Digital Dialect Dictionary

Sevenums Woordenboek is an online dictionary for the local Dutch/Limburgs dialect of the village Sevenum. The goal of this project is to help the stimulation and conservation of the local Dutch dialect of Sevenum. We hope to inspire and stimulate new generations to use the dialect in their new, digital ways of expressing themselves.

Sevenum is the small village in the South of the Netherlands where I grew up in. There are only 6.500 people living in the village, but it still has its own, very distinct dialect. In 2010, the local history association (Heemkunde Vereniging Sevenum) published a hardcopy version of the dictionary, after 21 years of intens research and labour. My brother Zef Mertens and I decided to digitalise this hardcopy book in 2021, to make it accesible for the younger generations and people that migrated from the village. In corporation with Heemkunde Vereniging Sevenum, we digitalised that data from the book and build an online platform.

Next to the online platform, we also setup a network of partners that helped develop use-cases for the dictionary. It’s being used by bars and restaurants to help tourists to order in the Sevenums dialect via QR-codes on menu cards and coasters. Next to that the dictionary is being used for (pub)quizes and cultural activities like carnaval.

Featured on e.g. De Limburger, L1, 1Limburg, Hallo Horst aan de Maas en Nieuws uit Horst aan de Maas

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