Study to determine how Dutch is faring in the capital


The Brussels chapter of Huis van het Nederlands will spend the next four months investigating how Dutch is regarded, taught and spoken in the capital

The future of a language

Huis van het Nederlands (House of Dutch) in Brussels is embarking on the three-month project Model NL to gauge the use of and attitude towards Dutch in the capital. The project was launched today as part of Dutch Week.

Part of the project includes a mobile notice board on which people can tack messages relating their own experiences learning or speaking Dutch. Suggestions for how to improve language policies in the capital are also welcome.

Today the board was parked in front of Beursschouwburg, hosted by the meter (godmother) and peter (godfather) of the project, journalist and philosopher Anna Luyten and Jeroen Roppe, radio host and head of communications at Bruzz.

The project also includes debates at Beursschouwburg. The notice board will make its way around the capital, including stops at offices, organisations and schools.

Results of the study will be presented in January at a closing ceremony, where experts will discuss the future of the language in the capital.

Head of the class

In related news, Red Devils captain Vincent Kompany will teach a Dutch course to nine winners of a contest sponsored by Brussels training and employment agency Actiris. Anyone can enter the contest by answering a few questions that will help them determine how they can best go about starting a Dutch class.

Kompany will be assisted by Brussels comedian Abdel en Vrai. The pair took part in the same campaign last year, which led to four times as many people signing up for Dutch courses at Flemish training agency VDAB.

“In Brussels, half of all job vacancies ask applicants to have notions of Dutch, and too few job-seekers have that,” Jan Gatz of Actiris told Bruzz. “You double your chances on the local job market by learning Dutch.”