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The position of the Dutch language recorded for the first time

What is the state of the Dutch language? Which language do inhabitants of the Netherlands and Flanders use in which situation? When do people choose Dutch, and when do they prefer to use French, Frisian, Chinese, Tamazight, Turkish, or some other language? In our international and multicultural societies, the answers to these questions are no longer obvious. For this reason, in 2016 the Dutch Language Union (“Taalunie”) launched the project “State of Dutch” (StaatNed), the first extensive scholarly research project into the position of the Dutch language.

The research has been completed recently. The results provide the first-ever opportunity to make statements about or debate about the use of Dutch and other languages in society on the basis of facts and data. The research report “State of Dutch: On the Linguistic Choices of the Dutch and the Flemish in Everyday Life” is available here, only in Dutch.

StaatNed panel

This large-scale research was carried out in the Netherlands by the Meertens Institute and in Flanders by Ghent University in the following areas: social intercourse, work, media, culture, education, and science. To gain insight into the linguistic choices made in Flanders and the Netherlands, data were collected in several different ways. With the abovementioned purpose in mind, the Meertens Institute and Ghent University set up the “StaatNed panel”. Over 6,500 people took part in this panel and completed a questionnaire to help record the state of the Dutch language.

More information can be found on the State of Dutch website.