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  • Writer's pictureHLE Network

Negative attitudes about the heritage language

November 23, 2022

In the Dutch News article by Deborah Nicholls-Lee, "Dutch integration policy fails partners: 'You become so vulnerable,' new research from the Vrije Universiteit is put in the spotlight. For her thesis, a Master's student interviewed fifteen foreign born women who moved to the Netherlands to be with Dutch partners.

The Dutch News article reports that this new research is critical of immigration policies in the Netherlands, which in recent decades have involved less the responsibility of the state and more (financial) responsibility of the individual The interviews show that integration efforts by the Dutch government failed many of these women, as they had difficulty learning Dutch, finding a job, and navigating the tax system.

Some found that their partner's friends and family became annoyed if they spoke their native language with their children.

Some women experienced a "Dutch first" mentality, where their own language and traditions were subordinated, and they were expected to assimilate. This is unfortunately another sign that discrimination based on language is a problem in the Netherlands, as reported by the UN.

HLE Network aims to fight against discrimination based on language and to spread the word about the long-term, positive outcomes of transmitting heritage languages.


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