Even a Dutch speaking person might feel a complete foreigner in this city.
Very often I have to ask to repeat something.
Mestreechs pronunciation is different and the dialect consists of not only different words but also German and French. The lilt and tempo of the spoken language is charming but difficult to understand for the "northener".
Because it is a border town, there are various variations.
Because of its location and diverse modern history Maastrichters have developed a dialect unique to the city which is heavily influence by Belgian and German and even has some French and Spanish minor roots. It differs from Standard Dutch not just in intonation but also regards vocabularly in that there are some terms which do not translate precisely.
You'll notice some of the street signs in the old city have the dual languages and the one pictured here of Grote Looiersstraat is especially appropriate as it is sited where the statue of one of the turn of the century champions of the Maastricht dialect, Fons Olterdissen, is located.
Of course most of the natives also speak Standard Dutch and the vast majority English as well.
Maag iech diech us eve poone, a bad joke…at least when you think you are asking for the time. But is a great line in case you are flirting with locale females, since it means ‘can I kiss you’. The Limburgian dialect is very alife. As said at other places some people maintain speaking dialect to you, even when you speak dutch or englsih. Its most the elder people who do so. But in case you start talking to Maastricht people, some will surprisingly assume you automatically speak dialect. At a counter f.e. when paying the employer speaks to you in Maastricht. But don’t worry, eveyone in most cases speaks dutch/englsih. Dialect is spoken in 75 percent as fist language, then follows dutch. Children learn first to speak Maastrichts and learn dutch propely at school. I can remember that I was used to say ‘appelseen’ (orange) in staed of sinaasappel at kindergarten. Limburgian language is a bit of German mixed with french. In the east of the Southern Province it is more German and in Maastricht is moore french. In 1997 Limburgian got officially declared as a region language. There are many ‘limburgian’dialects – such as Valkenbergs, Sittards, Venloos – but they have in common the so called softe G. The local dialects vary therefor, in pronountiation. Some use ‘sj’ were others use ‘s.’ ‘Tj’ is osed in Sittardian where Maastrichts uses ‘t’
The following wrtiiten letters have to be pronounced in the fowwing way: ae (egg) ao (lord) ao with dots on it (as in the french Dieu) o with dots on it sounds as ‘up’ Usefull limburgian expressions are here to find
Here you are: essebleef
Bey: tot zeens
What do you say?: Watbleef?
Where are you from? : Boe komp geer vandan?
How much is this? Wievoeal kos dit?
Vlaai (pastery): vlaoj
Stroop: (liqor): sjroep
Union soup: unnesop
A bag of flandren fried potatos: tuut frit
Railraod station: staasie
Market square: mèrret
OLV squere: Slevrouwplein
Vrijthof square: Vriethof
As I love languages it is an enrichment i learned Sittard and Maastricht alreday as a kid. Some sayed later at school it is a good basic to be faster in learning german and french. I don’t know if that is true, because especially as soon as the french grammar got more complex in later classes I lost my interest in French. German stayed a favourite language anyway, I think cuz it’s the funny dialects and the pronounciations that make it fun. Locals are also more inclined to watch German television and not so much french, allthough Wallon (Belgium french speaking part) is closer to Maastricht than Germany. What is always fun is to compare the more unusual dialect of several limbeurgiian towns with eachother. It is interesting to see how several towns come up with complete different words for the same things, even if a villag is only locaed 5 kilothere away. For example: in Sittardian they say ‘kalle’ to the verb speaking, whereas in Maastricht its called ‘praote.’ Once a year in Maastricht a dictee is organisated in Maastricht writing. It is often that my old high school math teacher excells here.
In the city center you will see double street signs. The top one, in blue, is written in Dutch and the bottom one, in white, is written in Dialect. Most cities in the province of Limburg have their own dialect. And so does Maastricht of course.
Maastricht has it's own dialect. In fact: every town in the Province of Limberg has. It surely will make an interesting impression if you can speak some words!! Here are some of the most used expressions. (Use the English orthography and it's sounds as tool to excercise the pronounciation)
'doeg miech mèr e pilske jong' (pronounce as: doog meek mair uh pill-skuh young) It means: one beer, please. 'boe lig de maosbrök urges?' (pronounce as: boo lick the mos-bruc urgens?) It means 'where can I find the old bridge?'
