Speaking Dutch – Past, Present and Future
(Reinier Salverda) The Low Countries - 2005, № 13, pp. 272-274
All around the world today, English, as the language of globalisation, is rapidly spreading everywhere. In a number of EU member states this development has triggered debate about the future of their own national language. The language issue has also come up in the Low Countries, where Dutch, with 22 million speakers, ranks as number seven among the official languages of the EU. Dutch is a polycentric language, with two main centres, the Holland/Randstad area in the Netherlands and the Flanders/Brabant area in Belgium. The differences between the two centres are clearly apparent in two recent books on the history of the Dutch language (Van der Sijs, Nicoline, Taal is mensenwerk. Het ontstaan van het ABN. The Hague, 2004 / Willemyns, Roland & Wim Daniels, Het Verhaal van het Vlaams. De Geschiedenis van het Nederlands in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden. Antwerp/ Utrecht, 2003)
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