The official language is Dutch, which is spoken by a majority of the inhabitants, the exception being some groups of immigrants.
Another official language is West Frisian, which is spoken in the northern province of Friesland, called Fryslan in that language. West Frisian is co-official only in the province of Friesland, although with a few restrictions. Several dialects of Low Saxon (Nedersaksisch in Dutch) are spoken in much of the north and east, like the Twentse language in the Twente region, and are recognised by the Netherlands as regional languages according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, as well as the Meuse-Rhenish Franconian varieties in the southeastern province of Limburg, here called Limburgish language.
There is a tradition of learning foreign languages in the Netherlands: about 70% of the total population have good knowledge of English, 55-59% of German and 19% of French. Some Dutch secondary schools also teach Latin and Ancient Greek.
Dutch vocabulary is predominantly Germanic in origin, considerably more so than English. This is to a large part due to the heavy influence of Norman French on English, and to Dutch patterns of word formation, such as the tendency to form long and sometimes very complicated compound nouns, being more similar to those of German and the Scandinavian languages.