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Dutch (About this sound Nederlands ) is a West Germanic language that is spoken in the European Union by about 23 million people as a first language—including most of the population of the Netherlands and about sixty percent of that of Belgium—and by another 5 million as a second language.<ref name="Eurobarometer Languages">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }} "1% of the EU population claims to speak Dutch well enough in order to have a conversation." (page 153)</ref><ref name="UofL" /><ref name="taalgebied" /><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Outside of the Low Countries, it is the native language of the majority of the population of Suriname, and also holds official status in the Caribbean island nations of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Historical minorities remain in parts of France and Germany, and to a lesser extent, in Indonesia,<ref group="n">In France, a historical dialect called French Flemish is spoken. There are about 80,000 Dutch speakers in France; see {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}. In French Flanders, only a remnant of between 50,000 to 100,000 Flemish-speakers remain; see {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}. Flemish is spoken in the north-west of France by an estimated population of 20,000 daily speakers and 40,000 occasional speakers; see {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.
A dialect continuum exists between Dutch and German through the South Guelderish and Limburgish dialects.
In 1941, 400,000 Indonesians spoke Dutch, and Dutch exerted a major influence on Indonesian; see {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}. In 1941, about 0.5% of the inland population had a reasonable knowledge of Dutch; see {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}. At the beginning of World War II, about one million Asians had an active command of Dutch, while an additional half million had a passive knowledge; see {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}. Many older Indonesians speak Dutch as a second language; see {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}. Some of the ethnic Chinese in Indonesia speak Dutch amongst each other; see {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}, {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}. Dutch is spoken by "smaller groups of speakers" in Indonesia; see {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}. Some younger Indonesians learn Dutch as a foreign language because their parents and grandparents may speak it and because in some circles, Dutch is regarded as the language of the elite; see {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}. At present, only educated people of the oldest generation, in addition to specialists who require knowledge of the language, can speak Dutch fluently; see {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}. Around 25% of present-day Indonesian vocabulary can be traced back to Dutch words, see {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> while up to half a million native speakers may reside in the United States, Canada and Australia combined.Unknown extension tag "ref" The Cape Dutch dialects of Southern Africa have evolved into Afrikaans, a mutually intelligible daughter language<ref group="n">Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}, {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}, {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}, {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}, {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}, {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.
Afrikaans was historically called Cape Dutch; see {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}, {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}, {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}, {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}, {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}, {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.
Afrikaans is rooted in 17th century dialects of Dutch; see {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}, {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}, {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}, {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.
Afrikaans is variously described as a creole, a partially creolised language, or a deviant variety of Dutch; see {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> which is spoken to some degree by at least 16 million people, mainly in South Africa and Namibia.Unknown extension tag "ref"

Dutch is one of the closest relatives of both German and EnglishUnknown extension tag "ref" and is said to be roughly in between them.Unknown extension tag "ref" Dutch, like English, has not undergone the High German consonant shift, does not use Germanic umlaut as a grammatical marker, has largely abandoned the use of the subjunctive, and has levelled much of its morphology, including the case system.Unknown extension tag "ref" Features shared with German include the survival of three grammatical genders—albeit with few grammatical consequencesUnknown extension tag "ref"—and the use of modal particles,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> final-obstruent devoicing, and V2 with subject–object–verb word order.Unknown extension tag "ref" Dutch vocabulary is mostly Germanic and incorporates more Romance loans than German but fewer than English.Unknown extension tag "ref"


Dutch language sections
Intro  Names  Classification  Geographic distribution  History  Dialects  Phonology  Grammar  Vocabulary, spelling and writing system   Dutch as a foreign language  Popular misconceptions  See also  Notes  References  Bibliography  External links  

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