Antwerp: language as a weapon

A new two year study by Jürgen Jaspers of the Antwerp University concludes that young Moroccans in Belgium see language as a weapon to make fun and counteract other people. Despite what most people think, they are fluent in Dutch and show enough fluency in both standard and dialectic Dutch to be considered perfectly integrated.

Jaspers distinguished between three types of Dutch by the kids. Broken Dutch mixed with Arabic and Berbers was used in order to 'expose' Belgians who thought they couldn't speak better Dutch. They associated the Antwerp dialect with the complaining, indignant and sometime racist people of Antwerp and so mimicked this dialect in order to provoke responses from bystanders. Standard Dutch is seen as the language of authority, the school and the people who follow the rules.

Source: De Standaard (Dutch)

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