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Dutch (Nederlands [ˈneːdə(r)lants]) is the official language of the Netherlands, Belgium (the Belgian dialect of Dutch is called Flemish), Netherlands Antilles, Indonesia, and parts of France and Germany. It did not go through the High German Consonant Shift so many of the vocabulary in it still resembles other related languages such as Low German and even English.

Spoken in: Netherlands (Nederland)
Conworld: Real world
Total speakers: 23 million as 1st language
Genealogical classification: Indo-European
West Germanic
Basic word order: SVO, OVS/V2
Morphological type: Inflecting
Morphosyntactic alignment: nominative-accusative
Writing system:
Created by:
unknown 16th century C.E,


Dutch Phonology and Orthography


Bilabial Labiod. Alveolar Post-alv. Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive p b t d k g
Fricative f v s z ʃ ç x (ɣ) h
Approximants ʋ j
Trill r
Lateral Approximant l


  • Most Dutch consonants are pronounced the same way as their IPA equivalents: b, p, j, f, k, z, m, n, h, s, t, d, l and r.
  • s is the retracted /s̺/, rather than the English and German /s/ (This sound is also found in languages such as Modern Greek, Spanish and Finnish).
  • sj is pronounced /ʃ/.
  • g and ch is pronounced /x/. g can sometimes be realised as /ɣ/.
  • sch is pronouced /sx/ and not /ʃ/ as in German.
  • w is pronounced as /ʋ/.
  • v is sometimes pronounced /f/.
  • Dutch has final devoicing. This means that all voiced consonants with voiceless forms become those voiceless forms, at the end of the word.



Front Central Back
Unround Rounded Unrounded Rounded
High i - ɪ yː - ʏ u
Mid eː - ɛ øː - ə oː - ɔ
Low aː - a
All entries save low are: Tense - Lax
  • Vowels are formed based on the ideas of Closed vs. Open syllables. In closed syllable, the vowel is lax and/or short. In an open syllable or a closed syllable written with a geminated vowel, the vowel is tense and/or long.


Open vs. Closed Syllables




Dutch historically had three genders, much the way High German still does. However, most of the Masculine and Feminine nouns merged into a Common gender. This leaves Common and Neuter, which are the two genders of Dutch today.


There are two numbers in Dutch Grammar: singular and plural. Because Dutch orthography follows the Open vs. Closed syllable structure very strictly, vowel spelling often changes to accommodate the vowel's pronunciation. For example the long vowel boom, meaning tree, is still pronounced the same, but spelt bomen in the plural trees. For short vowels, which


There are two types of articles in Dutch, Definite and Indefinite. The definite article has two forms, de and het. The definite article de is used for the common gender, and het is used for the neuter gender. The plural for both is de.

The indefinite article is een for all genders and is reduced to 'n in informal speech (not to be confused with the word for the number one: één). The negative geen is used for both numbers and all genders to indicate "not" (comparative to High German Kein).

Adjectives and Adverbs




The informal form of said pronouns is shown in brackets.

Case First Person Second Person Third Person
Sing. Plur. Sing. Plur. Sing. & Plur. Sing. Masc. Sing. Fem. Sing. Neut. Plur.
Subjective ik ('k) wij (we) jij (je) jullie (je) u hij (ie) zij (ze) het ('t) zij (ze)
Objective mij (me) ons jou (je) jullie (je) u hem ('m) haar ('r) het ('t) hen* (ze)
Possessive mijn (m'n) ons/onze jouw (je) jullie (je) uw zijn (z'n) haar (d'r) zijn (z'n) hun (d'r)
  • The indirect object or dative form is hun.





Simple Past

Compound Past



Modals and Auxiliaries

Word Order


Sources and external links

This article is one of quite a few pages about Natlangs.

Indo-european natlangs:

Balto-Slavic Natlangs: Czech * Russian
Celtic Natlangs: Revived Middle Cornish * Pictish
Germanic Natlangs:
North Germanic Natlangs: Norwegian
West Germanic Natlangs: Anglo-Saxon * Dutch * English (Old English * Middle English * Modern English * Scots) * German (High German * Low German)
Indo-Iranian Natlangs: Pahlavi
Italic Natlangs: French * Italian * Latin * Spanish
Debated: Cimmerian

Uralic Natlangs: Finnish * Khanty * Mansi * Mordvinic * Proto-Uralic
Altaic (controversial): Japanese
Sino-Tibetan Natlangs:
Uto-Aztecan Natlangs: Nahuatl


Isolate Natlangs: Basque * *
Hypothetical/debated Natlangs and Natlang families: Danubian * Europic (obsolete)