(1958) studied Dutch and Linguistics in Amsterdam and spent a half year in Florence studying Italian. She works as a freelance journalist and published a few interviews with linguists, which were collected and published as Het vermogen te verlangen (The capability to long). She wrote for many years the feature 'Zeggen en schrijven' (Saying and writing) on the back page of the NRC Handelsblad newspaper. Koenen also worked for radio and television. Together with Rik Smits she published Handboek Nederlands (Handbook of the Dutch language)en E-mail etiquette (E-mail etiquette). They publish a weekly column on their website Peptalks.
Archive available for: Liesbeth Koenen
Papiamentu, Papiamento, Sranantongo, Sarnami, English, Dutch... The languages of the Antilles and Surinam are under pressure. What is the status of Papiamentu on Curaçao and Bonaire, of Papiamento on Aruba and English on St Martin? And what about Surinam, where Dutch is the official language, but where everybody speaks Sranantongo and the language of the largest group of inhabitants (the Hindustani) is Sarnami?
A strong language policy is missing on the Antilles and in Surinam, and therefore Dutch remains the technical and official language. In the Netherlands the Dutch language is under pressure from the increasing amount of English words that find their way into everyday life and education. Another threat is the growing interest for regional languages. There is no strong language policy in the Netherlands. Is the status of the Dutch language stronger in Surinam and on the Antilles than in the Netherlands? The panel members will discuss this amongst themselves and with the audience. With Liesbeth Koenen (Dutch linguist), Rappa (writer and teacher of Dutch in Paramaribo), Drisana Deborah Jack (poet and artist from St Martin), Ronald Severing (director of the FPI, foundation for language planning on Curacao) and his fellow islander the writer Frank Martinus Arion. Panel chairman is Ruben Severina. Dutch spoken.