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Jinx
10-16-2001, 03:52 PM
What is the relationship between the Dutch and the German? I've heard it said they are same, or closely related. Can anyone tell me more?
- Jinx

saudade
10-16-2001, 04:14 PM
Someone else may come along and explain this better, but "Dutch" is closely related to "Low German" ( Plattsdeutch) or "Low Saxon" (Niedersachsen), spoken in Northern Germany. The German we learn in school is called "High German" and is based more on Central and South German dialects.
Frisian, Dutch, Low German, and High German form a language continuum.

By the way, one of the best places to hear "Low German" used in everyday life is in Mexico! The Mennonites of Chihuahua are "Low Germans". The came to North America before Low German really gave way to High German.


This online Bible features Dutch, Low German ("Plautdietsch), and High German versions...Ducth and Low german are very close.
http://bible.gospelcom.net/

http://ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=Netherlands
http://ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=Germany

ShibbOleth
10-16-2001, 04:17 PM
Well, to start with the German word for German is Deutsch, which is probably also the basis for the word Dutch. Dutch is the language spoken in the Netherlands. People from the Netherlands are Netherlanders or Nederlander if you prefer. And Holland is part of the Netherlands but not the whole place.

glee
10-16-2001, 04:28 PM
I assume you mean language.

I'm not a linguist, but I live in Europe.

German, Dutch and English share some vocabulary, though English has a lot of roots.
French, Italian and Spanish are similar to each other.

Dutch is extremely close to Afrikaans (South Africa), because a lot of Dutch people settled there last century.
(Similarly colonising the East Indies explains why the Dutch have such good food as rijstaafels).

But German and Dutch are not the same.

No doubt Coldfire could explain it better, since almost all Dutch people speak 3 languages.

Of course we English speak three languages too (English, American and Australian).

glee
10-16-2001, 04:34 PM
I assume you mean language.

I'm not a linguist, but I live in Europe.

German, Dutch and English share some vocabulary, though English has a lot of roots.
French, Italian and Spanish are similar to each other.

Dutch is extremely close to Afrikaans (South Africa), because a lot of Dutch people settled there last century.
(Similarly colonising the East Indies explains why the Dutch have such good food as rijstaafels).

But German and Dutch are not the same.

No doubt Coldfire could explain it better, since almost all Dutch people speak 3 languages.

Of course we English speak three languages too (English, American and Australian).

glee
10-16-2001, 04:47 PM
You can blame bl**dy BT Internet for the above - they disconnect users every 2 hours!

Johanna
10-16-2001, 04:57 PM
[/i]Both Dutch and Deutsch share the same origin, and both are related to the word Teutonic (they're both Teutonic, i.e. Germanic, languages). Dutch is ultimately from Old English theodisc used to mean 'Gentile' ("of the nations" in Biblical usage, ha-goyim). Deutsch is from Old High German diutisc 'German', i.e. of the (German) people, from Common Germanic *theudiskaz.

The root of all these names is Common Germanic *theudo 'people', from which come Gothic ■iuda, Old English ■eod ('people, Gentiles [goyim]' in the Bible, 'retainers'), Old High German diot, Old Norse ■jˇ■, all meaning 'people'. Cognates in other Indo-European languages include Oscan (an ancient language of Italy) touto 'city', Old Prussian tauto 'land', Latvian tauta 'people', and Old Irish tuatha 'people' (recall from ancient Celtic legend the Tuatha De Danann 'the People of the Goddess Danu'). Possibly a related word is Latin totus (>total) 'all, whole' (<?'of the whole tribe'). All these words come from Proto-Indo-European *teuta, 'tribe'.

Captain Amazing
10-16-2001, 06:12 PM
And, of course, the Pennsylvania Dutch, who are really German, were called that, because they called themselves "Deutsch", and people misheard it as "Dutch"

GilaB
10-16-2001, 07:58 PM
A semi-WAG....In general, many different dialects of European languages evolved while European states were less centralized (like France) or totally fragmented (like Germany, a.k.a. "The Holy Roman Empire"). As states became more centralized, the dialect of the dominant region tended to displace the others (e.g. Parisian French over Langue d'Oc, etc.). Holland (or the bunch of different regions that made up what we know today as Holland) was part of the general German smear of languages, but when the states consolidated, Germany and Holland were under different rule and didn't consolidate into the same language.
Now Coldfire can come along and make fun of my ignorant grasp of European history and linguistics.

don willard
10-17-2001, 10:42 AM
Why does everyone call the ancient Indo-European language that gave rise to nearly all the languages from and including Europe through Persia and India, Proto-Indo-European? If PIE was the original language of this whole area, then what is plain IE?

Boris B
10-17-2001, 11:15 AM
I think plain IE only applies to the family, not to any language. PIE is the mother of the family. I mean, you could have named the mother eponymously, but that might cause confusion.... Indo-European has for so long referred to the entire tree that using it only to refer to the trunk of the tree would cause those of us who like words to have only one definition to scratch our head.

The other confusion-avoiding option would have been to call IE the Indo-European Family and PIE the Indo-European Language, but that is sort of cumbersome and people in a hurry would often leave off the last word, losing the distinction entirely. Also, I like the way PIE has its temporal relationship to its child tongues embedded in its name.

