Dutch is a comparatively easy language for English speakers to learn because it’s one of the closest living relatives to English. Dutch is the third largest Germanic language after English and German, with a diaspora of 23 million native speakers stretching from Europe to South America.
The Afrikaans language was brought to South Africa and Namibia by the Boers (Dutch farmers - the Dutch word for farmer being 'boer'), and it slowly evolved over time from a motley assortment of Dutch dialects to the modern Afrikaans that is spoken by 11 million people today.
About 86% of the population in the Netherlands able to converse in English, but if you do speak Dutch, it will come as a surprise! And with an estimated half a million Dutch speakers living in the U.S., Canada and Australia, you may get to show off closer to home.
Netherlands is one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union. Brussels is the defacto capital of the European Union and also houses the headquarters of NATO and numerous UN agenices.
Dutch is an official language in: Aruba, Belgium, Bonaire, Curacao, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Surinam (Dutch colony), Suriname, Suriname (Kingdom of the Netherlands)