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  5. "Hoeveel dialecten worden er …

"Hoeveel dialecten worden er gesproken in Nederland?"

Translation:How many dialects are spoken in the Netherlands?

August 18, 2014



Are the dialects within the Netherlands so distinct from each other that they inhibit, or at least make difficult, communication between speakers of each dialect? It's just crazy to me that there can be such difference within a country that's a third the size of the US state I hail from... in Pennsylvania, you can drive 300 miles away, and still understand someone 99.5% (they might call soda "pop" but that's about it.)


Remember that English was not the original language spoken in the US, but instead spread across from the east as Europeans came over and slowly moved westward. They mixed together and there was dialect leveling. (This is part of why there are more pronounced dialect/accent divides on the east coast than on the west -- think New York vs Boston vs Pittsburgh vs Atlanta, etc.) In the last couple hundred years, people have moved around America A LOT. In Europe there has been, in general, less movement of populations. People have stayed in one place a lot longer, so those accents/dialects remain somewhat unique. To compare, there is an island off of the US called Tangier Island (look up a youtube video), where the population has hardly moved from that island for a few hundred years. Their dialect is sometimes EXTREMELY difficult to understand for other Americans, and it has remained unique because they are somewhat isolated and because they've stayed in place.

Hope that helps. :)


If I speak in my dialect to someone from Amsterdam which is about 160 km in a straight line (100 miles) away they will look at me funny and will probably ask if I'm German/Belgian. Obviously the shorter the distance the more people will understand each others dialects, but even within 20km there are differences in dialect and sometimes completely different words can be used to describe the same thing.


Dan kom jij uit Limburg ;-)


Not a native speaker, but I can tell you after many years here, Dutch will adorably exaggerate this shit. Dutch use the word 'dialect' but that's a misnomer. Most of the so-called 'dialekten' are actually just accents with some local words thrown in.

There are indeed a handful of dialects that are significantly different than standard Dutch. If you're from PA, it's like listening to two blue-collar Scots or Kiwis go at it. Or maybe elderly rural farmers from Appalachia or Georgia. You can pick up the gist but it's a chore to follow. One of those I hear often and can vouch for is Fries, which is the closest link to Engels, another being Kerkraads, the closest link to Duits. These are truly different. I know there's also about 5-10 other actual dialects with significant populations, but the last two generations nationwide speak fairly standard Dutch and so differences are dying out.

An aside, they'll also tell you they speak 2-3 other languages, but this is largely rubbish. They're completely surrounded by and obsessed with American English here. Don't believe the hype. Peace.


Remember also that the lines between accents, dialects, and languages, are fuzzy. Imagine five villages in a row. Village A understands Village B, Village B understands Village C, and so on. Every village understands perfectly the villages next to them because the differences are minor. But Village A doesn't understand Village E at all because those minor differences added up to big ones. So at what point did that different accent become a different dialect or that dialect become a different language?


Don't base your knowledge just on the Randstad, maybe listening to this will enlighten you a bit:

West Flemish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE57zsos1AM

A few different ones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHmcVjMzS-I


Beste Susande, een ietswat "geprikkeld" maar eveneens met een glimlach, heb ik de video van Gerrit Callewaert bekeken. Ik herinner mij als Westvlaming met weinig onthaal opgevangen te zijn door de lokale gemeenschap wanneer ik, omwille van mijn interesse voor het toen voormalige ABN, heel plots het algemeen standaard nederlands begon te spreken. Het was een moeilijke tijd toen, omwege van mijn sociale relaties, maar ik hield vol en antwoordde aan iedereen in het nederlands. Een tip: ik studeerde avondles 'dictie' en daarna 'toneel' in de plaatselijke academie. Vergeef mij deze uitwijding, Susande, maar het videodocument bracht mij zoineens weer 'thuis' waar mijn TAALOPVOEDING begon. Na vele jaren van gedwongen opgeheven banden... Dank aan Duo en jullie ( medewerkers van verscheidene aard) voor deze nieuwe taal- en levensontwikkeling! Een groet, Lu.


Is "er" necessary? The only thing that comes to my mind is that "er" is being a subject substitute in the sentence.


It's not necessary.


You will come across times when it seems useless but is really needed there so if it makes sense there I would get comfortable using it but of course if you know for sure it will change the meaning of the sentence if it's there and you don't want that, don't use it. In this case, it's what my Civics teacher would describe as colloquial but I am not sure if that's the right word.


Why "worden" and not "zijn" ?


While you are obviously on the right track with your learning in pointing out that zijn means are, the verb worden is used to talk about the passive (something is being done by the subject - the dinner is being cooked by me- and not the subject doing the action - I am cooking the dinner). Since we are not talking about a subject speaking x number of dialects, we don't use zijn. We are talking about the dialects being spoken.

Hope this helps


That's actually a question I'd love for someone to answer....

  • 1476

That's really difficult to determine. The question of where one dialect ends and another begins is even more vaguely defined than with languages (which happens based on mutual intelligibility) .

Depending on who's counting, you might get as few as 6 or as many as 400. Does my Oosterhout dialect differ enough from that of someone in Breda or Tilburg to be considered a different dialect? It certainly does compared to someone in Amsterdam. (Noord-Brabants cares about word word genders where standard Dutch mostly cares about either gendered or neuter, but doesn't distinguish between genders).

So how many dialects are there in the Netherlands? You tell me.


belgian dialects, always a delight :D as far as I know, in the Netherlands there is more an accent difference than actual a dialect, which implies typical regional words. I don't mention Friesland because that is something else.


Trust me if someone from "de achterhoek", Groningen or Limburg talks in their dialect to someone from Amsterdam they won't have a clue what that person is saying and that is not just down to a different accent. And being from Limburg there are even within the province words that are used in one place that are not in another as well as pronounced differently.


Is er? Maar ik weet dat er zijn veel verscheidene dialecten in noorwegen...


Interesting. I did not realize there were multiple dialects in The Nederlands. What dialect are we learning in this course? I'll be moving to Eindhoven soon, so I hope I won't be completely confused.


You're learning 'Standaardnederlands', which means 'standard dutch', formerly referred to as 'ABN', or 'Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands', (Generally Civilized Dutch).

Dialects, yes there are many, but don't worry: most of them are mainly difference in pronunciation and/or slight grammatical or word order differences. You'll understand 'Eindhovens' quite well I think!

One to learn is 'Houdoe' [ˈɦɑu.du], a widespread and very common goodbye greeting in Brabant!


Dankjewel, Erik, for your fast reply!

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