|Languages of Netherlands|
|Regional||Frisian (2.50%), English (BES Islands), Papiamento (Bonaire);|
Dutch Low Saxon (10.9%) Limburgish (4.50%)
|Immigrant||Indonesian (2%), Varieties of Arabic (1.5%), Turkish (1.5%), Berber languages (1%), Polish (1%) See further: Immigration to the Netherlands|
|Foreign||English (90-93%) (excluding the BES Islands) |
German (71%), French (29%), Spanish (5%)
|Signed||Dutch Sign Language|
US international QWERTY
|Life in the Netherlands|
|This article is a part of a series on|
|Low Saxon dialects|
|West Low Franconian dialects|
|East Low Franconian dialects|
The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch, spoken by almost all people in the Netherlands. Dutch is also spoken and official in Aruba, Bonaire, Belgium, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten and Suriname. It is a West Germanic, Low Franconian language that originated in the Early Middle Ages (c. 470) and was standardised in the 16th century.
There are also some recognised provincial languages and regional dialects.
However, both Low Saxon and Limburgish spread across the Dutch-German border and belong to a common Dutch-German dialect continuum.
The Netherlands also has its separate Dutch Sign Language, called Nederlandse Gebarentaal (NGT). It has 17,500 users, and in 2021 received the status of recognised language.
Between 90% and 93% of the total population are able to converse in English, 71% in German, 29% in French and 5% in Spanish.
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 West 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.
The mutual intelligibility in reading between Dutch and Frisian is limited. A cloze test in 2005 revealed native Dutch speakers understood 31.9% of a West Frisian newspaper, 66.4% of an Afrikaans newspaper and 97.1% of a Dutch newspaper.
Note that Ripuarian is not recognised as a regional language of the Netherlands.
Luxembourgish is divided into Moselle Luxembourgish, West Luxembourgish, East Luxembourgish, North Luxembourgish and City Luxembourgish. 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).
The central office of the Universal Esperanto Association is in Rotterdam.
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