Language - Dutch language

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Dutch language

Dutch is a West Germanic language spoken by around 23 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting the majority of people in the Netherlands (where it is the sole official language ) and Belgium (as one of three official languages). It is the third most widely spoken Germanic language, after its close relatives English and German.

Outside the Low Countries, it is the native language of the majority of the population of Suriname where it also holds an official status, as it does in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, which are constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands located in the Caribbean. Historical linguistic minorities on the verge of extinction remain in parts of France and Germany, and in Indonesia, In France, a historical dialect called French Flemish is spoken. There are about 80,000 Dutch speakers in France; see. In French Flanders, only a remnant of 20,000 Flemish-speakers remain; see. French Flemish is spoken in the north-west of France by an estimated population of 20,000 daily speakers and 40,000 occasional speakers; see. 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. In 1941, about 0.5% of the inland population had a reasonable knowledge of Dutch; see. 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. Many older Indonesians speak Dutch as a second language; see. Some of the ethnic Chinese in Indonesia speak Dutch amongst each other; see, . Dutch is spoken by "smaller groups of speakers" in Indonesia; see. 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. At present, only educated people of the oldest generation, in addition to specialists who require knowledge of the language, can speak Dutch fluently; see. Around 25% of present-day Indonesian vocabulary can be traced back to Dutch words, see. while up to half a million native speakers may reside in the United States, Canada and Australia combined. The Cape Dutch dialects of Southern Africa have evolved into Afrikaans, a mutually intelligible daughter language which is spoken to some degree by at least 16 million people, mainly in South Africa and Namibia.

Dutch is one of the closest relatives of both German and English and is colloquially said to be "roughly in between" them. 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 most of its case system. Features shared with German include the survival of two to three grammatical genders—albeit with few grammatical consequences—as well as the use of modal particles, final-obstruent devoicing, and a similar word order. Dutch vocabulary is mostly Germanic and incorporates slightly more Romance loans than German but far fewer than English. As with German, the vocabulary of Dutch also has strong similarities with the continental Scandinavian languages, but is not mutually intelligible in text or speech with any of the three.

In both Belgium and the Netherlands, the native official name for Dutch is Nederlands. Sometimes Vlaams ("Flemish") is used as well to describe Standard Dutch in Flanders. Over time, the Dutch language has been known under a variety of names. In Middle Dutch Dietsc, Duutsc, or Duitsc was used. It derived from the Old Germanic word theudisk, which literally means "popular" or "belonging to the populace". In Western Europe this term was used for the language of the local Germanic populace as opposed to Latin, the non-native language of writing and the Catholic Church. In the first text in which it is found, dating from 784, theodisce refers to Anglo-Saxon, the West Germanic dialects of Britain. Although in Britain the name Englisc replaced theodisce early on, speakers of West Germanic in other parts of Europe continued to use theodisce to refer to their local speech. With the rise of local powers in the Low Countries during the Middle Ages, language names derived from these local polities came in use as well i.e.Vlaemsch, Hollandsch, and Brabantsch. The more powerful the local polity, the wider the use of its name for the language became. These names still survive in the corresponding dialect groups spoken today.

Owing to commercial and colonial rivalry in the 16th and 17th centuries between England and the Low Countries, a cognate of theodisk (most likely Middle Dutch Duutsc) was borrowed into English and developed into the exonym Dutch, which came to refer exclusively to the people of the Netherlands. (A usage of the English term Dutch that includes German survives in the United States in the name Pennsylvania Dutch for a local German dialect and its speakers, commonly believed to be a corruption of their endonym Deitsch.) In the Low Countries on the contrary, Dietsch or Duytsch as endonym for Dutch went out of common use and was gradually replaced by the Dutch endonym Nederlands. This designation started at the Burgundian court in the 15th century, although the use of neder, laag, bas, and inferior ("nether" or "low") to refer to the area known as the Low Counties goes back further in time. The Romans referred to the region as Germania Inferior ("Lower" Germania). It is a reference to the Low Countries' downriver location at the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta near the North Sea.

From 1551 the designation Nederlands received strong competition from the name Nederduits ("Low Dutch;" Dutch is used here in its archaic sense that covers all continental West Germanic languages). It is a calque of the before mentioned Roman province Germania Inferior and an attempt by early Dutch grammarians to give their language more prestige by linking it to Roman times. Likewise, Hoogduits ("High Dutch") came into use as a Dutch exonym for the German language, spoken in neighboring German states. However, 19th century Germany saw the rise of the categorisation of dialects, and German dialectologists termed the German dialects spoken in the mountainous south of Germany as Hochdeutsch ("High German"). Subsequently, German dialects spoken in the north were designated as Niederdeutsch ("Low German"). The names for these dialects were calqued in the Dutch language area as the exonyms Nederduits and Hoogduits. As a result, Nederduits no longer served as a synonym for the Dutch language, and Nederlands prevailed as sole Dutch endonym. It also meant that Hoog ("High") had to be dropped in one of the two meanings of Hoogduits, leading to the narrowing down of Duits as Dutch exonym for the German language, and Hoogduits as reference for southern German dialects.

Country

Indonesia

Indonesia (, ; Indonesian: ), officially the Republic of Indonesia (Republik Indonesia ), is a country in Southeast Asia, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is the world's largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands, and at 1,904,569 km2, the 14th largest by land area and the 7th largest in combined sea and land area. With over million people, it is the world's 4th most populous country as well as the most populous Muslim-majority country. Java, the world's most populous island, contains more than half of the country's population.

