Flemish minister calls on media to stop subtitling

10th June 2008, Comments 3 comments

The minister is calling for an end to subtitles for fear that the two communities will not be able to understand each other in future.

10 June 2008

FLANDERS - The Flemish Media Minister Geert Bourgeois has called for Dutch and Flemish television companies to stop subtitling each other's programmes as he fears that the two Dutch-speaking communities will not be able to understand each other in the future.

He added that instead of uniting Flanders and the Netherlands, "our shared language will divide us". He says it is a ridiculous situation and that nowhere else in the world do nations that share the same language subtitle each other's programmes. He pointed out that despite the differences in accents, "the US does not subtitle British programmes".

Since the Flemish commercial broadcaster VTM started broadcasting in 1989, the number of Dutch-speaking Belgians who watch Dutch television has dropped significantly.

This has led to an increase in the number of Dutch television programmes being subtitled for broadcast in Flanders. Bourgeois says this has negatively affected language use in Flanders.

[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]

3 Comments To This Article

  • Fish Jones posted:

    on 27th August 2011, 12:44:03 - Reply

    I often 'subtitle/closed caption' stuff I watch... but then I do that anyway out of habit, even when everything's American. :) It actually kinda pisses me off that Netflix won't subtitle my favorite show, not because I need subtitles for it, but because I multitask and need to look up and use the subtitles to catch stuff I missed.

    I'd never thought about it 'ruining my ability to understand British...' :)
  • leeam posted:

    on 12th June 2008, 12:22:00 - Reply

    and many english speaking countries sub-titled the scottish movie Trainspotting.
  • Andy posted:

    on 10th June 2008, 12:54:31 - Reply

    No, the US doesn't subtitle British programmes. It just remakes them completely, and moves the original to a fringe cable channel where almost nobody will watch it.