Willem-Alexander and Maxima have to learn the words of Maastricht to reach the historic city center on Wednesday. It will not be easy, as our sample in The Hague showed.
The royal couple can only proceed towards Onze Lieve Vrouwe Square after an accent test. The reading board in Maastricht seems to be a good foundation, but long voices do not easily roll off the tongues of The Hague. “What’s that, dude. That’s a Friesian after all,” heard reporter Achille Brick at the Harry statue from The Hague. “It really is a different language.”
According to linguist Stephanie Ramachers of Venlo, it will be quite the job for Maxima and Willem Alexander. “Limburgish is a tonal language, which makes us distinct in Europe. This means that the word has different meanings if you pronounce it in a different tone. Like ‘bein’ and ‘bein’: This means leg, but if you pronounce it differently, it also pronounces the plural ‘legs’. King’s Day can become a Maastricht “ball”, but if Maxima draws the word a little longer, you get a “ball” to play sports with.
The language test was conducted by Maastricht representative John Van Erd and people can participate from home using a mobile phone. Stephanie Ramachers is happy to see that Maastricht residents are proud of their language† “There are still many prejudices about dialect, as if it were inferior. While research has shown that children raised in two languages, with both Dutch and Limburgh, have real advantages. Maastricht scholar Leonie Kornip has demonstrated this very clearly.”
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