The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch, spoken by almost everyone in the country. Dutch is also spoken in Flanders and Suriname. It is a West Germanic/Franconian language that originated in the Middle Ages and was standardized in the 16th century. While most people in the Netherlands speak Dutch, there are also recognized provincial languages and regional dialects spoken in various parts of Holland.
There is a tradition of learning foreign languages in the Netherlands: about 89% of the total population have good knowledge of English, 70% of German, 29% of French and 5% of Spanish. Frisian is the official language in the province of Friesland. Frisian is spoken by approximately 453,000 people. Several dialects of Dutch Low Saxon are spoken in much of the north eastern part of the country and are recognised as regional languages according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Low Saxon is spoken by roughly1,798,000 people.
Another Low Franconian dialect bearing the status of regional language is Limburgish, which is spoken in the south-eastern province of Limburg. Limburgish is spoken by roughly 825,000 speakers. Papiamento is an official language in the special municipality of Bonaire. English is an official language in the special municipalities of Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius and it is widely spoken on Saba and Sint Eustatius.