Dutch language experts and professors write letter to Dutch Language Union

Dutch language experts and professors, including Leonie Cornips and Wiel Kusters, wrote a letter to the Dutch Language Union (Taalunie) with criticism on research conducted by the institution that advises the Dutch and Flemish government on language policy. In the recent survey conducted by the Dutch Language Union, Limburgish and other dialects have been counted as Dutch.

Limburgish is however a minority language which received minor recognition by The Netherlands in 1997 (in the framework of the 1992 European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages). About 900,000 Limburgers, 75 % of the total Limburgian population, claim to speak a dialect.

This has two consequences: first the indicator for the use of Dutch in domains like home, work, hospital etc rises due to the categorisation of dialects as Dutch. One of the outcomes of the survey is that the use of Dutch has a strong position against English in the Netherlands. Second, this categorisation denies that speakers of a dialect/Limburgish are bilingual or bidialectal, have no first language of their own and that speak a deviated Dutch.

An online petition has been started: “We speak Limburgian but the Language Union does not want to know this”.

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