Brunant has two official languages, Dutch and English.
History of bilingualismEdit
When James Carrington introduced English and brought many English speakers, there began to arise tensions related to language. Much like in Belgium, there was the issue of prominent Dutch-speaking towns like Chester, Koningstad and Carrington becoming increasingly Anglicized. This brought the issue up of which language(s) should/would be official and where would they be official (which region). Like in Belgium, there was the system of assigning areas to the English community and the Dutch community. This arrangement, however, would not last well in the 20th century. Here there was an increased amount of internal immigration and displacement, which saw many Dutch speakers move to traditional English-speaking areas such as Cape Cross and vice-versa. By the 1930s, many towns had a near equal representation of Dutch and Anglophones. The solution was found in the Jensen-Bockstein Commission of 1953, which stated that bilingualism would be the best solution. The government soon made it mandatory for children to learn the official language which was not maternal. Over time, schooling became fully bilingual; primary-level students take one language class in the national language they do not speak, as well some may take a course in their second-language as well. College-level (secondary) students are required to take certain courses in their second language. Nowadays, while most of Brunant has an official-language majority in all its parishes, most citizens are proficient in both.
Brunanter Dutch, or simply Brunants, has a lot in common with Standard Dutch and is therefore often seen as a dialect of Standard Dutch. Brunants is close to West-Flemish, but it has kept the so-called 'soft g', which has shifted to /h/ in present-day West-Flemish. A notable feature of Brunants is that adjectives ending on -aal in Standard Dutch end on -al in Brunant (compare standard centraalbank vs. Brunanter central bank). Brunants has had a lot of influence from Spanish, where words such as pesber (nativity scene), real (royal) and touron (turron/nougat) have become standard in the language. The language is regulated in Brunant by the Real Academie voor de Taal in Brunant.
History of Brunanter DutchEdit
The Dutch language in Brunant developed from Middle Dutch, and in particular the Brabantian dialect, due to immigration from the low countries until the late 14th though 16th centuries. Due to several factors, primarily a declining Dutch immigration and an increased Spanish one, standard modern Dutch did not become introduced to the country.
Around 1600-1700, Middle Brunanter Dutch took hold, which was a variety of the Dutch language incorporating many Spanish and Catalan words. Modern Brunanter Dutch became codified and organized in the late 18th and early 19th century.
One such word particular to Brunant is to print, imprimeer in Brunanter Dutch and afdrukken in Standard Dutch. The theory behind the difference is that the printing press existed only from the 15th century and thus the terminology in Dutch was not yet known in Brunant. Conversely, the printing press was brought over to Brunant from Spain so their terminology was adopted into Brunanter Dutch.
A unique distinction to the Dutch (and English) in Brunant, quotations are written using the guillemet («...»), though you will find double greater and less than signs (<<...>>) commonly in use.
Words native to Brunanter DutchEdit
- Touron, nougat candy, from the Spanish turron.
- Real, royal, from the Spanish real.
- Pesber, nativity scene, from the Spanish pesebre.
- Conversen, Jewish or Muslim new Christian converts, from the Spanish conversos.
- Imprimeer/Geimprimeerd, to print, printed, from the Spanish imprimir.
- Cambra, bedchamber, from the Catalan cambra.
- Canzon, song (or more precisely chant), from the Spanish cancion and Catalan canço.
- Cule, ass (slang), from the Catalan cul or Spanish culo.
- Conte/Contessin, a count/countess.
Brunanter English is based on British English, but has many Spanish influences. The language has a softer accent compared to British with some Dutch pronunciation for certain words. The vocabulary also includes a few words of Spanish or Catalan origin, such as salines (salt ponds, from Spanish salinas) and savings case (savings bank, from Spanish caja de ahorros). Spelling follows the British conventions.
Words unique to Brunanter EnglishEdit
- Salines: salt pond, from the Spanish salinas.
- Pesber: Nativity scene, from the Spanish pesebre.
- Turron: nougat canday, from the Spanish turron.
- Converse: Muslim or Jewish converts to Catholiciscm (New Christians), from the Spanish conversos.
- Hurting: an informal word for stealing.
- Optative: optional, with connotations of being recommended.
Another factor in the language issue is the Barzuna language. This is spoken by roughly 20,000 people. The Barzuna people have faced many risks in maintaining the survival of their language. In Cape Cross Parish, the language has official recognition and is important in Cape Cross and Brezonde.
On Berrio, Brunant's only Overseas Territor, English has some similarities to the English spoken in Saint Helena and Tristan Da Cunha, though ultimately derived from Brunanter English. Berrian English employs a few Portuguese words and Portuguese does contribute to the accent.