Learn Survival Dutch
Wikitravel users have collectively created a free Dutch phrasebook with the goal of making it possible for travelers to "get by" while traveling in areas where Dutch is spoken.
Wikitravel phrasebooks are available in many languages and each one varies in depth and detail. Most of the phrasebooks include a pronunciation guide, a general phrase list, information about dates and numbers, a color list, transportation-related phrases, vocabulary for shopping and phrases for eating and drinking. Some are even more in depth, and all are free!
Dutch is a Germanic language spoken by about 27 million people world-wide. Most people living in the Netherlands and Flanders (the northern part of Belgium) use it as a first language, while in Suriname, Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles it is widely used as a second language. Historically, French Flanders and parts of the Lower Rhine Region in Germany also belong to the Dutch language sphere, and during the age of colonization it has also spread to Indonesia and other former Dutch colonies.
Dutch is the ancestor of the Afrikaans language spoken in South Africa and Namibia, which is mutually intelligible to Dutch. Lastly, it is closely related with other West Germanic languages, such as German (especially the Low German dialects), English and West Frisian.
Dutch (Nederlands) is a West Germanic language spoken natively by majorities in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Spoken in the European Union as a first language by about 23 million and as a second language by another 5 million, it also holds official status in the Caribbean island nations of Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint-Maarten. Historical minorities remain in parts of France and Germany, and to a lesser extent, in Indonesia, while there may be up to 600,000 native Dutch-speakers living in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The Cape Dutch dialects of Southern Africa have been standardised into Afrikaans, a mutually intelligible daughter language of Dutch which today is spoken to some degree by an estimated total of 15 to 23 million people in South Africa and Namibia.
Dutch is closely related to English and German and is said to be midway between both. Apart from not having undergone the High German consonant shift, Dutch—as English—also differs from German by the overall abandonment of the grammatical case system, the relative rarity of the Germanic umlaut, and a more regular morphology. Dutch has effectively two grammatical genders, but this distinction has far less grammatical consequences than in German. Dutch shares with German the use of subject-verb-object word order in main clauses and subject-object-verb in subordinate clauses. Dutch vocabulary is mostly Germanic and contains the same Germanic core as English, while incorporating more Romance loans than German.
Though Dutch generally refers to the language as a whole, Belgian varieties, collectively known as Flemish, are differentiated from Netherlands varieties, sometimes known as Netherlandic, though this last term is only used in specialist linguistic literature.
Dutch belongs to the following language family:
Indo-European Languages > Germanic Languages > West Germanic Languages > Low Franconian Languages > West Low Franconian (Dutch)