About the Dutch Language
Dutch is a West Germanic language that first developed in the Low Countries. It is most similar to English, Frisian and German, and more distantly, to Swedish, Danish and Norwegian. During the Netherlands’ history of exploration and colonization, the language’s use spread to the Caribbean, Africa, South America and Asia. The language has a regulating body, the Nederlandse Taalunie or Dutch Language Union, which maintains a standard written form.
There are 28 primary dialects of Dutch. Of these, the individual dialects can be further subdivided into more than 600 highly specific varieties. Among these dialects, it does not have any “prestige” dialect, which is considered standard. Afrikaans, derived from Dutch, is sufficiently linguistically unique to be considered a language and not a dialect.