• gruntled Postal Worker (unregistered) in reply to Ironside
    I am not certain but pretty sure Flemish has nothing to do with the Dutch but rather it is the native language of Papa New Guinea. Don't take my word for it though.

    Your joke randomly has some truth in it. Dutch was an official language on New Guinea until 1963.

  • Kabouter Plopperdeplop (unregistered) in reply to Marvin the Martian
    Marvin the Martian:
    Severity One:
    The difference between Dutch from the Netherlands and from Flanders is more or less like the difference between British English and American English.
    Not true.

    For example, Dutch TV tends to subtitle programmes made by Flemish TV. (Actually, they sometimes subtitle any random person who doesn't come from the Dutch heartland, `the Randstad', whether understandable or not.)

    Being Flemish, everybody replied to me in English even after living 5years in Amsterdam, even if only speaking 2-3words at first, and even when persisting in replying in Dutch (well, in simplified Flemish). It's not just a matter of different dialect words, it's also differences in sentence structure -- the Dutch have a mortal fear of sub-clauses.

    People always replied in Dutch to my Spanish girlfriend's attempts on (the life of) Dutch, annoyingly.

    All in all an incomprehensible situation, as the other way around there has never been any problem in understanding. I blame mass culture -- 17million people being fed a standardized language ('eenheidsworst') and hence being incapable of understanding the 6million who live one hour driving south and speak the same language.

    Get over your Ollander complex. When we pay attention to you, you're offended. When we don't pay attention to you, you're offended. Any interaction with Flanders or lack thereof will inevitably lead to you lot being offended.

    We are perfectly capable of understanding you southerners, it's just that it's incredibly tiresome to listen to what you spiteful lot are saying much of the time. Note that lauded Flemish cultural exports such as Kabouter Plop, Piet Piraat and K3 don't need subtitling, because they kindly leave out the hateful messaging you're supposed to hear "between the lines".

    We northerners communicate in a frank, straight forward, and yes, rude manner. You southerners communicate in an obfuscated, scheming and sneaky manner. We speak the same language, but don't use it in the same way, so we will never understand each other, and you know what: it's fine with me. You Flemish are more foreign to me than your French speaking compatriots, whom at least aren't (negatively) obsessed with me and my culture.

  • (cs)

    And then some people suggest a merge between the Netherlands and Flanders. :)

    Thing is, Malta (at the other end of Europe) feels more like my native Limburg (very south of the Netherlands) than the west of the Netherlands does. That's not to say that I wouldn't like it there: I adore Amsterdam, which is quite simply one of the most fabulous places on earth.

    But I digress. I think what defines the language issue in Flanders is the fiction that there would be a Flemish language, distinct from Dutch. There isn't. In fact, when you look north of Brussels all the way up to the Dutch coast, you see a language continuum from west to east, where Dutch crosses one isogloss after the other, and slowly changes into German. This does not stop at the Dutch-Belgian border.

    So on the west end of Flanders they speak West-Flemish (which they speak in a part of the Netherlands as well), and on the east end of Flanders they speak Limburgish (which again is spoken in part of the Netherlands).

    However, the Flemish government cannot legislate on language issues (only the federal Belgian government can), and anyway, it would go against the idea of a single language area, distinct from both the Netherlands and Wallonia.

    Obviously, the situation is much more complex and much more subtle than described above, but it should give you a bit of an idea why there's always such a fuss between two peoples that share a common language, but that are culturally quite different.

  • foo (unregistered) in reply to Severity One
    Severity One:
    Obviously, the situation is much more complex and much more subtle than described above, but it should give you a bit of an idea why there's always such a fuss between two peoples that share a common language, but that are culturally quite different.
    Thanks. On such an English-language website, we had no idea.
  • Thomas (unregistered)

    I started working for the Flemish government on Jan. 1st as member of a team of 13. We're still waiting for our laptops and related peripherals, e-mail addresses and intranet access.

    We're currently bringing our own laptops and we get a new password for the visitor wifi every month. This means we can't access the resources we need, such as network shares and printers. (That's obviously a good thing when you're on a visitor network.)

  • Nap (unregistered) in reply to Marvin the Martian

    My wife is Flemish, but we live in Holland. Not only do people automatically reply in English, but I'm reluctant to speak Dutch with my Dutch friends, because they think my Flemish accent is "cute." (Posh, or what have you.)

    On the other hand, the Flemish look down their noses at the Dutch, who like to play fast and loose with grammar—and, especially, have forgotten what articles go with what nouns.

  • JJ (unregistered) in reply to hymie
    some pony:

    Really, now, there's no need for that kind of language.

    Okay, 'fess up people. Who here honestly did not get the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference?

  • brt (unregistered) in reply to Matt Westwood

    Oh, don't forget the highway from Brussels to Liege, which they managed to construct upside down! I think my tires were completely ripped to shreds when I arrived at the Meuse.

  • (cs) in reply to Mr Bean
    Mr Bean:
    Bobby Tables:
    the President's daughter has been lain low by an SQL injection.
    You bet she was! Little Bobby has grown up.

    I used to have a colleague who pronounced "SQL" as "Squeal".

    As in "SQL, little piggy, SQL!"

    I've actually heard a few developers pronounce it as "squirrel."

  • riwalk (unregistered)

    This must be similar to the "smarter" government that Obama was talking about in his State of the Union address.

    Full steam ahead!

  • sqlblindman (unregistered)

    Hired as an Oracle DBA. With no DBA experience. The real WTF.

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