Expatica news

Flemish extend lead in Dutch dictation battle

20 December 2005

BRUSSELS — Flemish woman Else Ribbens won the live-televised 16th Great Dutch Language Dictation on Monday night, making just four errors along the way.

Written by author and actor Herman Koch, the dictated text — called ‘Thuis voor de buis’ (Home in front of the tube) — was considered by most participants as being very difficult.

That was also indicated by the large number of errors; compared with last year’s average of 25 spelling errors, participants made 33 mistakes this year.

Held in the Dutch Senate in The Hague, the score heading into the 16th annual dictation contest started with the Netherlands trailing Belgium with just seven wins.

However, Dutch hopes that they would catch up with their linguistic cousins this year were dashed by the victory of Flemish woman Ribbens, who works in the subtitling industry.

Her win elevated the Belgians to a national pride-lifting tally of nine wins.

The 2nd, 3rd and 4th places also went to Belgian nationals, with a Dutch woman coming in 5th with 14 errors, Flemish newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ reported.

Adding insult to Dutch injury, the best performing celebrity was also a Flemish participant, with Studio Brussels radio presenter Wim Oosterlinck making just 20 errors.

Oosterlinck partly attributed his success to a quick flick through of the Dutch language bible, ‘Het Groene Boek’. “But further than that, it was pure beginners luck,” he said.

The best performing Dutch celebrity was dictation ace Bart Chabot, who made 26 mistakes. He finished third in the celebrity rankings behind Flemish author Saskia de Coster, Dutch newspaper ‘De Telegraaf’ reported.

In the Great Dutch Language Children’s Dictation, 11-year-old Belgian Dennis Geleyn, of Kieldrecht, made just five errors. Compared with 607 errors last year, Dutch and Flemish children made 1,207 mistakes this year.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news, Belgian news