Dutch is a West Germanic language and is spoken by over 27 million people. Of these, 22 million are native speakers. Dutch is a first language in the Netherlands and Belgium and has some minor speech communities in France, Germany and some former colonies, such as Suriname.
Dutch displays some similarities with Low German, English, and Frisian. For speaker of those languages, it is quite easy to communicate. Afrikaans, which is spoken in South Africa and Namibia, can be traced back to the Dutch language.
As in nearly every language, one can find many varieties of Dutch when looking at the different regions and countries. In Europe, more specifically in parts of the Netherlands, Belgium and France we can divide the dialects into three major groups: Low Franconian, Lower Saxon, and Ripuarian. A further variety of Dutch in Belgium is called “Flemish” and is differentiated from other dialects.
A peculiarity of Dutch is the inventory of vowels. There are 13 simple vowels and 4 diphthongs, i.e. sounds that consist of two vowels. They often pose difficulty for foreign learners, because of their sound.
There are 26 letter in the Dutch alphabet – it is identical to the Latin alphabet. We can find the letter y only in loanwords, though.
With the help of Lingi, you can translate any word from English to Dutch or vice versa. You can use it for free and it's easy as abc.