The Heroic Language
“When our now living languages ared dead
Which in the classes shall be treasured?
Which will the masters teach?
Kepler’s, and Shakespeare’s, and thy word, thy phrase
Thy grammar, thou heroic, for all days
o little Flemish speech.”
– Alice Meynell
- Proudly dialectical(flanderstoday.eu)
Did you think that learning Dutch was difficult? Well, think again. Because the Flemish are now breathing new life into their many different and utterly incomprehensible local dialects. Or so says journalist Leen Vervaeke in the daily De Morgen (The Morning). “A growing number of singers revert to their own regional languages,” she writes. “A growing number of films and TV series contain dialogues of spicy patois.”
Great. Here I am trying to convince you to watch Flemish TV to help you learn the language. Little did I know that it would be of use only within a radius of three-and-a-half corn fields.
It is mostly the elderly who still practice the patois of old. The young, whose horizons in a generation’s time have broadened from Steenokkerzeel to Shanghai, have all but forgotten. “With every old person that dies, a small dictionary is lost,” Vandekerckhove says.
- Being a non-english writer writing english. (sandscriber.wordpress.com)
I have a confession to make: I’m actually not someone who speaks English in his daily life. Please no gasps all around, I’m not a scooby-doo villain and I had no reason to hide it. In fact my “About Me” page carefully states I am from Belgium.So why English? First of all: I’m an anglophile. Nothing English is safe from my love.
I used to type in American English and I talked with the accents I heard on in movies and tv-shows. This needed to be exorcised out of me. Every u had to be added to color, every hyphen had to be added. My ugly accent had to for a posh British accent I can still not manage.
All I want to say is: forgive me if I sound a little awkward or make a little typo. Life is hard as a non-english writer. It is a trial I have to face. The Dutch e-book market is too small to justify writing in dutch. I enjoy English too much.
- Roald Smeets – Dutch Dialects (roaldsmetseducation.wordpress.com)
Dutch dialects are primarily the dialects that are both cognate with the Dutch language and are spoken in the same language area as the Dutch standard language. Dutch dialects are remarkably diverse and are found in the Netherlands and northern Belgium
The province of Friesland is bilingual. The West Frisian language, distinct from Dutch, is spoken here along with standard Dutch and the Stadsfries dialect. A (West) Frisian standard language has also been developed.In the east there is an extensive Dutch Low Saxon dialect area
Dutch dialects are not spoken as often as they used to be. Nowadays in the Netherlands only older people speak these dialects in the smaller villages, with the exception of the Low Saxon and Limburgish regional languages, which are actively promoted by some provinces and still in common use.
In Flanders, there are four main dialect groups:West Flemish (West-Vlaams) including French Flemish in the far North of France,
East Flemish (Oost-Vlaams),
Brabantian (Brabants), which includes several main dialect branches, including Antwerpian, and
- Patricia T. O’Conner on Shakespeare’s English (wnyc.org)
Our word maven Patricia T. O’Conner Discusses Elizabethan speech—the language that Shakespeare and his actors used, circa 1600, and how it was originally pronounced, which sounds similar to the English spoken by Americans and by the Irish today.
- Thy post about Shakespeare (benwilliamsworld.wordpress.com)
Thou shalt to-day be writing about thy Shakespeare. Thy wrote plays and…Mum: Are you sure all the readers will understand you?Ben: Of course! Everyone knows Shakespeare!Mum: But what about your readers elsewhere? I think you should write properly.
Shakespeare wrote in Elizabethan English, which is why all his plays contained words like thee, thou, thy, shalt (so they can be quite hard to understand sometimes). Also, I might see King Lear in the half term in London , and I really look forward to that.
(Marcus’s comment: those thee’s and thou’s could just make it easier I would think.)