Hallo, Mestreech Posted by Elena on Jan 16, 2011 in Dutch Language
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t live in one of Holland’s four big cities – Rotterdam, Utrecht, Amsterdam and Den Haag – grouped together like a big happy family up North. Instead, I live in Limburg. This little southland of outliers has its own distinctive culture – and, in many cases, its eigen taal. Right now I live in Maastricht, a city intent on reminding you of its authentic culture, and hearing Mestreechs – the dialect spoken here – in restaurants, bars and stores, is a daily treat.
It’s hard to say exactly what Mestreechs is like. It has elements of German – you hear “mich” and “diech” sprinkled throughout sentences – and it has a different rhythm and uitspraak than Dutch: it’s almost irritatingly lilting and sing-songy, and the g’s are much softer than their phlegmy Northern counterparts, which can be a blessing.
Any interest in Mestreechs is, no question, an exercise in double obscurity, considering Dutch’s already marginal place in the international lexicon. But it’s kind of amazing to think about how regional dialects – here and throughout the world – hang on for dear life in what we are constantly told is an over-connected, global milieu.
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