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Languages in Netherlands

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The Netherlands (or Nederlands in the Dutch language) has Dutch language as their national and official language with almost 96% of its population adopting it as their mother tongue. Dutch is spoken by over 22 million people all over the world as their native language and almost 5 million as their second language. Most speakers of the language are citizens of the Netherlands, Belgium and Suriname, with some speakers in France, Germany and former Dutch colonies like Indonesia. It came from the West Germanic language family. Its official language name is Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands or General Civilized Dutch.

A small portion of the country’s population speaks Frisian language. People from Fryslan (Friesland) speak Frisian as their mother tongue. Other languages in the country include Turkish, Limburgish, Arabic and Low Saxon. Moreover, there are many immigrants in the country coming from different cultures and speaking different languages. In this light, there are many other languages spoken in the Netherlands which includes Indonesian, Moroccan, Sranan and Papiamento.

Dutch is also the language of instruction in the schools throughout the Netherlands. With its effective education system, the Netherlands boasts of 99% literacy rate which shows proof of an effective language of instruction. This 99% literacy rate is tested among people aged 15 and above who can read and write.

Netherlands means “low land” in Dutch, with Neder meaning “low” and land meaning the same thing.

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