5 Facts About The Dutch Language
Updated: Sep 13, 2019
Ready to learn a few interesting facts about the Dutch language?
1. There are 28 million Dutch speakers worldwide, including 22 million native speakers. Dutch is mostly spoken in the Netherlands and Belgium, where it has official status, as well as in the Dutch Caribbean islands and Suriname.
2. Since Dutch is a Germanic language, Dutch has numerous compound words, that is words created by adding up several smaller words. Such words include:
Kindercarnavalsoptochtvoorbereidingswerkzaamhedenplan, deemed the longest Dutch word, and meaning “preparation activities plan for a children’s carnival procession and there
are quite a few more long words which are known to be tongue twisters!
3. Approximately 140,000 Americans still speak Dutch at home. In New York, alongside the Hudson River, Dutch settlers and their descendants spoke Dutch for generations. In fact, Martin Van Buren, the eighth President of the United States, spoke Dutch as a child, as his first language. Van Buren was the only US president to speak English as a second language.
4. Dutch is the 7th most spoken language in Europe and the 30th most spoken language in the world. The Netherlands and Belgium are also two of the largest trading partners of the US. Many Dutch speakers can converse very well in English, but having a knowledge in Dutch
can still be an asset for US and UK based employers. In fact Dutch is one of the top 5 most requested languages for UK employers along with German, French, Spanish, and Italian. Don't be fooled, Dutch is more valuable than what people think!
5. The Dutch language is a West Germanic language which derived from the Old Frankish language, which also influenced Old French. Old Dutch began around 400/500 AD.