Yeshua (WAS: Peter)
edsel at glo.be
Mon Apr 30 11:29:37 UTC 2001
----- Original Message -----
From: "petegray" <petegray at btinternet.com>
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2001 5:55 PM
> There are polyglot areas in Europe today where many people will have some
> degree of competence in several languages. The situation back then was not
> so unusual. Consider a pious Jewish family in Flanders, where they may
> speak Flemish in the home, use French at work, enjoy Hebrew in the
> synagogue, and assist the tourists to part with their money in English.
In my home city of Antwerp, the situation would rather be like this:
French or Yiddish at home, depending on the subject or context; Dutch
(Flemish), Yiddish or English at work, depending on the business partners;
Hebrew at the synagogue; and they wouldn't be involved with tourists, except
when these visit the diamond/gold shops or workshops.
Some also speak German or an E. European mother tongue.
The Flemish people speak Dutch, almost everybody can speak English to some
degree, and many can maintain conversation in French, and help themselves in
There are large Moroccan (often Berbers who can - or not - speak Arabic and/or
French, and some Dutch; the second generation speaks their parents' language
and Dutch) and Turkish minorities (they usually can speak relatively decent
Dutch), and many others (Albanians, Georgians and other Caucasians, Russians,
...who generally know enough English to get by). Not to speak of the Chinese,
Indians, Pakistani, N. and S. Americans etc...and lots of EU citizens (who are
not considered actual foreigners, by law).
Babel didn't disappear, it just moved around the world.
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