Dutch is a Germanic language. In Europe Dutch is the language spoken in the Netherlands and an official language spoken in a part of Belgium called Vlaanderen (roughly the northern half, bordering the North Sea and the Netherlands) and in Brussels. Therefore, the language spoken there in Belgium is called Vlaams (Flemish). Belgian is not a language. It does not exist. There are only Belgian varieties of Dutch, French and German.
In Belgium efforts were made to give Dutch equal status with French, which had assumed cultural predominance during the period of French rule (1795–1814). In 1938 Dutch was made the sole official language of the Vlaanderen.
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Afrikaans, one of the languages spoken in South Africa, is a daughter language of Dutch and a separate standard language rather than a national variety. Dutch and Afrikaans have a large degree of mutual intelligibility, which means that the speaker of one language can understand the other one reasonably well.
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