Apparently I didn’t think words such as gezwel, boombal, ejaculaat, reflatie, troela, and roro belonged to Dutch. That is, when I took a very interesting and simple test that asked to assess whether I thought the word on the screen is a valid Dutch word. You can try it out yourself simply by visiting http://woordentest.ugent.be and learn your score right after the test that you’ll complete in a few minutes. My result after the first take is 29%, in other words, I have recognized 76% of the words correctly, but unfortunately I have also claimed that 47% of the non-Dutch words to be Dutch. The interpration of the system is: “Dit is een behoorlijk niveau voor een Nederlandssprekende.” (This is a good level for a speaker of Dutch). My wife, a native speaker of Dutch, took the same test and her initial result was something close to 70%, and the system interpreted this as “possessing a very extensive vocabulary of Dutch”.
This short web-based test is a part of big research according to the article “Het Taalonderzoek“. Researchers from Ghent University are trying to find answers to questions such as “who has the biggest vocabulary, Flemish people or Dutch people?”, “which words are very well-known in Groningen but not that much in Zeeland?”, and many others.
According to the same article, once the results of this research project are compiled and analysed, they will be presented in the mainstream media such as Canvas, Volkskrant, and De Morgen. Needless to say, I’m very much looking forward to learning about the results on TV or in the newspaper.