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Languages of the Netherlands: Wikis


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Languages of Netherlands
Official language(s) Dutch(>90%)
Regional language(s) Frisian, Dutch Low Saxon, Limburgish
Main immigrant language(s) Indonesian, German, Turkish See further: Immigration to the Netherlands
Main foreign language(s) English (89%), German (55– 59%), French (19%)
Sign language(s) Dutch Sign Language
Common keyboard layout(s)
US international QWERTY
KB US-International.svg
This article is a part of the
Dutch dialects series.

Low Franconian

Low Franconian/Ripuarian

Low Saxon

While most people in the Netherlands speak Dutch, there are also some recognized provincial languages and regional dialects.

The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch, spoken by almost all people in the Netherlands. Dutch is also spoken in Flanders 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.

  • Frisian is a co-official language in the province of Friesland. Frisian is spoken by 453,000 speakers [1]
  • Several dialects of Dutch Low Saxon (Nedersaksisch in Dutch) are spoken in much of the north-east of the country and are recognised by the Netherlands as regional languages according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Low Saxon is spoken by 1,798,000 speakers. [2]
  • Another Dutch dialect granted the status of regional language is Limburgish, which is spoken in the south-eastern province of Limburg. Limburgish is spoken by 825,000 speakers. Though there are movements to have Limburgish recognized as an official language (meeting with varying amounts of success,) it is important to note that Limburgish in fact consists of a large amount of differing dialects that share some common aspects, but are quite different. [3]

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. This Nederlandse Gebarentaal (NGT) is still waiting for recognition. It is used by 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, 55– 59% of German and 19% of French.


Minority languages, regional languages and dialects in the Benelux


Frisian dialects

Frisian/Frysk is an official language in the Dutch province of Fryslân (Friesland). The government of the Frisian province is bilingual. Since 1996 Frisian is an official recognized language in the Netherlands.

Low Saxon dialects

Low Franconian dialects

Minority languages, regional languages and dialects in the Benelux countries
  • Hollandic
    • Kennemerlandic
    • Zaans
    • Waterlandic
    • Amsterdams
    • Strand-Hollands
    • Haags
    • Rotterdams
    • Utrechts-Alblasserwaards
    • Westhoeks
  • Zealandic-West Flemish (including French Flemish)
    • Zealandic
    • Burger-Zeeuws
    • Coastal West Flemish
    • Continental West Flemish
  • East Flemish
    • East Flemish
    • Gents
  • South Guelderish
    • Rivierenlands
    • Kleverlands
    • Liemers
    • Nijmeegs
  • Brabantian
    • Northwest Brabantian
    • Central north Brabantian
    • East Brabantian
    • Kempen Brabantian
    • South Brabantian
    • North Limburgian
  • Limburgish
    • West Limburgish
    • Central Limburgish
    • Southeast Limburgish
    • Low Dietsch

Central Franconian dialects

  • Luxembourgish
    • Moselle Luxembourgish
    • West Luxembourgish
    • East Luxembourgish
    • North Luxembourgish
    • City Luxembourgish

Oïl dialects



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



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