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Oma's brother and his wife (my great-uncle and great-aunt), from Zeeland,
have come to AustraliŽ for a month (though for the week starting tomorrow
they'll be seeing more of Australia than I have)...

Anyway, I'm just wondering about some things (descriptions of English are
relative to my dialect and not intended to start an EPT)...

(My questions will probably be relative to the speech of 70-y.o.
Zeelanders, but general responses are fine if they're interesting or you
can't talk about 70-y.o. Zeelanders :)

What is the Dutch word for Cassowary? (Oma doesn't know and Harrie and
Mien don't speak English.)

There is a word for young girl pronounced sort of like [meiS@]. It might
be a dialect word, I'm not sure. How is it spelt? (Mum only brought it up
as Oma, Harrie and Mien were leaving (after visiting us), and she (Mum)
can't speak much Dutch and isn't entirely literate in it, though it
apparently didn't occur to her that I would have very little understanding
of the language because I never learnt it, whereas it was her mother
tounge...)

How is the word for uncle spelt? (I feel sure I've asked this before, but
I've forgotten...) The only pronunciation I've heard is Mum's, which as I
say below isn't the best to go by.

Is <ij> pronounced /&i/ (at least in Zeelands)? It sounds that way to me.
Seems kinda funny :) (I think some mention of this was made on the list a
while ago by Irina Rempt.)

Is _Hollands_ the standard Dutch word for 'Dutch'? or perculiar to some
dialects? Is _Holland_ the usual word for the Netherlands (or used at
all)? How come Holland isn't supposed to be used in English then?

Are <ie> and <i> pronounced the same (i.e. as [I])? Is <ee> something like
/i:/ or something like /e:/ or are my ears entirely deceiving me? When Mum
said 'Zeeland', it very definitely sounded like the latter, but otherwise
it's closer to the former (or at least, closer to English <ee> which is,
admittedly and for me, a diphthong).

Is <w> /v/? I thought it was supposed to be something different, but I
can't hear the difference between it and (either Dutch or English) <v>.

And just an observation of how funny it seems that when telling them how
'Ayers Rock' is spelt, Oma needed to translate (Oma wasn't entirely sure
on the spelling). Especially given that I knew the normal name for <A>
would be more-or-less the same as the way I say <R> :) ... Which reminds
me, are both /i grek/ and /gri:k ei/ (with very rough pronunciations, my
apologies) names for <Y>?

(For the record, they're all using an alveolar sound for the r, I think a
tap or flap but it could be a trill. Well, except for Mum who tends to use
an English r, dropping it in inappropriate places. But she'll tend to
reply to Dutch speech in English so I'm not really going by her
pronunciation much.)

Another funny thing is that the only word in Harrie (almost wrote
'Hurry'*)  and Mien's emails that needed non-ASCII characters so far has
been _AustraliŽ_ :) (They seemed happy enough to type ij in as two
letters.)

*Which makes for another funniness... 'Harrie en Mien' sounds like 'Hurry
and min' to me (min being a common abbrev for minute), so like 'hurry up'
and 'gimme a min' :)

Tanke val (?),

Tristan.