I was always thought that the Netherlands have two languages: Dutch and Frisian. Besides these two languages, many dialects exist. Spain in contrary, has 5 languages: Castilian, Basque, Catalan, Galician and Aragonese.

Today I found out these numbers are wrong. Or not? The languages I mentioned above are the languages that have an official status in those countries, based on history and culture. The real number of languages (linguistically seen) is higher: there are 15 languages in the Netherlands, and 11 languages in Spain. So Spain, which has twelve times the size of the Netherlands has less languages —and less water, but that is another subject— than the Netherlands.

For the curious readers: in the Netherlands, people speak Achterhoeks, Drents, Dutch, (Western) Frisian, Gronings, Romani (Sinte), Romani (Vlax), Sallands, Stellingwerfs, Twents, Veenkoloniaals, Veluws (East), Veluws (North), Vlaams and Westerwolds. In Spain, the following languages exist: Aragonese, Asturian, Basque, Caló, Catalan-Valencian-Balear, Extremaduran, Fala, Galician, Gascon (Aranese), Quinqui and Spanish.

Jeroen Sangers @jeroensangers

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