Limburgish[lower-alpha 1] (Limburgish: Limburgs [ˈlɪm˦bʏʀ(ə)çs] or Lèmburgs [ˈlɛm˦-]; Dutch: Limburgs [ˈlɪmbʏr(ə)xs]; German: Limburgisch [ˈlɪmbʊʁɡɪʃ]; French: Limbourgeois [lɛ̃buʁʒwa]), also called Limburgan,[1][4][lower-alpha 1] Limburgian,[1][lower-alpha 1] or Limburgic,[1][lower-alpha 1] is a West Germanic language spoken in the Dutch and Belgian provinces of Limburg and in the neighbouring regions of Germany.

Limburgan, Limburgian, Limburgic
Limburgs, Lèmburgs
Pronunciation[ˈlɪm˦bʏʀ(ə)çs], [ˈlɛm˦-]
Native toNetherlands



RegionLimburg (Netherlands) Limburg (Belgium)
Native speakers
1.3 million in Netherlands and Belgium (2001)[1]
unknown number in Germany
Early form
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Netherlands – Statutory provincial language in Limburg Province (1996, Ratification Act, ECRML, No. 136), effective 1997.[2]
Regulated byVeldeke Limburg, Raod veur 't Limburgs
Language codes
ISO 639-1li
ISO 639-2lim
ISO 639-3lim
Glottologlimb1263  Limburgan
Limburgish is classified as Vulnerable by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger.[3]
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A Limburgish speaker, recorded in Slovakia.

It shares characteristics with both German and Dutch but has unique features such as tonality.[5][6] Within the modern communities of the Belgian and Dutch provinces of Limburg, intermediate idiolects are also very common, which combine standard Dutch with the accent and some grammatical and pronunciation tendencies derived from Limburgish. This "Limburgish Dutch" is confusingly also often referred to simply as "Limburgish", although in Belgium such intermediate languages tend to be called tussentaal ("in-between language"), no matter the exact dialect/language with which standard Dutch is combined.

Although frequently misunderstood as such, Limburgish does not refer to the regional variation of Dutch spoken in Dutch Limburg and Belgian Limburg. Since Limburgish is still the mother tongue of many inhabitants in the aforementioned region, Limburgish grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation can have a significant impact on the way locals speak Dutch in public life.[7]

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