Dutch speaking areas

Dutch speaking areas.

  • Netherlands
  • Northern Belgium (Flemish)-see map
    (light blue- French speaking Southern Belgium)
  • Nederlands writing

Where Dutch is understood/very similar:

  • South Africa, Namibia (Afrikaans)


Flemish and Dutch

Dutch (referred to as Flemish in Northern Belgium) is the official language in Northen Belgium.

There is no difference between Dutch and Flemish in the written form. When spoken there is more of a regional dialect with Flemish that distinguishes itself from Dutch, although in principal they are the same language.

Brussels is bilingual between French and Dutch (Flemish), even though geographically it is in the Flemish (Dutch) part (see map above).



Afrikaans is derived from Dutch, although is slightly different due to isolation from European Dutch from the 19th Century onwards. Both languages are still mutually understandable by each others speakers.

Afrikaans speakers are mainly in the West of South Africa, with the South African English speakers in the East.

There are differences between written Afrikaans and written European Dutch (see below).

Difference between written Afrikaans and Dutch (European)

Afrikaans text
Alle menslike wesens word vry, met gelyke waardigheid en regte, gebore. Hulle het rede en gewete en behoort in die gees van broederskap teenoor mekaar op te tree.

Dutch (European) text
Alle mensen worden vrij en gelijk in waardigheid en rechten geboren. Zij zijn begiftigd met verstand en geweten, en behoren zich jegens elkander in een geest van broederschap te gedragen.

English translation
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)


Dutch Latin Alphabet


Dutch uses exactly the same English latin alphabet (see below).

Dutch Latin Alphabet

To type accents with ALT codes, hold down the ALT key, then on the numeric keypad type the three or four digits listed here. However not with laptops, ALT codes only work with the numeric keypad, NOT the row of numbers across the top of your keyboard, as on laptops.

   a      A  

   b      B  

   c      C  

   d      D  

   e      E  

   f      F  

   g      G  

   h      H  

   i      I  

   j      J  

   k      K  

   l      L  

   m      M  

   n      N  

   o      O  

   p      P  

   q      Q  

   r      R  

   s      S  

   t      T  

   u      U  

   v      V  

   w      W  

   x      X  

   y      Y  

   z      Z  

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