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Why choose Lector?
Did you know about the Dutch language?
- Speakers. Dutch (or Low German) is spoken by some 23 million people worldwide as their mother tongue, and a further 5 million as a second language. It belongs to the West Germanic Lower Frankish branch of the Indo-European language family.
- There are three main groups of dialects: (Lower) Franconian, Limburg, and (Lower) Saxon.
- Official language in two countries: the Netherlands and northern Belgium.
- Afrikaans - a very closely related language. Afrikaans is the only Dutch-based Creole language still widely spoken and is one of the 11 official languages of the Republic of South Africa. It is also one of the few Creole languages to have become a literary language and achieved the status of a standard language. Afrikaans and Dutch are characterised by a high degree of mutual intelligibility, but are clearly two separate languages.
- Dutch and Flemish. It is a mistake to talk about two languages, Dutch and Flemish. At most, there can be two versions.
- A funny explanation for the pronunciation of the language is that Dutch was created when a drunken English sailor tried to speak German. The explanation is that Dutch, German and English are all West Germanic languages. Today's Dutch is largely derived from Old French, which only separated from the other Low Germanic dialects around 600 AD.
- History. Linguists place the independence of the Dutch language around 700 AD. The Old Germanic sound shift during the 5th-8th century did not affect Dutch. This resulted in the phonetic difference between Dutch and German.
- The vocabulary of the Dutch language is largely Germanic in origin, but many Latin, German, French and English words have also been introduced into the language - in the order described.
- The Woerdenboek de Nederlandsche Taal is the largest monolingual dictionary in the world, taking 134 years to compile. The dictionary was published in 40 volumes.