How to tell apart Dutch, Afrikaans and Frisian

I just came across this wonderful video that walks you through some defining differences, at a glance, between Dutch, Afrikaans and Frisian. It even includes a quiz at the end!

It’s very informative, and is only under 7 minutes long.

Happy learning, folks!


Really useful video! I was recently in the Netherlands and visited the Limburg region. The dialect there is really different from how they speak in Amsterdam and Eindhoven (where we also visited). It’d be great to see some videos on the different dialects in the Netherlands and Belgium, if anyone finds any videos out there, then let me know! Incidentally, the university of Groningen offers a free course in Basic Frisian on the Futurelearn site: . It’s a good introduction to the difference between Frisian and Dutch. Dag alle!


Whereabouts were you in Limburg? I can understand the dialects in the northern part, but those in the south, say around Sittard, Geleen and Maastricht, have me stumped. If you use mutual intelligibilty as a criterion to decide if something is a dialect or a separate language, I’d say it is a separate language - like Frisian is. Hornets’ nest, this, I know.

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Hi Louis, sorry I’ve been really bad at replying. Every time I sit down to reply I get distracted and keep forgetting. So anyway, Ik ben naar Maastricht gegaan. Het was heel leuk en ik was erg gelukkig om daar te zijn! I only tried a little Dutch as my Belgian friend was ordering drinks etc for us, and so I can’t say I managed to pick out the differences between the dialect and actual Dutch (except for seeing the Maastricht dialect written down), but I managed to understand a lot more than I thought and I slipped in a “ik ben net begonnen om Nederlands te leren” and a few other phrases from your course which impressed the locals :wink: They mainly wanted to know why the hell I was learning Dutch and they wanted to speak in English anyway. But I really liked Limburg, it’s got a different vibe from Amsterdam and Eindhoven (the other cities I’ve visited). I would love to learn more Dutch and am also interested in any tips on learning dialects. Although you’re right about it being like opening up a Hornet’s nest at times, these localised languages are dying out quicker than we think and we should appreciate them more before they’re gone. So I’m with you on this one, call them languages…we need to start preserving them!


Good on you for speaking Dutch! If I didn’t know better, I’d say they were trying to be polite speaking English :wink:
And thank you for your update - I love Maastricht.


Oh yes, the people were really polite and friendly. What I meant was that their English was so good, they just found it easier to speak to me in English. They were genuinely surprised that I wanted to learn Dutch, they said “but why? Everyone speaks English, you don’t need to speak Dutch”, I replied “maar waarom niet, het is een leuk spraak” (or something like that, please excuse my spelling!). I think that impressed them anyway. I’ll have to go back there soon as there are some really great bars around the Marktplatz. While we’re on the subject of Maastricht, do you know of any decent musicians or groups from the Limburg area that I could listen to? I’ve been listening to a Dutch group called Blof recently and that has been helping my listening. Good stuff to sing along too to :smile:


Maastricht is veel mooier dan Aken. Ik heb ook niet te veel kunnen praten, maar ik vond het niet te moeelijk om te verstaan. Maar mischien heb alleen naar Nederlandse toeristen geluisterd…