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Dutch creole languages: Dutch, but then different!

As you may have already gleaned from our fascinating blog about the Dutch language, Dutch is not only spoken in the Netherlands, but in several other countries. In addition, there are many so-called ‘Dutch creole’ languages, which whilst regarded as an independent language, are still heavily influenced by Dutch.

Dutch creole languagesDutch creole languages ​​are native languages ​​that have been greatly influenced by Dutch. These languages, which are referred to by language experts as “Nederlandse creolen”, ​​evolved during the colonial era, although most became extinct as a result of the Dutch decolonisation that took place from the 19th century onwards.

An overview of Dutch Creole languages

The following are considered Dutch creole languages by linguists:

United States:
Mohawk Nederlands
Albany Nederlands
Jersey Nederlands (almost extinct)

Berbice-Nederlands (almost extinct)
Skepi (almost extinct)

Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico:
Negerhollands (almost extinct)

Javindo (almost extinct)

Sri Lanka:
Ceylons-Nederlands (almost extinct)


Other languages ​​with a Dutch influence

If you have some knowledge of the Dutch language you might be surprised that that Papiamento (spoken in Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire), and Saramaccan and Sranantongo (both spoken in Suriname) don’t feature in the above list of Dutch Creoles. That’s because these languages ​​are considered Portuguese / Spanish / English creole languages, even though they do contain some Dutch influences. In addition, “Pennsylvania Dutch”, which is still spoken by a small group of people in the United States, doesn’t appear in the list because this language arose from German rather than Dutch.

The one aspect that all Dutch creole languages ​​have in common is that they contain many Dutch words. This means that if you speak Dutch, you’ll likely recognise some words and phrases, especially in creole languages ​​that are reasonably close to modern Dutch, such as Afrikaans.

For example:

Dutch: Ik houd van Nederlandse producten en lekkernijen (I love Dutch products and delicacies)
Afrikaans: Ek hou van Nederlandse produkte en lekkernye!

Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?

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