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Dutch spelling law

The Dutch language files

Nederlands, the Dutch language

Dutch is an Indo-European, Western-Germanic language. It is closely related to modern German, and more distantly to English.

Dutch, or nederlands, is the official language of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and of Flanders (the north of Belgium,) although the matter is a bit more complex in the region surrounding Brussels. About 23 million in Europe and 5 million elsewhere speak Dutch (not including Afrikaans) as their mother tongue.

Nederlands is the official language in Suriname on the northeast coast of South America, now a sovereign country and formerly a constituent of the empire.

Dutch remains influential in a great part of Indonesia, although since 1963 it is nowhere on the archipelago an official language.

The basis of Afrikaans in South Africa is Dutch, and the two languages are mutually intelligible — if they are even truly separate. In the bordering Namibia, Afrikaans is an important non-official language, and serves as the lingua franca. In South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, there may be as many Afrikaans speakers as there are Continental Europeans who speak Dutch.