|Nederland - Holland - The Netherlands|
There is probably no other country in the world like The Netherlands with so many different names for its country, language and people. Many people asked me why this is and what the right name is. This is the answer.
Nederland: The country The Netherlands and the province Holland
Officially The Netherlands is called Nederland. People outside The Netherlands know this country as Holland, the name of the province that made our country famous around the world in the Golden century (17th century). The province Holland, especially Amsterdam, was one of the world’s most famous trading centres and the economical, political and cultural centre of the northern Netherlands (Belgium was the southern Netherlands). The name of this province became so famous that it became the name for the whole country. But the right name for Nederland is The Netherlands. And Holland is just the name of a province in The Netherlands. These days we have two provinces: Noord (North) - Holland and Zuid (South) - Holland.
The Dutch - Nederlanders - Dutch - Nederlands
The Netherlands has been a political entity for only a few centuries. Dutch has been a separate language (from German) since the last two- or three hundred years. Originally Dutch was the same as Duits and Deutsch (=German) First it was called ‘Diets’ or ‘Nederduits’. For the English it was Dutch from the beginning. The difference is that earlier Dutch stood for Germany and The Netherlands and now stands for everything that is Dutch.