The new Winkler

83 Dutch dialect translations of the parable of the prodigal son; edited by Harrie Scholtmeijer Nederlandse versie

Rembrandt van Rijn, 1668-69
Return of the prodigal son
In 1874, J.H. Winkler published his work Algemeen Nederduitsch en Friesch Dialecticon, in which he gave translations of the parable of the prodigal son (Lucas 15:11-32) into a large number of dialects spoken in the Netherlands and Flanders. An electronic edition of this book can be found at the Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren. In 1996, this was repeated by dr. Harrie Scholtmeijer, at the time working at the Meertens Instituut. Scholtmeijer asked informants in a number of towns which had been visited before by Winkler, to provide a new translation of the same text (in a Standard Dutch translation based on the one of the Nederlands Bijbel Genootschap).

On this website you will find the results of Scholtmeijer's fieldwork: an introduction (in Dutch) by Scholtmeijer and 83 new translations (79 collected by Scholtmeijer; 4 added by visitors of this website) of the parable of the prodigal son in contemporary Dutch dialects, with (in most cases) a few notes of the translator and of the editor; the last ones are in English and give the following information:

  • Kloeke code: a number corresponding to the exact geographic location of the town in question, according to a system which is standard in Dutch dialectology
  • The number of the corresponding translation in Winkler 1874, plus the page numbers on which this translation can be found, and the name of the dialect in the older publication
  • The name of the region for which this dialect can be seen as representative

We intend to expand this website very soon. Furthermore, we ask visitors of this website to send in a translation into their own dialect, to dr. Marc van Oostendorp (See the Dutch version of this page for more details).

More information on the Winkler project can be found in the book Naast het Nederlands. Dialecten van Schelde tot Schiermonnikoog van Harrie Scholtmeijer (Contact, Amsterdam/Antwerpen, 1999).