Published August 23, 2018
This video was recorded by Sarah Doyle in the Netherlands and features Zeeuws speakers Klazina and Huib. Zeeuws (known as 'Zeelandic' in the English speaking world) is spoken by over 200,000 people. Zeeuws is a Low Franconian language of West Germanic belonging to the Indo-European language family. It is considered by linguists a dialect of Dutch, however stark lexical and grammatical differences render its intelligibility with Standard Dutch difficult. It is spoken in the southernmost part of South Holland and much of the province of Zeeland. The forming of the Zeeuws dialect from Dutch is thought to have occurred in the early Middle Ages as control of Zeeland was contested by Holland and Flanders, prompting a schism with influences from the north and south. Given that travel to and from the islands of Zeeland was difficult well into the 20th century, strong isoglosses have emerged along island boundaries. Zeeuws is in decline but not considered an endangered dialect at present. There is a movement to recognize Zeeuws as a regional language under the European charter for minority languages.