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NETHERLANDS: Languages

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LANGUAGES

The official language is Dutch, which is spoken by practically all inhabitants. Another official language is Frisian, which is spoken in the northern province of Friesland and has a strong resemblance to English. Frisian is co-official only in the province of Friesland, although with a few restrictions. Several dialects of Low German are spoken in much of the north and are recognised by the Netherlands as regional languages according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. To the south, the Dutch language shifts into other varieties of Low Franconian and German, which may or may not be best classified as Dutch, most notably West Flemish. One of these, Limburgish, which is spoken in the south-eastern province of Limburg has been recognised as a minority language since 1977.

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