What are the Main Language of the Netherlands Is?

main language of the netherlands

What are the Main Language of the Netherlands Is?

What are the Main Language of the Netherlands Is?

(Last Updated On: November 15, 2023)


The Netherlands is home to many different kinds of people, which means the country speaks multiple languages, too. If you’re visiting the Netherlands for business or pleasure, it can be helpful to know what the primary language of the Netherlands is so you can connect with local people and understand signs and directions! This article breaks down exactly what the primary language of the Netherlands is.

The Two Languages

Dutch language (Nederlands) is the native language spoken in The Netherlands. The country’s official languages are Dutch and Frisian. However, because English is taught in schools and is widely used for business and travel purposes, English can be considered an unofficial second language for many Dutch citizens. More than 23 million native speakers in Europe alone, making it one of Europe’s major languages. Lower-class people tend to speak in a local dialect, while the middle and upper classes speak Standard Dutch.

How many people speak Dutch in the Netherlands?

Dutch was listed as one of three official languages in The Netherlands in 1996. There are currently 23 million people that speak Dutch worldwide, most of whom live in The Netherlands. On top of that, there are also 4 million people worldwide who speak the Dutch language as a second or foreign language. In addition to being an official language, Dutch is also considered a regional language in Belgium and Suriname.

netherlands language
netherlands official language

Where Is Dutch Spoken Around The World?

Dutch speakers can be found in every corner of the globe. Their most widespread communities are located in Europe, but there are also large groups in South Africa, North America, and Australia. There are about 23 million people who speak Dutch daily around the world.

Is it true that everyone in Holland speaks English?

Most people in Holland speak English, but they are much better at speaking Dutch. While many people living in other countries claim that they do not need to learn another language because everyone speaks English, it might not be as simple in your case. When visiting other countries that do not speak your native tongue, a little effort can go a long way. Understanding how to tell a new language will help you communicate and connect with others, even if it’s just basic conversation.

Dutch Culture and Society

The Netherlands is a small, densely populated country of about 17 million people. It has a long history as an independent state, and it’s the only European country to have been occupied by Germanic tribes in ancient times. This, combined with the 23 million mother tongue or native speakers, means Dutch is the third most widely spoken Germanic language, after English and German.

The Dutch are known for their tolerance and friendliness towards foreigners, especially from neighboring countries like Germany, France, and Belgium. Religious, cultural, and ethnic diversity are considered the essence of Dutch culture. They are also famous for their love of bikes and cycling.

There are two types of Dutch society: urban and rural. Urban areas tend to be larger and have more jobs than rural areas. Cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Eindhoven are some of the largest cities in the world. Rural areas are where most of the country’s farms are located. This, combined with the 23 million mother tongue or native speakers, means Dutch is the third most widely spoken Germanic language, after English and German. Dutch speaker has an easier time understanding Afrikaans than the other way around. However, the percentage of Dutch speakers in South America used to be much higher.

what language they speak netherlands

The Regional Languages Of The Netherlands

Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands. It’s also spoken in Belgium, Luxembourg, and Flanders (the northern part of France). However, many other languages are spoken throughout the country. These include:

Flemish – A dialect of Dutch spoken in Flanders, the northern region of Belgium.

French – A Romance language spoken in the southern half of the Netherlands.

Low Saxon – A West Germanic language spoken in the eastern parts of the Netherlands.

German – A West Germanic Language is spoken in the western half of the Netherlands. There are three major varieties: Standard German, Swiss-German, and Austrian German.

Afrikaans – A Southern African language closely related to Dutch.

English – An international language spoken in the Netherlands. Many people speak English as a second language.


The language is a West Germanic language spoken by about 453,000 speakers in the country. Most Frisian speakers live in the Friesland province of the Netherlands. It serves as the co-official language of the Friesland province.


English serves as the official language of the BES Islands of the Netherlands. Most schools in the region use English as the primary medium of instruction. English is also recognized as an official language by the Amsterdam Municipality, but here, it has a lower status than Dutch. In Amsterdam, English can be used as a means of communication, but most publications and administrative work must use Dutch.

holland official language

Other Important Dutch Facts

Dutch, Flemish, and Surinamese are dialects in the West Germanic branch of the Germanic languages. As a result, they are mutually intelligible to a high degree. In addition, many Dutchmen understand French, and many Flemings understand English. Nevertheless, any non-native speaker trying to communicate in these languages will usually make mistakes. Three minority languages are also officially protected, including the prevalent South-Eastern Limburgish, followed by West Frisian and Dutch Low Saxon.

  1. According to the Euro Barometer, around 56% of Dutch people play sports weekly, compared to the European average of 40%.
  2. Dutch people are free to choose their spouses.
  3. Dutch is probably the most accessible language to learn for English speakers as it positions itself somewhere between German and English.
  4. The royal family is loved by many Dutch people.
  5. The official language of the Netherlands is Standard Dutch. However, it also has official status in Belgium.
  6. Netherland’s political system is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy.
  7. The Netherlands also has its separate Dutch Sign Language, called Nederlandse Gebarentaal (NGT).
  8. The Dutch are the tallest people in the world.


What is the primary language of the Netherlands?

Dutch is a national language in the Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname in South America, and the Dutch Antilles. The two languages are spoken by different groups, with Dutch being a Low German dialect and English being an Anglo-Saxon dialect. In addition to these two languages, other regional languages such as Frisian, Limburgish, Sallandse Taal (West Frisian), Afrikaans, and Arumeru (Surinam).

How do I get around Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is a city with an incredible range of options for getting from A to B. Whether you want to explore the city on foot, by bike, or even by boat, there are plenty of ways to see all that Amsterdam has to offer. Amsterdam is divided into 12 boroughs (or wijken) which can easily be navigated using public transport. Most visitors start their exploration at Centraal Station, connected to every part of the city via metro, tram, and bus lines.

The best way to get around Amsterdam is by bicycle. There is over 10,000 km of cycle paths throughout the city, meaning your journey is never too far away. If you prefer to travel by car, the city offers a free parking system called ‘Park & Ride.’ Simply park your vehicle at one of the designated lots and take the train to the next lot.

Where should I stay in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is a great city to visit, and it’s easy to see why. It has a fantastic history, beautiful architecture, world-class museums, friendly locals, delicious food, and more than enough things to do to keep you busy for weeks.

There are thousands of hotels in Amsterdam, but not all are suitable for everyone. Some are small, others are big, and some are cheap while others are expensive. If you’re looking for something specific, try searching online for “hotels in.” For example, if you search for “hotel in Amsterdam,” you’ll find many hotels near Amsterdam Central Station.

Is the English language an official language of the Netherlands?

English is not an official language of the Netherlands, but it is widely spoken throughout the country. It is the most commonly used second language in the Netherlands. The majority of Amsterdam’s residents speak English well and are often fluent in one or two languages.

What Are Some Famous Dutch People?

There have been several famous Dutch people throughout time. Here are some of them:

  1. Willem-Alexander – Prince of Orange (b. 1982) – Heir to the throne of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
  2. Queen Beatrix (1928–2013) – Former queen of the Netherlands. She was married to King Willem-Alexander.
  3. Princess Máxima (born 1988) – She is the current heir to the Dutch throne.
  4. Princess Margriet (1925–2015) – She was the first wife of Queen Juliana.
  5. Prince Bernhard van Oranje Nassau (1892–1980) – First cousin of Queen Wilhelmina.
  6. Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands (b. 1960) – He is the son of Princess Irene and Prince Claus.
  7. Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands (b 1950) – She is the daughter of Prince Bernhard.
  8. Princess Christina of Sweden (b. 1961) – She is the eldest child of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.
  9. Princess Astrid of Norway (b. 1975) – She is the youngest child of Crown Prince Haakon.
Questions? Get in touch 24/7

Request quote
[brb_collection id="37019"]