High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


Babel in the Low Countries

Which languages have been spoken in the Low Countries? Celtic, Latin, Flemish, Hollandish, Belgian, Dutch? In this series, editor-in-chief Luc Devoldere wonders how we keep on managing in our very own Babel. He contemplates the way we use language today, but just as easily delves into the past to consult with historical figures and writers who stand guard over language, smirking and grumbling, swearing and caressing.

Adam en eva
language Luc Devoldere
2 min reading time

Adam and Eve Spoke Dutch

16th century humanist Jan van Gorp believed that Dutch was the only language that originated directly from the Proto-Human language and was still very similar to it.

Romulus en remus
language Luc Devoldere
5 min reading time

Latin Was the Only Truly European Language

Latin is often denounced for being elitist, but people tend to forget that, before, anyone had to master it as a second language. Therefore, not a single European nation could feel disadvantaged by Latin.

Map Languages Spoken in Belgium
language Luc Devoldere
4 min reading time

A Fleming Is a Belgian Who Speaks Dutch

When it comes to language, Belgium has a complex history. That is beautifully illustrated by the position of French-language literature written at the end of the 19th century by Flemings.

language Luc Devoldere
4 min reading time

A Standard Language Is a Dialect With an Army

Have you ever heard of “suburban Flemish” and “Polderdutch”? Editor-in-chief Luc Devoldere about the tension between dying dialects, weird "in-between-languages" and overpowering standard languages.

Talking 1
language Luc Devoldere
3 min reading time

Who Is in Charge of Language?

When it comes to Dutch, editor-in-chief Luc Devoldere states that it is not clear who determines which language norms to respect and which rules to adhere to.

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