Last night in the French book club we talked about this and that, as usual, anything and everything except the book that everyone is supposed to have read. This was just as well since, as an unofficial, i.e. illegal member of the club I am not entitled to a copy of the book and so have not read it.
Somehow the conversation worked its way around to Belgium. One of the ladies had just returned from there and was rather indignant. It turns out that in that small country there are people who do not speak French, which the visiting lady wanted to practise. No, those awkward Belgians insisted on speaking something else, their other official language: Flemish!
How terrible! People who felt proud enough of their language to want to speak it rather than French! They felt that n their part of the country French was an imposition. Flemish was their birth language and they insisted on speaking it. To the visiting lady’s horror she found that they even wanted to have road signs in it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they insisted on their children to being educated in it.!
Now that sounds a little bit familiar, doesn’t it? Ironically the lady who was so shocked by this occurrence is the same one who was insisting only a few months ago that EVERYONE living in Galicia should be obliged to learn gallego. She is the one who told us that gallego is an older, more lyrical language than castellano, in every way superior and allowing one to express ideas that cannot be expressed so well in any other language.
We pointed out to her that these Flemish speakers were just a little like some gallego/catalan/ basque even Welsh speakers. She clearly was not impressed.
Comments about the boot being on the other foot and sauce for geese and ganders spring to mind!!