The sovereign state is a presidential, constitutional republic with an elected parliament. It has 34 provinces, of which five have special status. Jakarta, the country's capital, is the second most populous urban area in the world. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and the eastern part of Malaysia. Other neighbouring countries include Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia, Palau, and India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support a high level of biodiversity. The country has abundant natural resources like oil and natural gas, tin, copper and gold. Agriculture mainly produces rice, palm oil, tea, coffee, cacao, medicinal plants, spices and rubber. Indonesia's major trading partners are China, United States, Japan, Singapore and India.

Belgium

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30688 km2 and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.

The sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is complex and is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds. It is divided into three highly autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, and the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita.

Netherlands

The Netherlands (Nederland, ) is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

The six largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Eindhoven and Tilburg. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General, Cabinet and Supreme Court. The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, and the largest in any country outside Asia. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union. It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, which is consequently dubbed 'the world's legal capital'.

Aruba

Aruba (Papiamento: ) is an island and a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the southern Caribbean Sea, located about 1600 km west of the main part of the Lesser Antilles and 29 km north of the coast of Venezuela. It measures 32 km long from its northwestern to its southeastern end and 10 km across at its widest point. Together with Bonaire and Curaçao, Aruba forms a group referred to as the ABC islands. Collectively, Aruba and the other Dutch islands in the Caribbean are often called the Dutch Caribbean.

Aruba is one of the four countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with the Netherlands, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten; the citizens of these countries are all Dutch nationals. Aruba has no administrative subdivisions, but, for census purposes, is divided into eight regions. Its capital is Oranjestad.

Caribbean Netherlands

The Caribbean Netherlands (Caribisch Nederland, ) are the three special municipalities of the Netherlands that are located in the Caribbean Sea. They consist of the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, although the term "Caribbean Netherlands" is sometimes used to refer to all of the islands in the Dutch Caribbean. In legislation, the three islands are also known as the BES islands (an acronym of their names). The islands are currently classified as public bodies in the Netherlands and as overseas countries and territories of the European Union; thus, EU law does not automatically apply.

Bonaire (including the islet of Klein Bonaire) is one of the Leeward Antilles and is located close to the coast of Venezuela. Sint Eustatius and Saba are in the main Lesser Antilles group and are located south of Sint Maarten and northwest of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Curaçao

Curaçao (Curaçao, ; Kòrsou, ) is a Lesser Antilles island in the southern Caribbean Sea and the Dutch Caribbean region, about 65 km north of the Venezuelan coast. It is a constituent country (land) of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The country was formerly part of the Curaçao and Dependencies colony (1815–1954) and is now formally called the Country of Curaçao (Land Curaçao; Pais Kòrsou); it includes the main island of Curaçao and the uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao ("Little Curaçao"). Curaçao has a population over 160,000 in an area of 444 km2 and its capital is Willemstad.

Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean Sea. With a population of 40,120 on an area of 37 km2, it encompasses the southern 40% of the divided island of Saint Martin, while the northern 60% of the island constitutes the French overseas collectivity of Saint-Martin, the only place that France borders the Netherlands. Sint Maarten's capital is Philipsburg.

Before 10 October 2010, Sint Maarten was known as the Island Territory of Sint Maarten (Eilandgebied Sint Maarten), and was one of five island territories (eilandgebieden) that constituted the Netherlands Antilles.

Suriname

Suriname (, US also, also sometimes spelled Surinam), officially known as the Republic of Suriname (Republiek Suriname ), is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west and Brazil to the south. At just under 165000 km2, it is the smallest sovereign state in South America. Suriname has a population of approximately, most of whom live on the country's north coast, in and around the capital and largest city, Paramaribo.

Suriname was long inhabited by various indigenous people before being invaded and contested by European powers from the 16th century, eventually coming under Dutch rule in the late 17th century. As the chief sugar colony during the Dutch colonial period, it was primarily a plantation economy dependent on African slaves and, following the abolition of slavery in 1863, indentured servants from Asia. Suriname was ruled by the Dutch-chartered company Sociëteit van Suriname between 1683 and 1795.

Language

Dutch language (English)  Lingua olandese (Italiano)  Nederlands (Nederlands)  Néerlandais (Français)  Niederländische Sprache (Deutsch)  Língua neerlandesa (Português)  Нидерландский язык (Русский)  Idioma neerlandés (Español)  Język niderlandzki (Polski)  荷蘭語 (中文)  Nederländska (Svenska)  Limba neerlandeză (Română)  オランダ語 (日本語)  Нідерландська мова (Українська)  Нидерландски език (Български)  네덜란드어 (한국어)  Hollannin kieli (Suomi)  Bahasa Belanda (Bahasa Indonesia)  Olandų kalba (Lietuvių)  Nederlandsk (Dansk)  Nizozemština (Česky)  Felemenkçe (Türkçe)  Холандски језик (Српски / Srpski)  Hollandi keel (Eesti)  Holandčina (Slovenčina)  Holland nyelv (Magyar)  Nizozemski jezik (Hrvatski)  ภาษาดัตช์ (ไทย)  Nizozemščina (Slovenščina)  Nīderlandiešu valoda (Latviešu)  Ολλανδική γλώσσα (Ελληνικά)  Tiếng Hà Lan (Tiếng Việt) 
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