The language of The Julekalender

Nisser the Julekalender

This year, Danish television is broadcasting the daily Christmas program The Julekalender for the 10th time. It was originally produced in 1991.

In Scandinavia, there is a long tradition of television series in 24 episodes of a story that relates to Christmas, all through the month of December. This is called a Julekalender, a Christmas Calendar. The Julekalender is said to be the one that has been most often repeated.

A special type of little people, locally called Nisse, plural Nisser, usually play a prominent role in these series. They interact in different ways with the human world, and they are mostly invisible to humans. They play a role in Danish folk beliefs – especially for …

Around Europe in Sixty Languages by Gaston Dorren. Book review.

Dorren cover lingo

This post is a book review of Gaston Dorren’s Lingo: A Language Spotter’s Guide to Europe AND Lingo. Around Europe in Sixty Languages. First edition 2014. New York: Grove Press. Accompanying website:

A friend of mine went all the way to the United States and all she bought for me was this book, “Lingo”. The similarity between the name of this blog, and the book is purely coincidental. The author of Lingo is the Dutch language journalist Gaston Dorren.

Lingo is an English adapted version of his Dutch book Taaltoerisme, or “language tourism”, which Dorren wrote a few years ago. A respected friend and colleague had read the book in its Dutch version, and his judgment …

A creole book and a dedication to a creolist: Philip Baker

Philip Baker March 2017 Giessentafel

Not long before Christmas, I received a parcel from Germany, presumably a book, and when I opened the parcel and it was indeed a book. Attached to the book was a small card with the following text:

Philip Baker, 26 July 1940 – 19 August 2017

This volume was published in February 2017, Philip Baker received it in March and had the satisfaction to see that all the data he compiled in London in the 1980ies – the famous “dossier bleu” – are now available in print (see p. VIII).

We mourn for our dear friend Philip and present this book to you to honour his memory.

Annegret and Willem Bollée

It was inserted in this book: