Dutch government is freaking out over the spelling of “pannenkoek”

Is it pannekoek or pannenkoek? That’s a question even native Dutch speakers are struggling to answer. The spelling of this word along with a few others has been causing a heated debate between Dutch ministers. 🥞

The Council of Ministers of the Netherlands have been arguing about a change in the Dutch spelling since 1996, according to the NOS.

This particular change involves the new rule on tussenklanken, which are sounds that occur in between parts of a word or in between compound words.

For instance, the Dutch words station (station) and gebouw (building) put together gives you stationsgebouw with an ‘s’ in between the words.

With this rule, pannekoek becomes pannenkoek with an ‘n’ in between — and this doesn’t sit well with some ministers. 🍵

“Bastard words”

The former Minister for Development Cooperation, Jan Pronk, for example, was not having it with the new rule. He was hesitant about allowing “bastard words” AKA words adopted from another language to be written in this new spelling.

“The language user will have to memorize the illogical and difficult to comprehend rules and the exceptions thereto, while the old system could be explained to every child,” he once said. 😱

New rule stays

Although several ministers like Pronk are really against the introduction of the new rule on tussenklanken, it’s a bit too late. The Dutch Language Union has already adopted the new spelling and Flanders has already introduced it into their language.

Sorry, ministers, it’s officially pannenkoek now not pannekoek!

What do you think about the spelling of pancake? Is it pannekoek or pannenkoek? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Image: makasanaphoto/Depositphotos

Nicole Ogden 🇹🇭 🇺🇸
Nicole Ogden 🇹🇭 🇺🇸
Hailing from the bustling city of Bangkok, Nicole is a Thai/American international student who came to the Netherlands to study linguistics. When she's not reading books or listening to true crime podcasts, she's practising her singing and guitar skills! She is also attempting to pick up the Dutch language (moeilijk).


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