'Kin iech diech és eve puune?' (pronounces as: kin eag deag us ave poone?' It means: What time is it?
In case that you take a off the baeten path trip to other towns in this reagio and end up in sittard f.e. there are also some expressions that are very usefull to know in the sittardian dialect
"e putje beier" - pronounce as: uh pud-ju beyer" (a glass of beer)
"ich höb ne kwakkert in de tröt!" pronounce as: ich hub ne quackard inde tr-ut" (if got a frog in my trouth)
Good luck!! for maastricht course click: www.aonthartgeleege.nl
The local anthem is written by Alfons Oltendissen. It was serving as a couplet in the Maastricht comedy opera ‘Trijn de Begijn.’ It dates from 1910. Guus Oltendissen, his brother, wrote the lyrics.
Hoera! Viva! Mestreech!!!!!
(hurray, viva, Maasticht)
Jao diech höbs us aon 't hart gelege
(Yes you have been in our heart)
Mestreech, door alle ieuwe heer.
(Maastricht, troughout all the ages)
Veer bleve diech altied genege
(We will always stay kind to you
en deilde dreufheid en plezeer.
(and share sadness and pleasure)
Veer huurde naor dien aw histories
(We listend to your old stories)
te peerd op grampeer ziene sjoet.
(horssitting at granddad’s knees)
Eus ouge blónke bij dien glories,
(our eyes shined at your glories
of perelde bij diene noet.
(or were pears at your distress)
En dee van diech 't sjoens welt prijze
(and who wants to praise your beauty)
In taol, die al wie zinge klink,
(in language that sounds like singing)
tot dee op nui Mestreechter wijze
(till he, in a new Maastricht manner)
zien aaid Mestreech met us bezingk.
(celebrateshis old Maastricht with us)
Me zong vaan diech ten alle tije,
(one has song about you always)
us mooiers zónge bij de weeg,
(our mothers song at the craddle)
en voolte veer us rech tevreie,
(and when we felt satisfied)
daan zong ze e leedsje vaan Mestreech.
(then they song a song about Maastricht)
Doe, blom vaan Nederlands landouwe,
(You, fower of dutch agriculture)
gegreuid op 't graaf vaan Sintervaos,
(grown at Servaas his grave)
bis weerdig dóbbel te besjouwe,
(deserve it to be regared double)
gespiegeld in de blaanke Maos.
(mirrored in the white Maas)
'n Staar, de witste oet de klaore,
(a star, the whites our of the clearness)
besjijnt diech met häör straole zach
(shines on you with soft beams)
en um diech zuver te bewaore,
(and to preserve you pure)
'nen ingel helt bij diech de wach.
(an angel guard you)
Wie dèks woorste neet priesgegeve,
mèr heels dien kroen toch opgeriech
(how many times you were given away)
en ongeknak biste gebleve,
(and unbroken you prevailed)
door euze band vaan trów aon diech
(trough our bond of trust to you)
Daorum de hand us touwgestóke,
(therefore a hand offered to us)
't oug geriech op, 't stareleech;
(the eyes facing the light od the star)
En weurt dat oug daan ins gebroke,
(and if the eye gets broken once)
daan beijt veur us 't aaid Mestreech
(then old Maastricht prayes for us)
In Limburg (as well as over the border in Germany) one has a very extreme dialect, that however sounds wonderful. In Limburg one can easily make out the influences of Dutch, German and in some words also French (fork = fourchet). But there are specific words in Limburgian that are totally their own (for example the "kumpel" for cole mine worker). The language is really nice and if you have the time ... try to get the hang of it. Oh, and with Carnaval ... it's tradition that evrything goes in dialect!
Typical and a local custom in Maastricht.
Streets in the inner old center are indicated by two nameplates.
The official Dutch and the local
name, influenced by the French Language.
In the center of the town you find under the usual blue streetname shields also white ones that depict the name of the street in maastricht language.