Expatica news

Belgians can’t understand Dutch

8 June 2007

BRUSSELS – Belgians are having more difficulty than ever understanding the Dutch spoken in the Netherlands and want the Flemish television stations to start subtitling all “Hollandse” television series from.

This emerged from a survey by the University of Antwerp. No less than 38 percent of the Flemings says that “Northern Dutch” is virtually incomprehensible to them without translation.

Especially younger Belgians are practically unable to follow the colloquial Dutch spoken in soaps and drama series, but they are also having more difficulty understanding Dutch documentaries and news reports.

Some popular Dutch series are already subtitled when shown in Belgium, but not all. The researchers are surprised at the findings since Dutch television was very popular in Belgium in the 1980s and 1990s.

“Perhaps the problems have arisen because people watch a lot less Dutch television than they used to when there were no commercial stations in Flanders,” says Daisy Bal of Flemish public broadcaster VRT.

“Colloquial speech in the Netherlands has also deteriorated however. People are talking faster than before and do not enunciate properly,” Bal said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Dutch news, Belgian news