According to the third edition of the EF English Proficiency Index the Dutch are the third best in the world in speaking English as a second language.
Language educators EF tested the skills of over five million English speakers in 60 countries. The number one and two spots were taken by the Swedes and the Norwegians.
The South Americans and Asians are catching up the fastest. In Europe the English of the French actually got worse. Their proficiency was rated ‘low’. The countries that improved their English skills the most since the previous edition of the index were Turkey, Kazakhstan and Hungary.
The illustration is a silly visual pun. The Dutch call this type of train a dubbeldekker.
Tags: language skills, languages, statistics
Berbice Dutch, a Dutch creole spoken in part of Guyana, has been declared officially extinct, according to the next Dutch edition of National Geographic.
Berbice Dutch was spoken in plantations along the River Berbice, part of Guyana which was once a private colony founded by Dutch planter Abraham van Peere from Zeeland. It is a mixture of the Zeeland dialect of Dutch, the local Arawak Indian language and Ijo, spoken by slaves from Nigeria.
Here a video of this woman, one of the last speakers of the language, gets going at about 1:00 with explanation in English.
(Links: rnw.nl, caribbeanlanguages)
Tags: Guyana, languages, Zeeland
Doutzen Kroes, known as a L’Oréal and Victoria’s Secret model, has been asked to use her pretty face to make the Frisian language even more attractive.
The 22-year-old top model will be playing a major role in the campaign ‘Praat mar Frysk’ (roughly, ‘Just speak Frisian’) for the province of Friesland, which will be launched next week in Tytsjerksteradiel, according to news website Wâldnet. Doutzen was asked because she can show that she comes from Friesland and speaks Frisian ‘beautifully’. The goal of the campaign is to make Frisians aware of their language. Only about 2% of the Dutch population speaks it. And then a few years back, there was that nice duo Twarres who scored an international hit with their song ‘Wêr Bisto’, which is in West Frisian (the same Frisian I’m on about, as the Germans and Danish have their varieties).
For the folks who thought Dutch was the only official language of the Netherlands, there is also Frisian as well as the regional languages of Dutch Low Saxon and Limburgish.
Tags: Doutzen Kroes, Friesland, Frisian, languages