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Also known as Nederlands in the Netherlands, or Hollands (e.g. in South Africa). It is the native language of most of the population of the Netherlands, and about sixty percent of the populations of Belgium and Suriname. (The Belgian version is also referred to as Vlaams or Flemish in South Africa.)

It was brought to South Africa in 1652 with the settlement of the Cape, and the 17th centrury Dutch spoken by the settlers gradually became the basis for the development of an indigenous form, initially referred to as "Cape Dutch" and eventually standardised into Afrikaans.

In this encyclopaedia, the term Dutch is reserved for the original language, and is not to be confused with Afrikaans - even though some English speakers occasionally still refer to Afrikaans speakers as "Dutch speakers".



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