Ethnologue: Areas: Europe

Netherlands

15,312,000 (1995). Kingdom of the Netherlands, Koninkrijk der Nederlanden. Literacy rate 95% to 99%. Also includes Moroccan Arabic 100,000 (1984 Time), Tunisian Arabic 60,000, Yue Chinese 70,000, Upper Guinea Crioulo 12,000, Western Farsi 5,000, Indonesian 10,000, Javanese 7,500, Kurmanji 40,000, Ambonese Malay 45,000, Papiamentu 60,000, Sranan 225,000, Tamil 7,000, Turkish 192,000, Turoyo 4,000, Vietnamese 8,000, from Yugoslavia 16,000. Data accuracy estimate: B. Christian, secular, Muslim, Hindu. Blind population 8,000 (1982 WCE). Deaf population 28,000; 400,000 hearing impaired (1986 Gallaudet University). Deaf institutions: 44. The number of languages listed for Netherlands is 6.

DUTCH (NEDERLANDS, HOLLANDS, FLEMISH, VLAAMS, FLAMAND) [DUT] 13,400,000 in the Netherlands (1976 WA); 90,000 in France; 101,000 in Germany; 159,165 in Canada (1971 census); 5,640,150 in Belgium (1990 WA); 412,637 in USA (1970 census); 47,955 in Australia; 1,680 in Israel (1961); 1,000 or more in Surinam; 20,000,000 or more in all countries (J.G. Kooij in B. Comrie 1988); 21,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Also in Netherlands Antilles. Indo-European, Germanic, West, Continental, Low, Dutch. A number of dialects are not inherently intelligible. National language. Typology: SOV. Braille Bible. Bible 1522-1988. NT 1480-1992. Bible portions 1477-1986.

DUTCH SIGN LANGUAGE (SIGN LANGUAGE OF THE NETHERLANDS, SLN) [DSE] 20,000 deaf adults use Dutch Sign Language. There are 400,000 hearing impaired; 28,000 deaf (1986 Gallaudet Univ.). Deaf sign language. There are 5 varieties associated with 5 schools for the deaf, each with about 1,500 students. There have been elementary schools for the deaf since 1790. Developed from French Sign Language, some features similar to American and British sign languages. Currently in transition. Distinct from Signed Dutch. There is a manual system for spelling. Some signed interpretation on TV. Dictionary.

FRISIAN, WESTERN (FRYSK, FRIES) [FRI] 700,000 in Netherlands; 400,000 in Friesland; 300,000 in other parts of Netherlands (1976 Stephens); 30,000 in USA; 730,000 or more in all countries. Friesland, northern Netherlands, also small areas of Germany, Denmark; Ontario, Canada; Michigan, USA. Indo-European, Germanic, West, North Sea, Frisian. Dialect: TOWN FRISIAN. Linguistically between Dutch and English. Most speakers are bilingual in Dutch, which is replacing West Frisian. Western Frisian is not intelligible with Eastern and Northern Frisian of Germany (E. Matteson SIL 1978). It has an official orthography in the Netherlands. Bilingual education is compulsory in Friesland but speakers are not generally literate in Frisian. 71% lexical similarity with Standard German, 61% with English, 74% with Eastern Frisian. Town Frisian is a mixed language. National language. Bible 1943-1978. NT 1933. Bible portions 1755-1937.

ROMANI, SINTE [RMO] 500 to 1,000 Manouche in the Netherlands; 200,000 in all countries (1980 UBS). Reported to be 8,000 Gypsies in the Netherlands (1993 Johnstone). Also Yugoslavia, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Romani, Northern. Dialect: MANOUCHE. A Gypsy language. Christian. Bible portions 1875-1930. Work in progress.

ROMANI, VLACH [RMY] 1,000 in the Netherlands including 500 Kalderash, 500 Lovari; 1,500,000 in all countries (1986 estimate). Also in Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Italy, England, Germany, France, Hungary, Sweden, Norway, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Slovakia, Ukraine, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, USA. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Romani, Vlax. Dialects: KALDERASH, LOVARI. A Gypsy language. Christian. NT 1984-1986. Bible portions 1930-1986.

SAXON, LOW (NEDDERSASSISCH, NIEDERSAECHSISCH, NEDERSAKSISCH) [SXN] 1,500,000 speakers in the Netherlands (1996 R. F. Hahn); an estimated 10,000,000 in Germany understand it, but the number of native speakers is much lower (1996 R. F. Hahn). Northeastern provinces. Also in Germany. Pomerano is used in Latin America. Indo-European, Germanic, West, Continental, Low. Dialects: STELLINGWERF (STELLINGWERFS), WEST GRONINGEN (WEST-GRONINGS), GRONINGEN-EASTFRISIAN (GRONINGS-OOSTFRIES), NORTH DRENTE (NOORD-DRENTS), VEEN COLONY (VEENKOLONIAALS), WESTERWOLD (WESTERWOLDS), SOUTH DRENTE (ZUID-DRENTS), SALLAND (SALLANDS), TWENTE (TWENTS), ACHTERHOEK (ACHTERHOEKS), VELUWE (VELUWS). Officially recognized as a regional language in the northeastern provinces of the Netherlands, and in 8 states of Germany. The primary language of many rural people. Most speakers in the Netherlands have Dutch as their second language. A direct descendant of Old Saxon, related to English. Its modern forms have been largely suppressed until recently, and have received much German, Dutch, or Frisian influence, depending on the area. Printed fairly widely outside Europe, particularly in North and Latin America, Australia, Southern Africa, Eastern Europe, Inner Asia (Siberia, Kazakhstan). Close to Plautdietsch. NT 1915.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
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