From Namespedia - Names Meaning and Origins
Dutch is a West Germanic Language, spoken by a total of 24 million people, most of them ( 15 million )living in Netherlands and the rest living in Belgium,France, Germany,Surinam ( South America),Netherlands Antilles in the Carribean Sea and many other places. Afrikaans, one of the official languages of South Afrika, also most widely understood in Namibia, evolved from Dutch. The name Dutch is derived from the word Dietsc , or Duutsc, which means “language of the people”.
The history of Dutch language begins around 500-700 AD, as a descendant of Old Frankish ( a west Germanic tribal language) and the Frisian language, spoken by the original inhabitants of Holland.Old Low Franconian represents the northern dialects of Old Frankish, and its divided into two groups:Old East Low Franconian and Old West Low Franconian, also called Old Dutch.These two groups are so similar that is very hard to say if whether a text is closer to Old Dutch or to OLD East Low Franconian. In 1618 the Curch has an important influence on unifying the dialects spoken all over the country.The Bible was translated into Dutch so that everyone could understand it. It contains elements from various dialects(Low Saxon too), but mostly based on the urban dialects from Holland.
In 1930’s Dutch was made the official language of northern part of Belgium.The Dutch dialects spoken there are so called “ Flemish”.In Flanders there are five main dialects: West-Vlaams, Oost-Vlaams, Antwerps, Brabants/Brussels, and Limburgs.Some dialects are so distinct from one another that they could be considered different languages( especially West Flemish).The dialect borders do not correspond to the geopolitical boundaries.The Antwerp-Brabant extends into Germany and West-Flemish is spoken in the Northern part of France, next to Belgium.
Articles in category "Dutch"
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