Oost-Brabants * Jos and Cor Swanenberg (2003 sdu * isbn 9012090105)

Together with a book of Cor Swanenberg alone called Oost-Brabantse Streekwoorden which only contains sayings (which is amusing nonetheless), I also got this more ‘scholarly’ booklet. It came in a series called Taal in stad en streek (‘language in city and region’), a series about dialects, in his case “Oost-Brabant”. Noord-Brabant (“Northern-Brabant”) is a province in the southern Netherlands (the rest of Brabant lays in Belgium since 1813) and the writers have chosen an area with a more or less similar dialect. Still being a relatively large area (dialects differ from village to village) and with a gravity point around the writers’ origin, there is not a whole lot of information about my own dialect, but there are still references. The writer has made a nice little book with information about the dialects in the area, geographical information, differences and similarities between the different dialects/areas, a proposed way of writing and then he continues like a language-learning book with nouns, articles, conjugations, sentences, etc. all garnished with plenty examples from different variants of Eastern-Brabantian with a small glossary towards the end. The writer has a liking for words and expressions that have fallen in disuse, but he also admits that languages change during the course of years, especially in times where people can easily travel to places with other dialects and languages, schools that teach in one form of Dutch, books, internet, television, etc. Personally I found it nice to see how big differences can be sometimes or how similar to my own dialect and to learn a little about other area. The linguistic information is also interesting, instead of only having to ‘go on feeling’.
The booklet is out of print, the website that came with the series taken down and probably none of you readers will be interested in the subject, but in case you are, second hand this booklet is quite well available and some places seem to have some books in stock, since I bought my copy new.

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