DUTCH LANGUAGE ACQUISITION WORLDWIDE
WE OFFER DUTCH LANGUAGE TRAINING, COURSES & CULTURAL IMMERSION IN THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:
:: DUTCH language acquisition in the NETHERLANDS
:: DUTCH language acquisition in BELGIUM
:: DUTCH language acquisition in FRANCE
Dutch is a West Germanic language spoken by over 22 million people as a native language and over 5 million people as a second language. Most native speakers live in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, with smaller groups of speakers in parts of France, Germany and former Dutch colonies. It is closely related to other West Germanic languages (e.g., English, Scots, West Frisian and German) and also to the North Germanic languages.
Dutch is the parent language of Afrikaans and of several creole languages, most of which are now extinct. The Dutch Language Union coordinates actions of the Dutch, Flemish and Surinamese authorities in linguistic issues, language policy, language teaching and literature.
Dutch is the official and foremost language of the Netherlands, a nation of 16.4 million people, of whom 96 percent say Dutch is their mother tongue.
Belgium has three official languages, which are, in order from the greatest speaker population to the smallest, Dutch (sometimes colloquially referred to as Flemish), French, and German. An estimated 59% of all Belgians speak Dutch, while French is spoken by 40%. Dutch is the official language of the Flemish Region (where it is the mother tongue of about 97% of the population)and one of the two official languages, along with French, of the Brussels Capital Region.
French Flemish, a variant of West Flemish, is spoken in the north-east of France by an estimated population of 20,000 daily speakers and 40,000 occasional speakers. It is spoken alongside French, which is gradually replacing it for all purposes and in all areas of communication. Neither Dutch, nor its regional French Flemish variant, is afforded any legal status in France, either by the central or regional public authorities, by the education system or before the courts. In brief, the State is not taking any measures to ensure use of Dutch in France.
Aruba & Others
In contrast to the colonies in the East Indies, from the second half of the 19th century onwards, the Netherlands envisaged expansion of Dutch in its colonies in the West Indies. Until 1863, when slavery was abolished in the West Indies, slaves were forbidden to speak Dutch. Most important were the efforts of Christianisation through Dutchification, which did not occur in Indonesia due to a policy of non-involvement in already Islamised regions. Secondly, most of the people in Dutch Guyana (now Suriname) worked on Dutch plantations, which reinforced the importance of Dutch as a means for direct communication. In Indonesia, the colonial authorities had less interference in economic life. The size of the population was decisive: whereas the Antilles and Dutch Guyana combined only had a few hundred thousand inhabitants, Indonesia had many millions, by far outnumbering the population of the Netherlands.
In Suriname (former Dutch Guiana), where in the second half of the 19th century the Dutch authorities introduced a policy of assimilation, Dutch is the sole official language and over 60 percent of the population speaks it as a mother tongue. In Curacao and Sint Maarten, both part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Dutch is the official language but spoken as a first language by only seven to eight percent of the population although most native-born people on the islands can speak the language since the education system is in Dutch at some or all levels.