It is used mainly by the German-speaking Community, which numbers 77,000. The official languages of Belgium are French, Dutch and German. Standard Dutch, as spoken in Belgium, is mostly influenced by Brabantian. Belgium has three official languages: French, Dutch and German. 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. Like LSFB, Flemish Sign Language, or VGT, is a Francosign language descended from Old Belgian Sign Language. Sinte Romani is spoken by many among the 10,000 Romani or Sinti living in Belgium. Since the late 20th century, Belgium has received immigrants from different areas of Europe, the Mediterranean, and North Africa. The population of Belgium is divided into three linguistic communities. The remaining parts of Belgium are divided into language areas providing different rules for the language usage. German is the least spoken official language; only 1% of the population speak it as their native language. It was the only non-Romance language recognized in the 1990 decree.. 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. And a few specific words, including the use of septante and nonante for 70 and 90 instead of soixante-dix and quatre-vingt dix. The main Flemish dialects spoken in Belgium are Brabantian, West Flemish, East Flemish and Limburgish. The country does have 3 languages that are typically spoken in public affairs: French, German, and Dutch. With approx. It has significant German influence and is not mutually intelligible with other Romani languages. It is mostly a mixture of French and Dutch influences. Percentage of people in Belgium who speak the languages below as a mother tongue or foreign language. A number of non-official, minority languages and dialects are spoken as well. Ancient Belgian is a hypothetical extinct Indo-European language, spoken in Belgica (northern Gaul) in late prehistory.It is often identified with the hypothetical Nordwestblock. It is mainly spoken in Champagne, France, and a small part of Wallonia. Bilingual education was introduced in 1883. This language freedom is embedded in the Constitution. In addition to the three official languages, others are spoken in Belgium, for instance in Wallonia, where French became dominant only relatively recently. Another Belgian government has just collapsed because of a dispute over language. Footnote: Of the inhabitants of Belgium, roughly 59% belong to the Flemish Community, 40% to the French Community and 1% to the German-speaking Community, though these figures relating to official Belgian languages include unknown numbers of immigrants and their children speaking a foreign language as primary language, and of Belgian regional migrants which may be assumed to largely balance one another for natively French and Dutch speakers. For the hypothetical extinct language, see. Almost the entire population of the country speak this West Germanic language. 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. It is mainly spoken in Gaume, a part of Belgian Lorraine. It is spoken in towns and villages such as Plombières (Bleiberg), Gemmenich, Hombourg, Montzen and Welkenraedt. Belgium has also received immigrants from various countries over the last several decades. In olden times, the people of Brussels spoke Flemish. The residents of Belgium enjoy the freedom of language in their private lives. Dutch (Flemish) is spoken in the Flemish communities, while French is spoken in Wallonia. 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. Walloon is the historical language of southern Belgium, and most of the areas where French is now spoken were Walloon-speaking. Belgium is a land of diverse languages, culture and traditions. ... French and German, which are spread over four language areas. Of these, English is widely spoken. They have brought with them their customs as well as their languages, contributing to a changing landscape in the country. Nearly 23 million worldwide people speak Dutch as their first language. This video is all about the languages of Belgium, and the fascinating linguistic situation in the country. In 1940, Nazi Germany re-annexed the region following its invasion of Belgium during World War II; after the war it was returned to Belgium. The country does have 3 languages that are typically spoken in public affairs: French, German, and Dutch. In turn, the Belgian parliament provides simultaneous interpretation for those who require it to assist in communication. 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. 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. Like the other indigenous languages closely related to French, Lorrain was recognized in 1990. A few of these are very closely related to French, although the French Community has recognized them as distinct languages. Some sub-dialects may be quite distant from standard Dutch and not be readily … The prevailing language spoken in a specific area also became the language of administration for that area. There is dialectal variation between men and women speakers due to historical developments of the language. Belgium. It has been defined as either varieties of Dutch or of German. This is followed by French, which is spoken by the French Community, the region of Wallonia, and the Capital Region. Brussels is the third most important administrative unit of Belgium. DGS is related to PJM and Shassi. There are literary traditions in both the East Flemish and West Flemish dialects. 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). English is widely spoken throughout Belgium as a foreign language. Champenois was also legally recognized in 1990. Three official languages are spoken in Belgium: Dutch, French, and German. It implies that you can decide yourself which language you use in your household, among friends, in the media, and in the cultural, economic, commercial and religious fields. French. Other regional languages are Germanic in nature. The primary language in Belgium is Dutch, spoken by approximately 60% of the population. The language legislation of Belgium has changed over the years. The Flemish dialect is almost identical to the Dutch spoken across the border in the Netherlands, but some differences in vocabulary have led some to refer to the language colloquially as "Flemish". The term does not refer to a language nor a dialect but to the region, culture and people of (West) Belgium or Flanders. The Kingdom of Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French, and German. Flanders too has a number of dialects, but linguists regard these as varieties of Dutch rather than a separate Flemish language, with the exception of Limburgish and West Flemish.  It is the official language of the French Community (which, like the Flemish Community, is a political entity), the dominant language in Wallonia (having also a small German-speaking Community), as well as the Brussels-Capital Region. Instruction in other languages is prohibited in government-funded schools except for foreign language subjects. It is spoken as a primary language by around 6.5 million residents, most of them located in the northern region of Flanders. What Are The Major Natural Resources Of Belgium? Yiddish is spoken by the Ashkenazi Jews, a population of around 20,000 in Antwerp. 0 votes Unlike other Flemish dialects, the one spoken in Belgium adopted much more French vocabulary … Picard and Champenois are both spoken in the Wallonia region of the country and Lorrain in Gaume, located in the southeast. Belgium is composed of four language areas: the Dutch language area, the French language area, the German language area (9 municipalities in the east of Belgium) and the bilingual Brussels-Capital area. The Belgian Constitution guarantees, since the country's independence, freedom of language in the private sphere. The language and people are often called "Gypsies" by outsiders, a term considered to be pejorative due to its connotations of illegality and irregularity. The main Dutch dialects spoken in Belgium are Brabantian, West Flemish, East Flemish, Antwerp and Limburgish. In Belgian schools the official two languages taught are French and Dutch, so the majority of Belgians are bilingual. 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. It is used mainly in rural regions, which have a slower rate of change. 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. In national politics, politicians can freely choose to speak in any of the three official languages. 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. Flemish (Dutch). Unlike VGT and LSFB, DGS, or German Sign Language, is unrelated to LSF and comprises its own language family. A large French-speaking population lives around Brussels, in Flanders, and by geography are considered part of the Flemish Community. 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 the least prevalent official language in Belgium, spoken natively by less than 1% of the population. Article 4 divides the country into linguistic areas, which form the basis of the federal structure: "Belgium has four linguistic areas: The French-speaking area, the Dutch-speaking area, the bilingual area of Brussels Capital, and the German-speaking area.". They are Walloon, Picard, Champenois, and Lorrain. It is the native language of 40% of the population. Article 30 specifies that "the use of languages spoken in Belgium is optional; only the law can rule on this matter, and only for acts of the public authorities and for legal matters." Which Languages Are Spoken In Brussels? In the north the Flemings, who constitute more than half of Belgium’s population, speak Flemish, which is equivalent to Dutch (sometimes called Netherlandic). The French-speaking community lives in the... German. It is still spoken in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Flemish people speak BelgianDutch in Flanders, which is the Flemish part of Belgium. In addition to the three official languages, others are spoken in Belgium, for instance in Wallonia, where French became dominant only relatively recently. Flemish (Dutch) First off, there’s the Dutch-speaking Flemish community mostly found in the northern region of Flanders. Today, the older generation speaks this language; younger generation has not learned it fluently. Picard has been historically based in France, with speakers also in the western part of Wallonia. Dutch is the most widely spoken language with 6.1 million native speakers, followed by 4.3 million French speakers. It developed from Old Belgian Sign Language, which developed as a result of contact between Lyons Sign Language and LSF. In 1970, these language regions were established in the Constitution. Dutch 62.01% French 60.86% 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. Inhabitants of a few municipalities are granted an exception to these rules. In 1878, it was declared the public announcements in Brussels must be made in Dutch or both Dutch and French. LSFB, or French Belgian Sign Language, is used primarily in Wallonia and Brussels and is related to LSF and other Francosign languages. In Belgium, people can speak any language they want. Belgium has no single national language. This country has had ongoing debates about which languages should be used officially since 1830. tax papers, local politics, ID/passport requests, building permits etc.) Words which are unique to Belgian Dutch are called belgicisms (as are words used primarily in Belgian French). The prevailing language spoken in a specific area also became the language of administration for that area. Also all official correspondence and communication with the government (e.g. What languages are spoken in Belgium? must be in the official language of the region or community. During the 1800’s, courts and government were conducted in French, the language of the upper class. The Yiddish community there is among the strongest in Europe. The second-most spoken primary (Belgian) language, used natively by approximately one third of the population, is French.  Many Flemish people also speak French as a second language. Some younger Walloons may claim some knowledge. Communities, regions and language areas of Belgium, "SPECIAL EUROBAROMETER 386 Europeans and their Languages", "Slechts 19 procent van de Walen spreekt Nederlands". Belgian French is in most respects identical to standard, Parisian French, but differs in some points of vocabulary, pronunciation, and semantics. The main Dutch dialects spoken in Belgium are Brabantian, West Flemish, East Flemish, and Limburgish. A number of non-official, minority languages and dialects exist as well. 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. Laguages spoken in Brussels. Luxembourgish, a Moselle Franconian language, is native to Arelerland, the eastern part of the Belgian province of Luxembourg, including the city of Arlon (Arel). Walloon is the traditional language of the southern regions of Belgium and was originally spoken by the Walloons, an ethnic community. The Flemish Region, Flemish Community, and the Capital Region all speak Dutch as their official language, making it the most widely spoken language in the country. 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. The residents of Belgium enjoy the freedom of language in their private lives. All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2020 worldatlas.com. Brussels is officially bilingual, with all street signs, … Since the late 20th century, it has largely been replaced by Belgian French in recent decades, in contrast to its flourishing on the other side of the border, in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Since 1990 this language has been recognised by the Walloon authorities as Francique (Franconian). Dutch is the most spoken primary language of Belgium and the official language of the Flemish Community and the Flemish Region (merged to Flanders). Almost all of the inhabitants of the Capital region speak French as either their primary language (50%) or as a lingua franca (45%). In fact it has three: Dutch, French and German. Along with French, it is an official language of the Brussels-Capital Region. The measures advocated by the Marshall Plan are heading towards the proper direction, but are doubtlessly quite insufficient to fully overcome the lag. The main Dutch dialects spoken in Belgium are Brabantian, West Flemish, East Flemish and Limburgish. In 2006, the Université catholique de Louvain, the country's largest French-speaking university, published a report Dialects of Dutch: East Flemish, Brabantian, Low Dietsch, Dialects of French: Walloon, Picard, Champenois, Lorrain. However, the English language has become increasingly used in higher education. Actually, Belgium has three official languages: French, Dutch and German. 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. , "Belgian languages" redirects here. Types Of Crimes By Number Of Offenses In The US. As such, they are not always readily intelligible for Dutch speakers outside Flanders. Dutch is the world's third most widely spoken Germanic language. All these are spoken across the border in the Netherlands as well. "Réformer sans tabous - Question 1: les langues — La connaissance des langues en Belgique: "La connaissance des langues en Belgique – Reactions", Langue des signes Francophone de Belgique, LSFB, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Languages_of_Belgium&oldid=979791704, Articles with French-language sources (fr), Articles with unsourced statements from July 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2019, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the World Factbook, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 22 September 2020, at 20:15. In Brussels, the capital of Belgium, both, Dutch and French are spoken. This community is one of the few left in the world that still speaks Yiddish as its primary language. It is also used theatre productions and other forms of literature, though not in schools. First off, there’s the Dutch-speaking Flemish community mostly found in the northern region of Flanders. In Brussels the most common language is French. Language is one of the most important facts of life in Brussels and Belgium. Original question: What is the most common language spoken in Antwerp, Belgium? What Are The Biggest Industries In Belgium? Marols, also known as Brusseleir, is a nearly extinct dialect spoken in Brussels, and used primarily in informal contexts. Second on the list of most-spoken languages in Belgium is French. In the areas of Belgium near the border to the Netherlands, mainly it is spoken Dutch. Marols originated from the Brabantian dialect and gained greater French influences after the Kingdom of Belgium was established in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. The language belongs to the Northwestern Romani dialect group. In each region, Belgium's third official language, German, is notably less known than those.. Most people expect to hear Dutch or French in Belgium, but what surprises many is that the country has not two, but three official languages. It is neither a part of Flanders nor Wallonia, although the vast majority of locals speak French. But there have been no significant measures to support usage of those varieties. Yiddish is spoken by many among the 20,000 Ashkenazi Jews living in Antwerp. A common misconception is that Flemish is a completely different language. In the East Cantons in the far east of the country there is a German-speaking population numbering just over 75,000. The original Brabantian dialect of Brussels has been very much influenced by French. Sometimes seen as dialects, the varieties related to French have been recognized by the French Community as separate languages (langues régionales endogènes, lit. It has been defined as either varieties of Dutch or of German. [dead link] While it remains a matter of controversy, the linguist Maurits Gysseling, who attributed the term to SJ De Laet, hypothesised a Belgian that was distinct from the later Celtic and Germanic languages.According to the theory, … It is closely related to Dutch but has more German influences. Low Dietsch, for example, is spoken in the northeast of the country in the Duchy of Limburg. In the south the French-speaking Walloons make up about one-third of the country’s population. 59% of inhabitants belonging to the Flemish community, Dutch is the most spoken primary language. What Languages Do They Speak In Belgium? The locals created their own mixed language, ‘Brussels’, which for the most part was the same with Flemish, but with inclusions of French … The Dutch and French spoken in Belgium have minor differences in vocabulary and semantic nuances from the varieties spoken in the Netherlands and France. The German-speaking Community of Belgium numbers 77,000, residing in an area of Belgium that was ceded by the former German Empire as part of the Treaty of Versailles, which concluded World War I. The Final Language Frontier Historically Belgium has been at the crossroads of the Germanic and Celtic tribes, one side speaking Dutch and the other French. Debates on which language is to be lingua franca … They comprise about 60% (6.5 million) of the population. Disputes over language continue today because the freedom of language extends only to the private home. See language lists, maps, statistics, and more. A profile of the languages in Belgium. [This particular 2006–2009 'Marshall Plan' was devised in 2004 and published in 2005 to uplift the Walloon economy. Some of the most common foreign languages include Berber, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish, Greek, Polish, and English. The dialect was named after the Marollen, a neighborhood in Brussels. Official Languages: French, Dutch and German.Wallon, the local variant of French, is used by 33% of population. Belgians who could not speak the language of the region would be unable to communicate with public officials. Luxembourgish in the eastern province of Luxembourg, although it has been largely replaced by Belgian French. The language is also spoken as a second language by about 5 million people. Brussels Capital … It is now spoken by a minority in the Capital region, since the primary language of most inhabitants shifted during the Frenchification of Brussels. Education is provided by the Communities, Dutch in the Flemish Community (Flanders and Brussels), French in the French Community (Wallonia and Brussels), German in the German-speaking community. Since 1992 Low Dietsch has been acknowledged as an internal regional language by the Walloon authority. Dutch dialects are common but dialects such as the Walloon language, Picard or Limburgish are not used in public life any longer. The French spoken in Belgium is fluent French, but it is distinguished by its accent (at least the opinion of the French!) This language is similar to the German spoken in the German-speaking Region. In 1962, this legislation was further clarified by defining the language to be used in each municipality. ], Within the report, professors in economics Ginsburgh and Weber further show that of the Brussels' residents, 95% declared they can speak French, 59% Dutch, and 41% know the non-local English. What Type Of Government Does Belgium Have? Though it has been recognized since 1990, like other vernaculars in Belgium, it is spoken mainly by older people. They and their descendants speak languages including Berber (Riffian), Arabic (Maghrebi), Spanish, Turkish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, Polish, and English. It is used primarily around the German-speaking communities of Belgium, although German and DGS are unrelated. In addition to the official language, Belgium has a number of regional, or non-official, languages as well. All these are spoken across the border in the Netherlands as well, and West Flemish is also spoken in French Flanders.  But there have been no significant measures to support usage of those varieties. It is used primarily in Flanders, with five major regional dialects: West Flanders, East Flanders, Antwerp, Flemish Brabant, and Limburg. The main Dutch dialects in Belgium are Brabantian and East Flemish. Born and raised 'Antwerpians' speak Dutch, though with a very specific accent you'll find nowhere else in Flanders or the Netherlands. Official languages in Belgium are Dutch (57%), French (42%) and German (1%). The same applies to the border areas to France and Germany. Limburgish is a language spoken mainly in north-eastern Belgium and the south-eastern Netherlands, in the Belgian and Dutch provinces of Limburg. German is spoken by less than 1% of the people. answered Dec 5, 2017 by priya12 (-12,631 points) 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. Modern immigrant languages spoken in Belgium now include: Portuguese Arabic Italian Polish Spanish English Greek Berber Turkish Linguists classify this dialect as a transition between Limburgish and Ripuarian. The Flemish movement began in an attempt to make the official language Dutch; it was somewhat successful in Flanders in 1873. Though the standard form of Dutch used in Belgium is almost identical to that spoken in the Netherlands, and the different dialects across the border, it is often colloquially called "Flemish". ‘regional native languages’) since 1990. Like any other country, Sometimes seen as dialects, the varieties related to French have been recognized by the French Community as separate languages (langues régionales endogènes, lit. Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands. While the Constitution does not explicitly name these languages as official, it does state that Belgium has 4 linguistic areas: the French-speaking, the German-speaking, the Dutch-speaking, and the bilingual capital of Brussels. 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. However, when Belgium became part of the Burgundy duchy, French became the language of the ruling classes, which then penetrated into the lower classes. It is also the traditional national language of the Walloons. ‘regional native languages’) since 1990. It is one of the few Jewish communities worldwide in which Yiddish remains the dominant language (others include Kiryas Joel, New York, and predominately Orthodox Ashkenazi neighborhoods in the United States, Montreal, London, Paris, and Israel). Click any language to explore how widely it is spoken in each country or click a country to explore which languages are most spoken within in.  Low Dietsch is practically identical to the German dialect in the northern part of the neighbouring official German-speaking region of Belgium. This was a disadvantage for communities in the north that did not speak French. By Amber Pariona on April 25 2017 in Society. 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. 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