For centuries, the Dutch language in Belgium had to pave the way for French. And yet, editor-in-chief Luc Devoldere, a Fleming, wouldn’t miss French for the world.
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.
Flemish and Dutch people have a totally different relationship with their language. Editor-in-chief Luc Devoldere explains why.
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.
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.
Emperor Charles V embodied the complex linguistic situation in the Low Countries.
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.
When did the first texts written in Dutch date from?
Why do we call the language we speak today 'Dutch'?
Editor-in-chief Luc Devoldere considers himself a language romanticist. 'A romanticist will consider language as the spine of one’s identity.'