Native Speakers: 24 million; L2 Speakers: 5 million
Kingdom of the Netherlands, Belgium (where it is known as “Flemish”), Caribbean Netherlands, and in some former Dutch colonies (to a lesser degree)
Official: Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname, and other Dutch dependencies. Minority language in Germany and French Flanders.
Indo-European; West Germanic
Dutch is a close relative of both English and German. Similar to German, Dutch verbs are classified as weak verbs, strong verbs, irregular verbs, and mixed verbs. While Standard Dutch uses three genders, the masculine and feminine forms have merged to form a single “gender” in non-Belgian forms of the languages. The basic Dutch sentence structure is “Subject-Object-Verb” (SOV), which is quite different from English. Diminutives are also frequently used in Dutch, and roughly 20% of Dutch vocabulary consists of German loanwords.
Despite the strong influence of Standard Dutch, many Dutch dialects have retained their distinctions and diversity, although they are no longer spoken as often as in the past. The primary dialect groups include West Flemish, Hollandic, Brabantian, and Limburgish.
Fun Fact: The 8th president of the United States, Martin Van Buren, spoke Dutch fluently. He was the only American president whose mother tongue was a language other than English. The Dutch “New Amsterdam” colony in the Colonial America period was surrendered to the British and renamed “New York.” There are approximately 5 million Dutch Americans, although the vast majority have lost their ability to speak the language over time. There are roughly 142,000 native speakers of Dutch in the United States currently.
At Latitude Prime, we offer Dutch translation, Dutch interpretation, and Dutch localization services in numerous specialized subject areas and multiple dialects. Whether you need to translate a patent application from Dutch to English, need a Dutch interpreter for a court case in Aruba, or want to localize your website into Dutch to market your products or services in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and its territories, Latitude Prime has the customized language solution to meet all of your Dutch language needs.