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Afrikaans is a language belonging to the West Germanic group of the Indo-European language family. Afrikaans developed in the Dutch Cape Colony based on the Dutch dialect. Afrikaans was used by Dutch, French and German settlers and the peoples enslaved by them. It is currently spoken in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. According to 2010 data, the total number of Afrikaans speakers ranges from 15 to 23 million people. Currently, Afrikaans is one of the 12 official languages of the Republic of South Africa. Differences from Dutch include morphology and grammar of a more analytical type, as well as some pronunciation options. There is a great degree of mutual understanding between the two languages, especially in writing. About 13.5% of South Africa's population (7 million people) speak Afrikaans as their mother tongue, making it the third most common mother tongue in the country after Zulu and Xhosa. The basic Afrikaans alphabet consists of twenty-six letters: six vowels and twenty consonants, which add up to 26 letters, as in English. Additionally, the letters Éè, Éé, Éê, Çë, Îî, Çï, and Ûû are used.