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Zeik Op Unne Riek (2001) + Brabants Mooiste Woord * Wim Daniëls (isbn 9077721541 * 2005) + Rare Jongens, Die Hollanders * René van Royen & Synnyva van der Vegt (isbn 9035127528 * 2005)

Recently it seems that it is no longer a shame to be proud about your country or region. These three little books are results of this new awareness. All three books are small publications, not too easy to get, but nice to get or receive/give as a present.
“Zeik Op Unne Riek” (I am not going to translate that!) and “Brabants Mooiste Woord” (“Brabants most beautiful word”) are about the slang of the province of Noord-Brabant in the south of the Netherlands, my province! “Brabants Mooiste Woord” is the result of a contest about what is the most beautiful Brabants word, which was ‘won’ by “houdoe”, our word for “goodbye”. The other contributions can be found in this little book, they are explained, an example sentence is given and here and there you get some etymological information. Interesting, but since Brabant does not have just one dialect, a large part of the book doesn’t ring any bells for me, they are from other regions.
“Zeik Op Unne Riek” is more in my street. The booklet is very small and a bit of a joke. It shows how people from Brabant can say the same in a few words where standard Dutch needs a whole sentence. The idea is that when the Brabant-slang would become the world’s business language, much time could be saved. The Dutch is of course needlesly long and the Brabants as short as possible, then a percentage of the saved letters is given. The result is sometimes very amusing. Just one example: Dutch: “Tot mijn genoegen kan ik u laten weten dat er bij de uitvoering van ons project sprake is van een snel voortgaande progressie” (‘to my delight, i can inform you that with the execution of our project, we can speak of a rapidly proceeding progression’). Brabants: “We zen ‘n hil end op scheut.” (‘we are well on the way’). 69,6%. Often the sentences are very recognisable. The booklet is a publication by the Noord Brabants Museum in Den Bosch and seems to have been in print since 2001.
“Rare Jongens Die Hollanders” (“strange fellows, those Hollanders”) is a booklet about the “national character of the Dutchmen during the Roman time”. The cover of the book and the title are obvious references to the Asterix and Obelix comics. The booklet wants to explain what the Dutch character was 2000 years ago. Because there isn’t too much information, the writers mostly used Caesar’s and Tacitus’ references to the German tribes of this region in general. Not the most common histories, which makes the booklet amusing and entertaining and even a little eductional.
Both “Brabants Mooiste Woord” and “Rare Jongens” are publication by the *) bookshops.

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