ELL: Wall Street Journal editorial

Lucas Husgen lhusgen at KIROGI.DEMON.NL
Sun Mar 31 11:29:26 UTC 2002

>-- When asked what can be done to protect or even promote minority
>languages, cases like Finnish, Flemish,

There's a great misunderstanding about Flemish amongst foreigners: Flemish is NOT a language, it's not even regarded as such in Flanders, it's first and foremost standard Dutch with some deviations, though of course there are plenty of local dialects. Only those close to the French border are not intelligible for Dutch folk like myself. Actually, in general time and time again the Flemish (which is only a geographical denominator) turn out to be the most versatile in standard Dutch anyhow. One might even argue that Dutch, as spoken in the Netherlands, is under the threat of a specifically Dutch kind of pidgin-English, much more than Flemish Dutch.  Added to this, there's Limburg Dutch, those dialects spoken in the most southernly province of  the Netherlands. Me, I originate from that region, though I do not live there anymore, and the dialect that I grew up in (that of Venlo), when I hear spoken it by youngsters, has changed tremendously: a vast amount of words of non-Dutch o!
rigin are not being used anymore. Also specific grammatical characteristics are dwindling in favour of limburgified Dutch rules of grammar and inflection.


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