Here is just one example of how the grammar of my dialect from Aalst is much more difficult than that of standard Dutch. This could be because my dialect is a language that evolved naturally whereas standardized Dutch is an artificial language that has no real soul or salt to it.

Let’s look at the use of the word ‘geen’, which is used to say something is not there or is lacking. In my dialect this word changes according to the word that follows it.


kem giejne covid 

kem giejnen banaan 

kem giejn banaann 
(the plural of banana seems to change based on its place in the word order, example: banane zeh goe ver a) 

kem giejn kat

kem giejnen brol (not sure why ‘de’ words can get three different forms of gjien… possibly purely something to do with the sound of the words) 

kem giejnen ond, but kem giejnn ond is also possible, if you somehow emphasize the n sound 

kem giejn onne

kem gie kaske 

kem giejn onneke 

kem giejn kaskes 

Standard Dutch uses only the word ‘geen’ in all these cases.

Standard Dutch is utterly toothless, almost flavorless and woefully inadequate for most situations other than newspaper articles, schools and official discourse.

It’s probably impossible to win a war if you force your army to use standard Dutch, since it packs no punch and its meek tone would instantly demoralize everyone. Yes, am being serious. Compare: Schiet ze neer with ‘knal z’af’. The former sounds like a flamboyantly gay man giving directions to his hairdresser and the latter sounds like a calm, merciless, cynical, just get the job over with, habitual killer. Even though both sentences mean ‘shoot them’. 

Standardized Dutch is a language I use in bureaucratic settings. Or when I write something in Dutch. It’s also the only variant of Dutch I teach and thus it’s also the language I use with non-native speakers of Dutch.

It’s like tasteless diet mayonnaise whereas my dialect (and other dialects) or Dutch with an accent from the Netherlands are the real deal.

My beef is not with Dutch people speaking Dutch (I love Dutch people!!), my beef is with standardized Dutch in Flanders since its use there is artificial and it’s not a language that conveys my true feelings as well as my dialect can.

I have almost nobody to talk my dialect to, so it’s mostly the language of my memories. It also comes with a negative world view, so maybe it’s better I have lost my direct connection to it. I would never teach it to my son now, because it’s full of pent-up anger.

I do miss it, because it may be the language closest to my heart apart from English.