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Dutch is a national language in the Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname in South America and the Dutch Antilles in the Caribbean. In Belgium, Dutch is the official language of Flanders, the Northern region of the country, and is also spoken in Brussels, although the majority of the city’s population speak French. In Suriname and the Dutch Antilles, Dutch is still an official language, but several other languages are spoken there too.
In total, there are over 22 million native speakers of Dutch, as well as it being a popular second language in Germany, the north of France and increasingly in Eastern Europe. You may also find older native speakers in Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. and Canada as many Dutch people migrated to these countries in the 1950s.
Many Dutch words are similar to English ones as both languages come from the same old Germanic root. This is particularly true for everyday things like fruits and vegetables or colours, e.g., apple = appel, pear = peer, banana = banaan, broccoli = broccoli, red = rood, green = groen, white = wit.
Dutch is a member of the West Germanic family tree, and as such is a cousin of English and German and a sibling to Afrikaans. Another cousin is Frisian, a regional minority language spoken in the North of the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. Dutch is also related to North Germanic language family members, such as Swedish, Danish and Norwegian.