BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

14 October 2014
Other languages Languages

BBC Homepage
Languages
» European Languages
Languages
Countries
Family Tree
Definitions
Sources
Credits
 

Contact Us

Dutch, Nederlands

Related languages Dutch is a West Germanic language most closely related to low and high German.
European speakers 21,000,000 speakers
Territories One of the official languages of the European Union, Dutch is spoken in the Netherlands and in Belgium. There's also a small Dutch-speaking community in northern France around Dunkerque.
Alphabet Dutch uses the Latin alphabet.
First examples The first written example is a late 11th century love poem, written in old-Dutch or more specifically South-West Flemish:
Hebban olla vogala nestas hagunnan
All the birds have begun their nests
Hinase hic enda thu
except me and you
Uuat unbidan uue nu?
what are we waiting for?
Other facts The English name 'Dutch' derives from the old Dutch word 'Duyts(ch)', which means 'from the people'. The term was used as a collective name for the Dutch and German languages, as distinguished from Latin. Nowadays, the Dutch word 'Duits' is only used to refer to their neighbours, the Germans.

Key Phrases
Ja.
Yes.
Nee.
No.
Welkom!
Welcome!
Prettig met u kennis te maken.
Pleased to meet you.
Hoi.
Hello.
Dag.
Goodbye.
Dank u.
Thank you.
Ik heet ...
My name is ...
Spreekt u Engels?
Do you speak English?
Het spijt me, ik spreek
geen Nederlands.

I'm sorry, I don't speak Dutch.
Ik heb hulp nodig.
I need help.
Waar is het toilet, alstublieft?
Where is the toilet, please?

These audio clips require Flash.


Countries of Europe Countries Languages of Europe Languages
 


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy