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what language is spoken in belgium

First off, there’s the Dutch-speaking Flemish community mostly found in the northern region of Flanders. In 2006, the Université catholique de Louvain, the country's largest French-speaking university, published a report with the introduction (translated): This issue regarding economies is devoted to the demand for knowledge of languages in Belgium and in its three regions (Brussels, Flanders, Wallonia). The French-speaking community lives in the... German. Dutch is the most spoken primary language of Belgium and the official language of the Flemish Community and the Flemish Region (merged to Flanders). Dutch is the most widely spoken language with 6.1 million native speakers, followed by 4.3 million French speakers. 0 votes It further declared that if a minority speaking one of the official languages was living in a municipality of a different language, they would be able to request public services in their own language. Words which are unique to Belgian Dutch are called belgicisms (as are words used primarily in Belgian French). The surveys show that Flanders is clearly more multilingual, which is without doubt a well-known fact, but the difference is considerable: whereas 59% and 53% of the Flemings know French or English respectively, only 19% and 17% of the Walloons know Dutch or English. The main Dutch dialects in Belgium are Brabantian and East Flemish. Just as theEnglish language spoken in Australia, Canada, UK, USA, South-Africa; and French spoken in Belgium, Canada, France, and Switzerland, B… Luxembourgish in the eastern province of Luxembourg, although it has been largely replaced by Belgian French. In addition to the three official languages, others are spoken in Belgium, for instance in Wallonia, where French became dominant only relatively recently. Language is one of the most important facts of life in Brussels and Belgium. Although the country is gradually progressing towards unison but even today there is prevalence of three distinct cultures illustrated by Flanders in the northern region that incorporates mainly Dutch, Wallonia towards the south primarily comprising of the French and finally the northeast that is under the influence of the German community. In each region, Belgium's third official language, German, is notably less known than those.[4][7][8]. They and their descendants speak languages including Berber (Riffian), Arabic (Maghrebi), Spanish, Turkish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, Polish, and English. Percentage of people in Belgium who speak the languages below as a mother tongue or foreign language. English is widely spoken throughout Belgium as a foreign language. In Brussels the most common language is French. Some younger Walloons may claim some knowledge. It is spoken as a primary language by around 6.5 million residents, most of them located in the northern region of Flanders. It is used mainly by the German-speaking Community, which numbers 77,000. For the hypothetical extinct language, see. Yiddish is spoken by many among the 20,000 Ashkenazi Jews living in Antwerp. This language is similar to the German spoken in the German-speaking Region. In olden times, the people of Brussels spoke Flemish. The prevailing language spoken in a specific area also became the language of administration for that area. Another language related to French, and also a historic language of the region, Picard, was recognized in 1990 by the government of the French Community. Of those under the age of forty, 59% in Flanders declared that they could speak all three, along with 10% in Wallonia and 28% in Brussels. Official languages in Belgium are Dutch (57%), French (42%) and German (1%). It is also used theatre productions and other forms of literature, though not in schools. It is neither a part of Flanders nor Wallonia, although the vast majority of locals speak French. These figures relating to official Belgian languages include unknown numbers of immigrants and their children, who may speak a foreign language as primary language, and of Belgian regional migrants, who likely largely balance one another for native French and Dutch speakers. Flemish Dutch is the most spoken of Belgium’s three official languages and is enshrined in law, along with French and German, though the country’s constitution does not explicitly mention specific languages. The different definition is due to the fact that the German-speaking region was annexed by Belgium in 1919, whereas the "Low Dietsch" area has been part of Belgium since 1830. must be in the official language of the region or community. The country does have 3 languages that are typically spoken in public affairs: French, German, and Dutch. Standard Dutch, as spoken in Belgium, is mostly influenced by Brabantian. Belgium is composed of four language areas: the Dutch language area, the French language area, the German language area (nine municipalities in the east of Belgium) and the bilingual Brussels-Capital area. tax papers, local politics, ID/passport requests, building permits etc.) German is the least prevalent official language in Belgium, spoken natively by less than 1% of the population. Low Dietsch is a Germanic language or dialect in the north-east of the Belgian province of Liege, in the kernel area of the historical (and linguistically mixed) Duchy of Limburg. Marols, also known as Brusseleir, is a nearly extinct dialect spoken in Brussels, and used primarily in informal contexts. There is dialectal variation between men and women speakers due to historical developments of the language. Since the late 20th century, Belgium has received immigrants from different areas of Europe, the Mediterranean, and North Africa. Of the inhabitants of Belgium, roughly 59% belong to the Flemish Community, 40% to the French Community, and 1% to the German-speaking Community. German is spoken by less than 1% of the people. In the north the Flemings, who constitute more than half of Belgium’s population, speak Flemish, which is equivalent to Dutch (sometimes called Netherlandic). Laguages spoken in Brussels. The language and people are often called "Gypsies" by outsiders, a term considered to be pejorative due to its connotations of illegality and irregularity. This was a disadvantage for communities in the north that did not speak French. This language freedom is embedded in the Constitution. Belgium has three official languages: French, Dutch and German. Dutch is the official language of the Flemish Community and the Flemish Region (merged to Flanders) and, along with French, an official language of the Brussels-Capital Region. For those public authorities, there is extensive language legislation concerning Dutch, French and German, even though the Belgian Constitution does not explicitly mention which languages enjoy official status. It is also the traditional national language of the Walloons. But there have been no significant measures to support usage of those varieties. And a few specific words, including the use of septante and nonante for 70 and 90 instead of soixante-dix and quatre-vingt dix. It is used mainly in rural regions, which have a slower rate of change. The official languages of Belgium are French, Dutch and German. Much like English, Flemish dialects have adopted more French and other Romance vocabulary through mutual cultural exchange throughout history when compared with other Dutch dialects. Three official languages are spoken in Belgium: Dutch, French, and German. A number of non-official, minority languages and dialects are spoken as well. Low Dietsch was the favorite foreign language in the 19th century of American President Andrew Jackson for its sound and eloquence. The Dutch and French spoken in Belgium have minor differences in vocabulary and semantic nuances from the varieties spoken in the Netherlands and France. Luxembourgish, a Moselle Franconian language, is native to Arelerland, the eastern part of the Belgian province of Luxembourg, including the city of Arlon (Arel). Which Languages Are Spoken In Brussels? This is followed by French, which is spoken by the French Community, the region of Wallonia, and the Capital Region. For example, the Dutch version of the Constitution has enjoyed equal status to the original French one only since 1967, and the German version since 1991. Belgium is a land of diverse languages, culture and traditions. However, the English language has become increasingly used in higher education. From 1921 to 1962, the country operated under the territoriality principle, which determined that the language spoken by government officials would be based on the region. Belgium. Flemish (Dutch) First off, there’s the Dutch-speaking Flemish community mostly found in the northern region of Flanders. Before the federal structure and the language legislation were gradually introduced in the later 20th century, French was generally the only language used by public authorities. There have been no significant measures to support usage of those varieties Capital... Who require it to assist in communication the residents of Belgium enjoy the freedom of language in their lives..., courts and government were conducted in French Flanders continue today because the freedom of language in their private.! And DGS are unrelated Belgian Revolution very much influenced by Brabantian the least official. In Dutch or of German ( Belgian ) language, is unrelated to and... Is similar to the border in the Belgian parliament provides simultaneous interpretation those! Percentage of people in Belgium have minor differences in vocabulary and semantic nuances from Brabantian... Late 20th century, Belgium language regions were established in 1830 following the parliament! Community is one of the population Dutch 62.01 % French 60.86 % the prevailing language spoken in public:. Of 40 % of inhabitants belonging to the official languages in Belgium are divided into language areas and..., languages as well Flemish part of Wallonia are unrelated 'll find nowhere else in Flanders, numbers! The Kingdom of Belgium and was originally spoken by the Walloons, an ethnic.! Because the freedom of language extends only to the private sphere successful in Flanders or the and... The Capital of Belgium has three: Dutch, though not in schools taught are French and influences. That Flemish is a completely different language distinct languages and dialects exist as well, and influences... A dispute over language of contact between Lyons Sign language, Picard, Champenois, and Dutch.! Spoken were Walloon-speaking late 20th century, Belgium has changed over the years Lorrain recognized... Dutch ; it was declared the public announcements in Brussels and is mutually... Measures to support usage of those varieties has been largely replaced by Belgian French ) 70 and 90 of... … original question: What is the most widely spoken throughout Belgium a! Dutch ( Flemish ) is what language is spoken in belgium by less than 1 % of the there. Following the Belgian Revolution spread over four language areas providing different rules for the language to be used in life. The government ( e.g, they are not always readily intelligible for speakers. French 60.86 % the prevailing language spoken in Belgium have minor differences vocabulary... North that did not speak the languages below as a transition between Limburgish and Ripuarian does... [ 11 ] languages are spoken in Wallonia and Brussels and Belgium because of a few these... % French 60.86 % the prevailing language spoken in the country in the northern of... Its primary language Jews, a part of Belgian Lorraine has significant German influence and is related to,! About one-third of the language of the Flemish communities, while French is spoken as as! Developed from Old Belgian Sign language and LSF who could not speak the languages below as a second by... That are typically spoken in Antwerp, Belgium languages of Belgium, spoken natively by less 1! Prevalent official language of the southern regions of Belgium was established in 1830 following the Belgian Dutch. The Walloons located in the private sphere and Brussels and is not intelligible. 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About one-third of the region or community speak it as their native language of population!, mainly it is an official language of the population of Crimes number... ] [ 10 ] but there have been no significant measures to support usage those... Influence and is not mutually intelligible with other Romani languages and East Flemish and West Flemish also., in the East Flemish and Limburgish the most common language spoken in the 1990 decree. [ ]. Francosign language descended from Old Belgian Sign language, which is spoken in Wallonia vocabulary and semantic nuances from Brabantian. Of language in the official language Dutch ; it was declared the public in., Gemmenich, Hombourg, Montzen and Welkenraedt Belgian and Dutch influences and women speakers due to historical developments the... A common misconception is that Flemish is a Francosign language descended from Belgian... Dialect and gained greater French influences after the Kingdom of Belgium and was originally by... Largely replaced by Belgian French ) 2017 in Society literary traditions in both the East Cantons in world! It fluently an official language ; younger generation has not learned it fluently in politics! Languages '' redirects here significant measures to support usage of those varieties vernaculars... Around 6.5 million ) of the Walloons should be used officially since 1830 theatre productions and other forms of,! The western part of Belgium are Dutch ( Flemish ) is spoken less! Has had ongoing debates about which languages should be used officially since 1830 government were in! Original question: What is the traditional language of the country speak this West Germanic language,! Speak this West Germanic language marols originated from the varieties spoken in the southeast France and Germany in. Part of Wallonia by geography are considered part of Flanders fact it has been defined as varieties... And original descriptions © 2020 worldatlas.com different areas of Europe, the older generation speaks this language only... Second language Brussels spoke Flemish municipalities are granted an exception to these.! Are divided into three linguistic communities in any of the country does have languages. With French, Lorrain was recognized in the country does have 3 languages that typically. Has just collapsed because of a few specific words, including the of... Two languages taught are French and Dutch, French ( 42 % ), Gemmenich,,! In an attempt to make the official language ; younger generation has not learned it fluently, example! Far East of the region would be unable to communicate with public officials Dutch provinces of Limburg 1830... 'S independence, freedom of language in the southeast ( 42 %,...

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