Facts and figures

Dutch around the world

  • The Netherlands: 17 million speakers (also Frisian in Friesland)
  • Belgium (Flanders): 6.5 million speakers ( also French and German as official languages)
  • Suriname: 0.5 million speakers (more than 20 different native languages)
  • Former Netherlands Antilles (= 6 islands in the Caribbean Sea): till 10-10-2010
    3 Benedenwindse Eilanden (= Leeward Islands): Aruba, Bonaire & Curaçao
    3 Bovenwindse Eilanden (= Windward Islands): Saba, Sint-Eustatius & Sint-Maarten
    All islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but Aruba (since 1986) and Curaçao and Sint-Maarten (since 2010) has a status aparte (= an autonomous state) within the Kingdom, while Bonaire, Saba & Sint-Eustatius are bijzondere gemeenten
    (= special municipalities) of the country the Netherlands itself
  • Indonesia: spoken by older people, in use as source language (law & education)
  • South Africa: Afrikaans (= daughter or sister language of Dutch)

Dutch as a West Germanic language

  • North Sea Germans (‘Ingvaeones’) - Anglo-Frisian & Low German
  • Elbe Germans (‘Herminones’) - High German
  • Weser-Rhine Germans (‘Istvaeones’) - Old Frankish & Dutch

Dutch between English & German

  • Word order: SVO (English) vs SOV (German); Dutch: both
  • Morphology: plural –s (English) vs plural –en (German); Dutch: both
  • Gender of the nouns: the (English) vs der/die/das (German); Dutch: de/het

Dutch in many different ways

  • Many dialects vs one standard language (= a dialect with an army and a navy)
    Standard language: translation of the Bible in Dutch = Statenbijbel (1618-1637)
  • Also differences between Dutch Dutch, Belgian Dutch and Surinamese Dutch
    Pronunciation: new diphtongs (e.g. been, boom, buur), the pronunciation of the ‘r’
    Vocabulary: different attitudes towards influences from French and English

Dutch words in different kinds of English

  • Naval terms: brandy, buoy, cruiser, deck, freebooter, keelhauling, maelstrom, pump, skipper, sloop, starboard & yacht + Forlorn Hope (from land warfare)
  • New Amsterdam 1625-1664 (= New York): The Bowery, The Bronx, Bushwick, Coney Island, Catskill, Harlem (and the Spuyten Duyvil in Harlem River), Hells Gate, Long Island, Rhode Island, Sandy Hook, Staten Island & Wall Street
  • Dutch settlers in the Midwest from 1846: bakery, bake-oven, bake-pan, bedpan,  bed-spread, blickey, boodle, boonder, hoople, knicker & waffle-iron (household), coleslaw, cookie, noodlejees, olykoek, pot chees, smear-case, speck & waffle (food), beer-hall, dance house & kirmess (social life), stoop (stoep = sidewalks)
  • South Africa: aardvark, Afrikaans & apartheid