Talk:Dutch language

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Comment[edit]

"Dutch language, spoken in Aruba, Belgium, Curaçao, the Netherlands, Sint Maarten, and Suriname." Speling12345 (talk) 3:52, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Map is hard for colour-blind people to understand[edit]

The map of the language situation in the Dunkirk district (File:FlemishinDunkirkdistrict.PNG) is difficult for colour-blind people to understand. There are helpful tips on how to make accessible graphics on the page for Category:Articles with images not understandable by color blind users --Frans Fowler (talk) 19:35, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Good point. Sadly I don't have software that allows me to edit the current graphs. Arnoutf (talk) 20:27, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Netherlands etymology[edit]

The origin of "Nether" hints to Roman origins here, while Netherlands (toponymy) seems to attribute it relative to Burgundy. Suggest harmonisation. 88.159.78.61 (talk) 16:47, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Mutual Intelligibility between Dutch and German[edit]

The current text states "the view of mutual intelligibility between Dutch and German varies" I however do not think the first source can be used to contradict Dutch and German are not mutual intelligible. While the first source merely uses observations and doesn't quote any research, the second one is original research and is preferable. Which one is better to use Gati123 (talk) 13:29, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Rewrite of this article[edit]

Hello, in the coming couple of weeks I will try to rewrite large sections of this article. As of now and before, it was quite messy. A lot of information has very little to do with the Dutch language and isn't that relevant here. Also, a lot of the grammar seems to focus on comparing it to German for some reason, even in the article lead. I've already rewritten the lead and the geographical distribution section and will work on this more in the coming days. Wouter Maes (talk) 13:45, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

