Re: English more of a threat, Reader feedback, August 24 - 31, Vol 9, No 32
There are 22 million people in this world who speak Dutch/Flemish (and 26 million if one would add the derivative 'Afrikaans' - spoken in South Africa).
Right from the introduction of television, the Dutch and the Flemish adopted the system of sub-titling; I am so grateful for this, while from a very early age I got accustomed to the tune (not quite the understanding) of other languages.
The Dutch and the Flemish are primarily traders (the sailing ships etc.) and realised early that being able to communicate with your customer (one could not expect the customer to speak Dutch) was far more important than any nationalist feelings.
Dutch has been open to outside influences and readily accepts the foreign word for the new product introduced by a foreigner, yet still is very much Dutch.
8. Sep 2003 at 0:00