Attitudes to English job titles in the Netherlands and Flanders | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 69, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0039-8691
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1214



The purpose of this study was to investigate if English loanwords are perceived differently in Flanders and the Netherlands, two areas with a shared official language (Dutch) but different sociolinguistic background and history. It has been argued that because of historical French dominance over Flemish, attitudes towards loanwords in Flanders are negative, whereas in the Netherlands attitudes are more positive because Dutch has not been threatened by another language there. In an experiment with a between-subject design, 155 Dutch and Flemish university students evaluated three equivalent Dutch and English job titles (e.g. ) with regard to comprehensibility, attractiveness, naturalness, and intention to apply for the job. In addition, general attitudes towards English loanwords were measured. Findings did not reveal differences between the Dutch and Flemish participants in their evaluation of the English versus Dutch job titles, nor in their general attitude towards English loanwords. For both participant groups, there were no differences in attitude towards the English and Dutch versions for two of the job titles, and both groups displayed more positive attitudes towards the Dutch version of one of the job titles than its English equivalent. However, Flemish participants were less likely to apply for jobs with English job titles than for jobs with equivalent Dutch job titles, while for the Dutch participants language of job title did not result in differences in application intention. The general attitude to English loanwords of both Dutch and Flemish participants was positive. It can therefore be concluded that, generally, nationality was not a factor influencing language attitudes.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Dutch; English; Flanders; job titles; language attitudes; loanwords; Netherlands; purism
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