When I first heard of PIE - two decades after I had first perused and IE family tree nicely illustrated in my big fat Webster's - I was really astonished. One language that eventually spawned Icelandic, Hindi, Tocharian, and Spanish! How fabulous! Upon further reflection I realized it could have been know other way - the IE tree is not composed of languages which merely influenced each other, or borrowed words, they actually descended from the same parent tongue.

(The same is true of every language family, but those families are not always as well-defined as IE, with some members on the fringe suspected but not proven to be related. Korean occupies this position in the Ural-Altaic family.)

therealblaze
10-17-2001, 12:34 PM
Glee American,British and Australian English are dialects not different languages.

PIE was a language spoken about 6000 years ago. Indo-European languages are descendants of that. Germanic languages are descendants of those. Ingaevonic family tree contains Low German from which Dutch-Flemish has descended.

For details see Germanic Language Tree (http://softrat.home.mindspring.com/germanic.html).

scampering gremlin
10-17-2001, 02:56 PM
History and politics have something to do with this.

Throughout most of the Medieval period German speakers formed the largest single cultural group in Europe, both in terms of population and territory. Their political affiliations, however, were very loose.

The Germans also lacked a central capital such as Paris or London that could provide a standard dialect. Berlin didn't rise to prominence until much later and its local dialect remains peculiar today. Oddly enough, the minor northwestern city of Bremen is usually regarded as home to the "best" high German. Low German is sometimes still heard in the surrounding countryside.

The area that later became Belgium and the Netherlands pursued a different cultural and political course by the late Middle Ages. The formation of the now-defunct Duchy of Burgundy in the fourteenth century may have been the deciding event. Burgundy itself returned to France, but by the time the Low Countries came within Austrian rule under the Hapsburgs they had assumed a distinct identity. Hapsburg dynastic expansion soon brought the region under Spanish dominion.

Why Dutch and Flemish are considered separate languages from German while Swiss German gets regarded as a dialect is a matter I won't even pretend to address.

glee
10-17-2001, 03:43 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by therealblaze
[b]Glee American,British and Australian English are dialects not different languages.

- a linguist walks into a bar. "Ouch!" (It was an iron bar).

- I also speak Canadian (not French Canadian, obviously).

glee
10-17-2001, 03:51 PM
Originally posted by therealblaze
Glee American,British and Australian English are dialects not different languages.

- a linguist walks into a bar. "Ouch!" (It was an iron bar).

- I also speak Canadian (not French Canadian, obviously).

Markxxx
10-17-2001, 06:27 PM
Actually Dutch and Flemish are the same language. Even the Belgians now refer to their dialect as Dutch not Flemish.

therealblaze
10-18-2001, 03:23 AM
Glee I don't get you. Care to elaborate?

hibernicus
10-18-2001, 06:36 AM
Originally posted by Markxxx
Actually Dutch and Flemish are the same language. Even the Belgians now refer to their dialect as Dutch not Flemish.

Not all the Belgians. It is true that the standard language of both the Netherlands and Flanders is the same (the Dutch of Amsterdam, IIRC) since 1979 (again, IIRC). But many Flemings choose to identify themselves and their language as Vlaams, in opposition to "Belgian" and "Dutch" respectively.

grimpixie
10-18-2001, 08:56 AM
Originally posted by hibernicus
Originally posted by Markxxx
Actually Dutch and Flemish are the same language. Even the Belgians now refer to their dialect as Dutch not Flemish.

Not all the Belgians. It is true that the standard language of both the Netherlands and Flanders is the same (the Dutch of Amsterdam, IIRC) since 1979 (again, IIRC). But many Flemings choose to identify themselves and their language as Vlaams, in opposition to "Belgian" and "Dutch" respectively.

As an Afrikaans speaker, I had always understood that, while we share many words with Dutch, our language was much closer to Flemish - to the point that we could understand it without too much of a problem...

glee
10-18-2001, 09:53 AM
Originally posted by therealblaze
Glee I don't get you. Care to elaborate?

I must be losing my touch. :eek: Of course I was joking :D (since I know the difference between a language and a dialect).

I have played about 20 chess tournaments in Holland*, and am continually impressed by the fact that all the Dutch seem to speak about 3 languages.
Whereas the English are notoriously lazy / incompetent at using foreign languages. Our only excuse is that English is effectively a World language, and most people seem keen to practice speaking English to a native.

I also 'speak' Cockney, Geordie, Scouse and Scottish. (London / Newcastle / Liverpool / Scotland)
I once found I needed to translate the odd word between two heavily accented UK natives (the aforementioned Geordie and Scottish). Now that was a surreal experience...


*English for 'The Netherlands'

hibernicus
10-18-2001, 10:21 AM
Originally posted by grimpixie
As an Afrikaans speaker, I had always understood that, while we share many words with Dutch, our language was much closer to Flemish - to the point that we could understand it without too much of a problem...

It may be true that you can understand Flemish, and that they can understand you when you speak Afrikaans. I know a girl from Stellenbosch whose native language is Afrikaans and is studying at the University of Leuven, and she could understand and make herself understood even before she mostly switched to standard Dutch. It should be noted, however, that Flemish varies a lot from east to west, and that different Flemish dialects have more in common with neighbouring Dutch dialects than they have with each other.

Afrikaans is probably descended from Dutch of Amsterdam, but it's just possible that there are some features preserved in both Afrikaans and Flemish that make it easier for you to understand. I'm a bit sceptical.

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