Please if you do, adjust the current statement that standard Dutch only has two grammatical genders. While it allows liberty to use the masculine gender for many (if one takes a conservative approach) feminine words, words with recognizable feminine endings (like -heid, -teit, etc.) are always feminine in the standard language, even though the implications of this are limited. The standard language also allows for conservative usage, hence historically feminine words can be considered feminine by users, and are deemed as such by many users esp. in the South, hence this is also indicative of a three-gender structure. Morgengave (talk) 19:20, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
The statement that Dutch has two grammatical genders and three natural genders covers this nearly perfectly. It is simply incorrect to say that Dutch has 3 grammatical genders. Wouter Maes (talk) 12:11, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
No, it does not. The standard language has three genders, though the consequences are limited, but present in referring, and pronouns like der, wier, diens, etc. Morgengave (talk) 14:58, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Dear Wouter, it's always a welcome thing for a fresh mind to take a critical look, and I do not doubt your good intentions. However, as for the lead, I do not believe your edits came down to a general improvement. Contrary to other literature, at Wikipedia the lead is not supposed to be an introduction. Most people only read the first section, and as they come from very different strands, the point is to convey the information in such a way that it is understandable, correct and complete, without entangling ourselves in too much detail, which belongs further down in the article. Improvements are always possible, but do be careful not state anything not covered by the reference that follows it. As for the comparison of the grammar to other languages, it compares it both to German and English, pointing to the respective differences and similarities, elaborating in a more professional fashion on the statement preceeding it, namely that Dutch is very closely related to both languages and sits somewhat in the middle. --Hooiwind (talk) 09:37, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
The statement that Dutch is 'in between' German or English is a useless one. To begin with, this article is about the Dutch language, not a comparison between Dutch, English and German. Secondly, the majority of readers of this article will have a non-existing grasp of German, meaning that it is an essentially worthless remark. Thirdly, linguistically speaking it is not at all useful nor true as languages aren't comprised to percentages of neighboring languages. It's linguistics, not legos. Wouter Maes (talk) 09:51, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
The lead I've rewritten is void of such useless statements and gives the general characteristics, distribution of the Dutch language. Wouter Maes (talk) 09:52, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Wouter, relax, no need for strong vocabulary. I've reverted back to the original lead (as it's been for years, not the lead written by you in a jiffy a couple of days ago). The existence of 600 varieties does not belong in the lead, Botswana and Zimbabwe only have very little pockets of Afrikaans-speakers and their mention in the lead on the Dutch language is therefore quite random, "extent" is spelt with an "e", the comment on natural gender and grammatical gender does not belong in the lead either, nor that some southern dialects are more conservative, a word-count is not of much interest, as every language claims to have to largest vocabulary and some languages may be more analytical while others use compound words, and Surinam is usually spelt with an -e at the end in modern literature. As for the comparison between Dutch, English and German, it simply shows the features of the Dutch language and puts them into context; the statement of Dutch being "midway" between English and German is backed up by multiple references and corresponds to the general conception by most people (and the lead is written to that public, while more specific information should be offered further down). The mentioning of the Scandinavian languages as related languages is correct, but makes it a bit crowdy. I've tried to incorporate or retain most of your edits, at times moving them further down the article, so you can't accuse me of not being open to improvements. I would suggest you concentrate your attention at those sections on grammar, vocabulary and dialects that you seem to know quite a bit about. Translating the names of dialects to Dutch (... "Limburgish" (Limburgs)...) is superfluous however, just as the use of bullet points is to be avoided. Please take these comments to heart. --Hooiwind (talk) 11:44, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
I do agree though that it would be a good idea to avoid the "in between" phrase; the fact is however that Dutch shares many features with German that German does not share with English, and many with English that English doesn't share with German. Hence the talk of a "midway position". How to wrap this up in three words? --Hooiwind (talk) 11:59, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
A minor spelling mistake in a 4000 word rewrite is not a reason to revert to a previous version which is demonstrably more incorrect, vague and random. The lead as I've written is it, and the information it contains, is based (in terms of structure) on the articles on English, French, Italian and German. If 'your' version of this articles lead has been here for years (which, I've checked, isn't the case) that would be nothing to be proud of as it's a mess in both its content as well as the way it references what it claims.
No other language-article I've checked here on Wikipedia compares the subject language to other language to such an extent as this article does. Nor do the languages to which Dutch is compared (English, German) reciprocate these comparison. i.e. in the article on German, there is virtually no reference to Dutch, further strengthening my position that this kind of content is uncommon.
If you want to improve the text, then go again, but do not revert my edits to that mess of a previous version. Or, if you do, explain on talk why you think that version is better prior to reverting. Thank you. Wouter Maes (talk) 12:45, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Just for the record, you're the one bluntly reverting, deleting, starting an edit war and not actually replying to comments, instead using an utterly childish and rude way of communicating. Let me remind you this is a collaborative project... --Hooiwind (talk) 12:59, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Maybe insert edit by edit, rather than changing the whole lot at once, that makes it much easier to integrate both versions into one. A major point of objection for me is that you write that Dutch is "the" official language of Belgium, whereas that country has 3. You only mention the Netherlands in 3rd position, whereas it's the most got the largest Dutch-speaking population. You also deleted any mention of the relative weight of the Dutch-speaking population in any of the mentioned countries... I simply don't understand your insistence on the subject. --Hooiwind (talk) 13:03, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
My revision was a major overhauling of part of this article. If your "major point of objection" is that I write that Dutch is "the" official language of Belgium, whereas that country has 3, the simply change "the" to "an" and be done with it. Same with the position of the Netherlands within the list of countries were it's spoken. If you prefer size over alphabet, then please, change those things. But do not revert my hard work because of two minor things. Surely you must understand this? Wouter Maes (talk) 15:11, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Wouter, surely you must also understand that if you get reverted, you should come to an agreement before putting it back? What you're doing now is edit warring. CodeCat (talk) 15:45, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Wouter, you're the one doing the big changes here, so it's up to you to motivate why you find it necessary to not merely edit, but "overhaul" the lead which has existed in more or less its current form since 2010 and also resulted from "hard work" by others. I'm still presuming good faith, but to me your edits come down to this: relevant information is deleted, and replaced by less relevant stuff, thus the whole thing is not getting any shorter or more readable; and also, by the way things are being put forward, the reader is left with inaccurate assumptions. Examples of this include the replacement of the weight of Dutch-speakers in the general population (that is why it currently reads "most of the population of the Netherlands and sixty percent of that of Belgium") by a mere list of countries or territories in random order (Belgium, Suriname, Netherlands; neither alphabetical nor logical), while leaving out the nuance on the Dutch Carribean (where it is an official, but not a common native language—also, the islands are more commonly known under their individual names), adding an overly obvious statement that Dutch is an "immigrant language" in the States, while deleting an estimation of the number of speakers, removing the nuance on Indonesia ("to a lesser extent"), while adding Zimbabwe and Botswana (which are pretty irrelevant), and so on. Futhermore, the statement that Dutch is one of the closest relatives to English and German alike (avoiding having to mention minor languages such as Low German, Scots or Frisian) is replaced by a list of Germanic languages, and ends with the comment that Dutch is (after Frisian) the closest relative of English (leaving the reader to presume it weren't the closest relative of German, which it is). An after all brief list of grammatical features—indeed summing a few up, then saying these are shared with English, then a few others, and saying these are shared with German (now where's the harm in that?)—is being replaced by a quite randomly chosen and frankly too technical claim on grammatical gender (of all things in grammar...), a claim on the existence of 600 dialects and the conservatism of the southern ones (which may be true, but does not "identify" the Dutch language as a whole, and therefore belongs further down the article), and a word count, which is of little added value. What I do think could be of added value, when fitted in properly, is a brief mention of the Dutch Language Union as its regulatory body, its use of compound words in vocabulary, and frequent use of the diminutive, and maybe also a reformulation of "between them"—which from what I understand bothers you a lot—to a better reading phrase, always, of course, backing it up with good quality references. --Hooiwind (talk) 19:54, 21 June 2015 (UTC)