Deputy Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans says people in The Netherlands and Flanders should promote Dutch more

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Dutch-speaking or somewhat Dutch-speaking world, not as small as you might think.

I agree with the minister, except for one part. Any guesses at where?
Deputy Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans says the Dutch-speaking populations of the Netherlands and Belgium's northern federal state of Flanders should take more pride in their language. He made his comments during a debate with the Flemish Prime Minister Kris Peeters on relations between the Netherlands and Flanders.

Mr Timmermans said the Dutch and the Flemish should work more closely together to promote the Dutch language. He said he was considering launching projects in the former Dutch colony of Surinam and in South Africa.
The last part there about promoting Dutch in South Africa, because of course the language Afrikaans spoken in a large part of the country (and Namibia) is derived from Dutch, but isn't Dutch.

However, it looks like this is just a sloppily-written article as another article here from 2008 says that the same minister wants to work with Afrikaans and communication between the two languages, not promoting Dutch in South Africa:
Nederland wil het gebruik van het Afrikaans stimuleren. Zuid-Afrika zal een eerste aanzet geven voor de uitwerking van gemeenschappelijke taalprojecten. Dit maakte staatssecretaris Frans Timmermans bekend na een gesprek met de Zuid-Afrikaanse minister voor Kunst en Cultuur, Pallo Jordan. Timmermans vindt de taalverwantschap een wezenlijk onderdeel van het Nederlands/Zuid-Afrikaanse erfgoed.
="The Netherlands wants to stimulate work with Afrikaans. South Africa will be a first step for the development of common language projects. This was made clear by State Secretary Frans Timmermans after a conversation with the South African Minister for Art and Culture, Pallo Jordan. Timmermans believes the linguistic relationship to be an essential part of the Dutch-South African heritage.

So I guess I don't disagree with him. I've always thought the Netherlands should take more advantage of the fact that it has a linguistic cousin way down on the southern tip of Africa.

You can see it automatically translated here, but note that it often translates the word nederlands as English, so when it says English it actually means Dutch. Google always seems to do that.


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