Kader Abdolah quickly mastered the Dutch language and wrote various novels in Dutch. He won many awards for his short stories collection ‘De adelaars’ (Eagles) and his novels ‘The House of the Mosque’ and ‘Cuneiform,’ which focused on translation and communication. If you speak English and German, you will be able to master the basics of Dutch very well and be able to carry on a conversation with a Dutch speaker. The language has evolved over time, from Old Dutch to Middle Dutch to Modern Dutch.
Dutch is a West Germanic language. It is the mother tongue for 22 million people and a second or third language to 5 million other speakers. It is the official language spoken in Belgium, Netherlands and Suriname. In Netherlands, almost all the population speaks Dutch. The language is also taught in schools and used during official government occasions. Belgium’s are multilingual and Dutch is mainly spoken in the northern parts of the country. Suriname, a country in South America, uses Dutch as the sole official language. Dutch is also spoken in South Africa, Northern France, Indonesia, Curacao, Aruba and Sint Maarten. It is also popular in the Caribbean. The language has several dialects, which are collectively known as Flemish, in Belgium. Dutch is mainly written using Latin characters. The language has 13 vowels, which are easy for English speakers to pronounce. However, the language has certain sounds which only exist in Dutch. These sounds are quite hard for English speakers to pronounce. Just like English, some words in Dutch start with 3 consonants or end with 4 consonants.
Dutch is closely related to both English and German and is sometimes said to be the language that is in between them. The language is widely taught all over the world with 225 Universities in more than 40 countries teaching the language at an academic level. Approximately 10,000 students study Dutch worldwide at University level. Some of the largest faculties are based in Germany, United States, France and United Kingdom. In South Africa, the study of Afrikaans inevitably includes the study of Dutch at some point.