languages in Netherlands

Is holland the netherlands or vice versa? Or is same place? And what are the languages spoken there.. And what is the main language I need to learn abasics in to egt around, ask directions, buy things, and generaly just be polite?


Country: Netherlands


Holland and the Netherlands is not the same but is used as the same many times by foreigners and locals. Holland is a part of the Netherlands.

We speak Dutch here but if you speak English you'll survive. I think English is almost the second language here in The Netherlands.

Learn Dutch online:
When in the 17th century the Dutch sailed out and conquered the world, most ships sailed from the province of Holland on the coast (the home of Amsterdam, Hoorn, Rotterdam). So these explorers and merchants told everyone they were from Holland, which was easy to remember as well.

Wendy is right -- the people speak "Nederlands" here (Dutch), but almost everyone understands English as well. Yet speak a few words of Dutch and everyone will applaud your effort! :)
is the same place, normally everyone in holland talck english so whith that u will do fine.
Holland is the name of two provinces of the Netherlands, Noord and Zuid Holland. They were the main and richest provinces for ages so the name, which is also easier, stuck in international use. Most places tourists will visit (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Keukenhof, Volendam etc) are actually in Holland. And it won't be embarassing to make mistakes about it- a friend of mine didn't even know he wasn't actually living in Holland when he lived in Utrecht.
Concerning the language, Dutch pride themselves in being able to speak loads of languages, so if you speak English, you can do everything you need. You said you wanted to be polite and speak some words. That's good- it will be highly appreciated but prepare yourself to be answered in English, everyone with a hint of an accent (even if they speak proper Dutch) will get that response. They Lonely Planet Glossary or anything similar will suffice to get you started.
That all said, there is one province of the Netherlands, Friesland, where the main language is Frisian, some kind of mixture between old English and old Dutch. They all speak Dutch there, and English, but strongly dislike the suggestion that the language they use amongst each other is actually Dutch. And fair enough, because it isn't Dutch. In other parts of the Netherlands, mainly in the East and the South, dialects are spoken. But there you will also notice everyone speaks a sufficient level of English. There they will be less insulted about you saying they speak Dutch if they don't- they will just lecture you, which is the widely acclaimed 'contact with the locals';-)
If you want to be polite just ask the dutch if they speak english before you start talking to them, this will be a compromise between trying to speak dutch and actually have an understandable conversation. (dutch is hard to learn because of the loads of guttural sounds
With English you'll manage just fine. But we Dutch really appriciate when you at least try to say some words in Dutch. Good luck
Hullo Bryan... hoe gaat het sinds die tijd? If you did accomplish learning some basic words to get around and perhaps, you are excelling more than expected, please let us know. :)
North Holland and South Holland are officially provinces in the Netherlands, however many people do use Holland to mean the Netherlands.

In addition to English which is spoken by almost everyone under the age of 50, and many over, a large percentage also speak German. In Amsterdam, English is officially a second language, therefore most signs and information is in Dutch and English.

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