Let your dialect be heard!
Terra Mosana is a Euregion project which studies the common history of the Meuse-Rhine Euregion. The languages of the present and the past belong to this history. "We would like to know, and let everyone hear, the richness of languages and dialects that are spoken between the Meuse and the Rhine", states Leonie Cornips, Professor Language Culture in Limburg at Maastricht University. Despite the Corona crisis, this is a good example of research that can continue very well. Perhaps even an extra boost.
Record sound clips
Cornips explains: "The aim of this project is to have speakers speak seven short sentences in their own language / and or dialect / s. In these sentences, the shared history of the Euregion is central. We ask participants to translate the sentences into their own language / and or dialect / and to speak via WhatsApp on the appropriate telephone number (0031 6 8747 3826). This can be any dialect or language now spoken here (Mestreechs, German, Dutch, Turkish, mixed language, etc.). The collected sound fragments are combined into a sound artwork. This sound artwork can be heard in exhibitions, films, podcasts, etc."
Ask your environment to join
How does the project proceed? Cornips is enthousiast about the result so far: "About forty people have now spoken sentences. With dialects mainly from the Netherlands and Flanders, Wallonia and Germany. For example, sentences have now been recorded from Maastricht, Sittard, Eijs, Stein Heerlen, Landgraaf, Noorbeek, Voerendaal, Hoesselt, Liège, Tongeren, Riemst and even sentences in Syrian Arabic. People can still take part! Who knows, there may be people who, due to these special circumstances, can make time for this. For example ask your kids, or call your grandpa or grandma and ask if they can pronounce the sentences on your phone.The deadline has been extended to Tuesday March 31, 2020."
The intention is to have participants translate and record the following seven sentences:
- The inhabitants of the Meuse and the Rhine share one history. We understand each other, regardless of national borders.
- The Romans introduced new knowledge, techniques and rules. They created unity in the Meuse-Rhine Euregion.
- Who knows queen Gerberga? She was a powerful woman who, right before the year 1000, ruled over the Western part of Francia, a large kingdom in North-Western Europe. She also owned a lot of land in the Meuse-Rhine Euregion.
- Many pilgrims visited churches and monasteries in the Middle Ages. This generated work and earnings.
- Armies continuously sieged cities in the Meuse-Rhine Euregion. Wars were fought which lead to a lot of damage and poverty.
- Romans, Franks, Germans, French, but also artisans from Italy: they all came here to live and work. The Meuse-Rhine Euregion has known immigration for centuries.
- From Saint Servatius to Lambert of Maastricht, from Heinrich von Veldeke to d’Artagnan: many stories tell the past between the Meuse and the Rhine.
Cornips: “It is nice if we get the name from the participants (not mandatory), but at least the place of residence and of course in which language the sentences have been spoken. In this way we can really give shape to the project. ”
Terra Mosana is supported by the Interreg V-A Euregio Maas-Rijn programme.
Project website: www.terramosana.org
Professor Leonie Cornips: "Everybody should join! In particular now".
Photographer: Stan Keulen