The Dutch language, which is pronounced Nederlands by those who speak it, is a language belonging to the family of West Germanic Languages. Nederlands is the primary language of the Netherlands, and represents a majority in Belgium and Suriname. These three countries form the Dutch Language Union. However, it is also spoken as a minority language in the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten.
Approximately 23 million people speak Dutch as their primary language, mostly hailing from the Dutch Language Union, but another 5 million individuals speak Dutch as a secondary language.
When written, Dutch uses the Latin Script (the most standard western and central form of language writing). The Dutch and English language share a very similar alphabet, with Dutch owning one extra character, "IJ". However, as similar as the two languages are, Dutch contains many double letters, both consonant and vowel.
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