Dialect on Ameland island kept alive by old men

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Ameland1

The island of Ameland off the Dutch coast is a popular tourist destination for the Dutch and many a foreigner. To get there you take a ferry boat, which sounds like a lot of fun, especially in the summer. I wouldn’t really know about the ferry, as on a 30 degree Celsius day a few years back, I had the chance to fly there and this was my view. Seeing the hordes of bunny rabbits scurry when a plane lands is hilarious and the runway has white plastic cans to ‘indicate’ where the runway is.

Mathilde Jansen researched the Ameland dialect for years and came to the following conclusions. ‘Amelands’ is mostly Frisian (an actual language, not a dialect) mixed with modern Dutch. Contrary to dialects on nearby Dutch islands, Amelands is also spoken by the kids, and not just the old folks. There are also East-West differences, only discernable to the real pros.

And about the old men: they still speak the most authentic version of the dialect, according to Jansen. She also says that previous research shows that men in general prefer to speak local dialect, while women opt for ‘regional and standard variants’.

(Link: kennislink.nl)

1 Comment »

  1. Hehe. I like the sound of the rabbits running to get out of the way of the plane.

    Comment by Invader_Stu — January 22, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

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