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Re: French

From:Ina van der Vegt <gijsstrider@...>
Date:Friday, January 23, 2009, 13:41
2009/1/23 Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <>:
> I, a non-native but nearly fluent Dutch speaker of French origin (I say > "nearly" because I still can't get all my common gender and neuter nouns > right ;) ),
Neuter nouns are pretty easy to me, but Masculine/Feminine is to me (And plenty native speakers, I believe) difficult. I'm pretty sure most feminine words that don't refer to something that is female are being reanalysed as Masculine. (The fact that most inanimate feminine nouns can nowadays be referred to by masculine pronouns in official writing is a clear sign of that.) And if we native speakers cannot keep it straight ourselves, how can we expect non native speakers to do it right?
> will never forget the time I was watching the news, and a woman > was interviewed on the Dutch TV who spoke in a Dutch dialect so weird I > could not make out what she said without the subtitles (Dutch TV tends to > subtitle people speaking in dialects, even when those are relatively easy to > understand). Still, I always felt at the edge of understanding, and thus > thought it was probably just a difficult dialect (there are enough of those > here in the Netherlands). So when I asked my husband which Dutch dialect the > woman was speaking, imagine my surprise when he replied that she was > speaking Swedish! > > So I'm very happy to hear that at least one native speaker has a similar > experience. My husband (native Dutch speaker) tells me that he understands > the basics of Swedish, although he never studied it. He has more difficulty > with Danish and Norwegian, which sound much more foreign to him. I tend to > agree, although I have a Danish colleague, and when he is speaking Danish to > another Danish colleague it always takes me a while before I recognise that > he is not speaking Dutch. The stød does help (his stød is a strong creaky > voice, which makes his speech very un-Dutch-like).
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only native speaker who has such an experience.