Dutch is not under threat from English as a language and is still spoken by some 24 million people worldwide, according to a new report, quoted in Trouw on Monday.
The report, by the Meertens Institute for Dutch language and culture, Dutch promotion body Taalunie and researchers at Ghent University, says English is rarely a threat to Dutch in daily life.
The researchers questioned over 7,500 people in the Netherlands and Belgium about their use of the language. They found Dutch is dominant in nearly every sector and is regarded by both native and new speakers as a ‘beautiful’ language which should be passed on.
Dutch, the report states, ‘is a viable language with excellent survival chances in the future’.
While youngsters in particular are incorporating more foreign words – primarily English – into the language, the words themselves are becoming ‘Dutchified’ in terms of grammar, the report points out. Saven, appen and streamen are examples of this.
In IT, shipping, air transport and scientific research, however, English is becoming more dominant.
The research also shows that English is increasingly popular as a language to read the news in. Some 28% of the Dutch people questioned in the survey say they regularly read the news in other languages.
Some 10-15% of DutchNews.nl’s readers are native Dutch speakers.