High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

The Top 7 Language Stories of the Year
© Stijn Felix
© Stijn Felix © Stijn Felix
Best of 2022

The Top 7 Language Stories of the Year

Join us in bidding goodbye to 2022 with seven of the finest language stories we published this year that are worth re-reading or listening to again.

Blep, Sploot and Zoomies: Online Cats and Dogs Leave a Pawed Imprint in Dictionaries

A new language can find its origin in memes. Cats and dogs on the internet use lolspeak to address their owners. These owners then start using these words themselves. How long before Van Dale starts calling an extremely fluffy dog floofy?

continue reading

Why I Will Never Again Refer to the Ukrainian Capital City as Kiev

Yes, even spelling can be important in the war of Ukraine, writes linguist Marten van der Meulen. This is why he will never again refer to the embattled capital city as Kiev.

continue reading

Dutch Was an International Language of Diplomacy and Trade

Nowadays, international discussions are mainly held in English, but once upon a time, Dutch played an important role in trade talks and diplomatic relations. In 1856, Russia signed a treaty with Japan that was written in Dutch, Dutch served as a lingua franca around the Baltic Sea for a while and Dutch-language trade documents circulated in the Persian Empire.

continue reading

How Untranslatable is Dutch?

Thanks to translators Dutch speakers may discover texts from other language areas and non-native speakers may learn about Dutch-speaking culture. But can just about anything be translated? Are there any Dutch words, concepts and expressions that simply cannot be converted into another language?

continue reading

How the World Views Dutch and Dutch Speakers

If it ain’t Dutch, it ain’t much. Anyone who has ever travelled in Canada or the USA will recognise this proud declaration The phrase expresses the vision of the Dutch in North America or their descendants. But does that vision correspond with how other people view the inhabitants of the Low Countries and their language?

continue reading

Irksome English

Why do the Dutch so readily turn to the English language? Cultural philosopher Ton Lemaire has long been bothered by the use of English words when there exists a perfectly good Dutch alternative. In this sneak-peek abstract from his latest book, Lemaire warns against the rise of a monoculture that threatens to erase diversity.

continue reading

Artificial Intelligence and Historical Language

Artificial intelligence is opening up many avenues for researchers in historical linguistics. For example, you can now programme a bot to write Shakespearean sonnets on demand. Might we soon be able to converse virtually with a speaker from the sixteenth century as well?

continue reading

Remember these series?

Dutch in the World

As a medium-sized language with about 24 million native speakers, Dutch should be more ambitious. In this series, we investigated how international the language is.

continue reading
more language stories

Sign in

Register or sign in to read or purchase an article.


You are visiting this website through a public account.
This allows you to read all articles, but not buy any products.

Important to know

When you subscribe, you give permission for an automatic re-subscription. You can stop this at any time by contacting emma.reynaert@onserfdeel.be.