Een Friese Taalkwestie?
Overheidsbeleid en Bevordering Van Het Fries in Onderwijs en Officieel Verkeer
First a short overview aims at a more realistic understanding of the contemporary Frisian-Dutch bilingual situation in the province of Friesland. Some historical lines are drawn and some figures are given on proficiency in Frisian of the population (97% can understand it, 83% can speak it, 69% can read it and 31% can write it to some extent). Yet Dutch has been the dominant language for over four centuries in public life and administration.
Social norms regulate the use of Frisian in different domains. The administrative sector and education are discussed in more detail. The provincial government nowadays fully recognizes the existence of a bilingual situation and intends to develop an even more active policy. The national Dutch government, although it provided some minimal legal measures, has in fact not done much more than to "officially acknowledge" Frisian as a language.
Almost all education is in Dutch. Some primary schools have had bilingual programs for the last 25 years. In 1980 a law comes into effect which makes it mandadory for all primary schools to teach Frisian as a subject in at least one grade for one hour per week.
Language politics per se is evaluated in ternis of categories influencing the formulation of policies toward Frisian. Two research projects are mentioned (a general language survey and an evaluation of bilingual education where scientific influence on policy is clear. Lobbies like the Council of the Frisian Movement, have exerted great influence. They aim at more regio-nal autonomy, not only in language matters. In the national political arena there is no lasting concern, notwithstanding all protestations of "good will". On the provincial level a report last year meant a setting of goals toward equal rights for both languages.
In conclusion it is said that Frisian society seems to be gradually moving into a situation where Dutch and Frisian have equal rights and are equally valued. But it will be a slow process of social change, especially since many Frisian speakers still consider their language to be inferior to Dutch and think that using it is also an inferior activity,
Article language: Dutch