The Netherlands: Introduction | Topography | Facts and Figures | Polders and Dykes | The Dutch National Anthem | Dutch - the Language | Dutch Pronunciation | Dutch Grammar | Handy Dutch Phrases | The Dutch | Transportation in the Netherlands
Dutch is a Germanic laguage. It has a lot in common with German but also has quite a few English words incorporated. It is spoken in the Netherlands but also in the north of Belgium. There, Dutch is called Flemish but both languages are mainly the same.
Dutch uses the Roman alphabet. It has one extra letter which is typed 'ij' but should actually be a 'y' with dots on the top - ÿ. Nowadays some people also write is as 'ij' but it is definitely not a combination of those two letters. If you were to look up 'ij' in a dictionary you would find it after 'ii' and before 'ik'.
Dutch pronunciation is quite unlike English - see the Dutch Pronunciation Entry.
Some parts of Dutch grammar are easy to master. Verbs and plurals are fairly simple. Other parts, such as article use, are difficult for non-native speakers, due to the fact that it is seemingly random! See the Dutch Grammar Entry for more details.
If you want to learn some handy Dutch phrases, have a look at this Entry.