Saturday, April 21, 2018

The best things in life are free...

The expansion of the Dutch commercial empire from the seventeenth century onwards meant that the Dutch language was spoken in many parts of the world. So, why did it not become a world language, like Portuguese, Spanish and English? One reason is that there were already Languages of Wider Communication (LWC) in use when the Dutch arrived and they used these to communicate with local people. In the East Indies, Portuguese and Malay were already established as LWCs. A form of Malay, Bahasa Indonesia, eventually became the dominant language in the archipelago, but in the process incorporated plenty of Dutch words. On a hot day, you'll rush to the kulkas (fridge from the Dutch koelkast) and when driving in Jakarta you'll be glad to see this sign for free parking from the Dutch parkeren and gratis. And make sure you park correctly, otherwise the polisi may have a word!

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