You know we Dutch are a bit strange. With the “Fat One” I mean the book: Van Dale’s Great Dictionary of the Dutch Language. Also know as, in the Netherlands and Flemish Belgium, as “De Dikke van Dale”. (Fat van Dale)
It was first published in 1874 and celebrates this weekend its 150 year anniversary.
The dictionary is usually updated every 7–8 years, and the 14th edition was published in 2005, with 4500 pages. Today there are compilations, pocket editions, electronic editions on CD-ROM and an online edition on the Van Dale website. The latter includes a free version for more common words and a subscription-based* professional version which gives access to the full 90,000 word dictionary, which makes *that one the largest dictionary in the world. The written version is 36 volumes thick.
Like English and German, Dutch is a Germanic language. It is spoken by 23 million people and is one of the 23 official languages of the European Union.
Within Europe, Dutch is an official language in the Netherlands and Belgium. In South America it is an official language in Surinam, as well as on the Caribbean Islands of Aruba, Curaçao and St Martin.