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Dutch

Photo courtesy of Laura Sharpe

Quick Facts

 

Total Worldwide Speakers: 21,730,290

 

Language Family: Indo-European

 

Spoken in:
 
Netherlands, Aruba, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia (Java and Bali), Netherlands Antilles, South Africa, Suriname, United States.

 

 

History:
 
The official or standard form of Dutch is known as Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands (ABN), 'general civilized Dutch'. It is taught in schools and used by authorities in the Netherlands, Flanders (Belgium), Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. An association known as the Taalunie (Language Union) set up by governments of the Netherlands and Flanders regulates the orthography and spelling of ABN.

 

The Dutch dialects spoken in Belgium are collectively know as Flemish (Vlaams). They differ to some extent from the Dutch spoken in the Netherlands in terms of intonation and pronunciation, and there are minor differences in vocabulary, including loanwords from French and English not found in Standard Dutch. The Dutch language developed from the Lower Franconian (Niederfränkisch) dialect of Low German.

 

The earliest known example of written Old Franconian appears in a 9th century Latin manuscript, the Laws of the Salic Franks, and in translations of the Psalms. Some poetry written in Middle Dutch dating from the 12th and 13th centuries survives. The Dutch translation of the Bible, the Staten-Bijbel, of 1619-1637 was one of the first major works in Modern Dutch.

 

 

Sources: The Ethnologue & Omniglot

Software


Talk Now! — Learn Dutch 

An interactive language learning program, Talk Now! is an excellent program for beginners to a new language. Features include speech recording to compare your voice to those of native speakers, quizzes, a printable dictionary, and more. Compatible on both PCs and Macs.

Web-Based Resources

Web-Based Software

Mango Languages LogoMango Languages is available free to all Saint Michael's students, faculty, and staff in a number of languages. Each Mango lesson is focused on practical, common conversation skills and includes instruction on vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture.

For assistance with Mango, please see the Getting Started with Mango Languages guide.

 

Web-Based Links

 
BBC Languages — Dutch

BBC Language is an online base language learning software that offers resources for Chinese, Spanish, French, English, and many more languages. Learn the basics of 36 different languages and the culture as well!

 
Global Road Warrior

Use this database to get acclimated to a country's business culture and etiquette (greetings & courtesies, ethics, meetings, attire), society and culture (gift giving, food, media, time & punctuality) and travel tips (money & banking, transportation, and more) for 175 countries.