaisis).

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Streektaal.net over Fries
  2. ^ Streektaal.net over Nedersaksisch
  3. ^ Streektaal.net over Limburgs
  4. ^ Rapport "Meer dan een gebaar" en "actualisatie 1997-2001

Notations[edit]