Tuesday, December 06, 2011

my morning of flem

this article mentions that the new belgian prime minister took his oath of office in "French, Dutch and Flemish" which confused me because i thought that flemish was the dialect of dutch that is spoken in belgium. but if that's all it is, then by saying he took the oath in flemish and dutch, wouldn't that mean that he took it in the dialect of dutch spoken in belgium and the dialect of dutch spoken in the netherlands? so why would the belgian prime minister take the belgian oath of office in a dialect that is not the one spoken in belgium?

i looked into it and of course things are a bit more complicated than i thought. and now it's even less clear to me what languages that new prime minister was speaking when he did the "dutch" oath and the "flemish" oath because the english word "flemish" can refer to four different (if closely related) dialects/languages: "belgian dutch", "east flemish", "west flemish", and "french flemish". all four are dialects of dutch. he probably didn't utter the oath in french flemish, since its speakers seem to live in france rather than belgium. but otherwise my best guess is that minister-president di rupo did the oath in two of the three others, plus french, but not german. 

um, why did i spend that much time on this again?