Thursday, January 26, 2006

Culture: Speaking Dutch on the street?

There has been some turmoil about languages spoken in the Netherlands on the street: In the paper Minister Verdonk was reported to be an advocate for a code of conduct for citizens which would include speaking Dutch on the streets. On monday I read though, that she had never intended to make this some kind of law. And lots of people ridiculised the idea fortunately.

I did not intend to blog it, till I saw the great reaction from Wim de Bie on his bieslog (weblog). He writes down a dialogue between a policeman and someone talking dialect. When the person speaking dialect gets arrested for not speaking Dutch, the policeman starts calling the assistance of his colleague using English terms. (Emurtjensie koll!!). What a great way of making the whole idea of blending cultures and languages clear.

1 comment:

Sarah Cummings said...

Hi Joitske

Like you, and lots of other people, this opionion from Verdonk has really irritated me. I thought the article ridiculing it in the NRC on Friday (?) was really funny. I'm British (that won't surprise you, of course), although I feel very Dutch in lots of ways, but now I feel that I shouldn't talk English to my children (Dutch/British) when I'm taking them to school - usually we talk Dutch but sometimes we talk English, that's just the way it is.

There was also this interesting report from the Raad van Staten (I think) at the end of November 2005 that was saying that the Dutch attitude towards non-Dutch people (although some of them are allochtonen Dutch) has caused economic damade to the country. Did you see that one?