BELGIUM. Language. xvii
C'est l'usage, dit-on, de s’attraper
Lun et lautre le premier d’avril;
Si cnesteu ko qupo sdiverti, Si ce n’était que pour se divertir,
Quon koiraW’ in’ got & sdupé! | __Qu’on cherchat un peu a se duper!
Mais cn’est pu po rir’ quon s’surprin, | Mais ce n’est plus pour rire qu’on se
Crest Pusege, dist-on, d sattrapé
nk et Vaut’, li prumi davri;
Dé mon si on ce reie, ci n’est k’ de gros | Du moins si l'on enrit ce n’est que du
"des din. gros des dents.
On stromp’, on s dispoie al tournate: | On se trompe, on se dépouille tour
Cest Vprumt d@avri tot Vannaie! C’est le prem. d’avril toute l'année.
The Fremisu language differs but slightly from the Dutch, both
being branches of the lower German language. In the middle ages
they formed but one tongue, and even at the present day the
Flemish spoken language differs no more from the Dutch than
some German dialects do from each other, while the written
languages are almost identical, especially since the Flemish writers
ceased to use certain unimportant orthographical peculiarities that
had previously distinguished the languages. Flemish, although rich
and expressive, cannot be called a highly-cultivated tongue. After
the Dutch War of Independence, which left the Flemish provinces
in the possession of the Spaniards, it suffered en eclipse as a literary
language. The existing Flemish literature was burned at the com-
mand of the Duke of Alva; and the language of the rebellious
Flemings was no longer seen or heard, save in catechisms, prayer- -
books, legends, et and among the lower classes. So matters
remained until the Dutch government of 1814-30; and when the
Revolution of 1830 placed the governing power almost exclusively
in the hands of the French element, the Flemish element all the
more obstinately asserted itself. Since the year 1840, at the insti-
gation of J. F. Willems (d. 1846), Ph. Blommaert (d. 1871), Hendrik
Conscience (d. 1883), Em. Hiel (1834-99), Max Rooses, Pol de Mont,
August Vermeylen, Styn Streuvels, and others, the ‘Flemish Move-
ment’ (‘Vlaamsche Beweging’) has continuously advanced. A law
was passed in 1873 permitting a more general use of Flemish in
judicial proceedings than had previously been competent; in 1883
the use of the Flemish speech was introduced into the middle-class
schools of the Flemish provinces; in 1888 a knowledge of Flemish
was made obligatory for military officers; and official decrees and
announcements are printed in both Flemish and French. A modern
dramatic literature is springing up, and in the provincial press
the Flemish newspapers outnumber the French by about three to
one. But the fact remains that a knowledge of French is still con-
sidered indispensable to all but the lowest agricultural and la-
bouring classes. The official text of the laws is French; the Flemish
versions introduced in 1897 rank as translations merely.
The following peculiarities of pronunciation are common to
Flemish and Dutch: y (in Dutch ij) is pronounced like the Eng-
BAEDEKER’S Belgium and Holland. 15th Edit. b
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K 29612:[a,1,11], Collectie Stad Antwerpen, Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience
Baedeker, Karl, Belgium and Holland, including the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg: handbook for travellers, K 29612:[a,1,11], Collectie Stad Antwerpen, Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience