|Native to||Belgium, Netherlands, France|
|Region||Flanders, Zeelandic Flanders, French Flanders|
|6.5 million (2016)|
Flemish (Vlaams) [ˈbɛlɣis ˈneːdərlɑnts] (
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.
French Flanders is a part of the historical County of Flanders in present-day France where Flemings were traditionally the dominant ethnic group and where a dialect of Dutch was or still is traditionally spoken. The region lies in the modern-day region of Hauts-de-France and roughly corresponds to the arrondissements of Lille, Douai and Dunkirk on the southern border with Belgium. Together with French Hainaut and the Cambrésis, it makes up the French Department of Nord.
Zeelandic Flanders is the southernmost region of the province of Zeeland in the south-western Netherlands. It lies south of the Western Scheldt that separates the region from the remainder of Zeeland and the Netherlands to the north. Zeelandic Flanders is bordered to the south by Belgium.
MultiTree considers Flemish to include the four principal Dutch dialects in the Flemish region (Flanders): Brabantian, East Flemish, West Flemish and Limburgish as well as three other dialects.Glottolog considers Flemish to be a separate (regional) language, which includes the dialects of Antverpian (the dialect of the city of Antwerp), French Flemish, West Flemish, East Flemish and Limburgish. Ethnologue considers Limburgish and West Flemish to be separate (regional) languages.
East Flemish is a collective term for the two easternmost subdivisions of the so-called Flemish dialects, native to the southwest of the Dutch language area, which also include West Flemish. Their position between West Flemish and Brabantian has caused East Flemish dialects to be grouped with the latter as well. They are spoken mainly in the province of East Flanders and a narrow strip in the southeast of West Flanders in Belgium and eastern Zeelandic Flanders in the Netherlands. Even though the dialects of the Dender area are often discussed together with the East Flemish dialects because of their location, the latter are actually South Brabantian.
West Flemish is a dialect of the Dutch language spoken in western Belgium and adjoining parts of the Netherlands and France.
Limburgish, also called Limburgan, Limburgian, or Limburgic, is a group of East Low Franconian varieties spoken in the Belgian and Dutch provinces both named Limburg and some neighbouring areas of Germany. The area in which it is spoken roughly fits within a wide circle from Venlo to Düsseldorf to Aachen to Maastricht to Tienen and back to Venlo. In some parts of this area it is generally used as the colloquial language in daily speech.
The combined region, culture, and people of Flemish-speaking Belgium region, culture and people has come to be known as "Flanders".
The Flemish or Flemings are a Germanic ethnic group native to Flanders, in modern Belgium, who speak Flemish, but mostly use the Dutch written language. They are one of two principal ethnic groups in Belgium, the other being the French-speaking Walloons. Flemish people make up the majority of the Belgian population. Historically, all inhabitants of the medieval County of Flanders were referred to as "Flemings", irrespective of the language spoken. The contemporary region of Flanders comprises a part of this historical county, as well as parts of the medieval duchy of Brabant and the medieval county of Loon.
Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities, regions and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language, politics and history, and sometimes involving neighbouring countries. The demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming, while the corresponding adjective is Flemish. The official capital of Flanders is Brussels, although the Brussels Capital Region has an independent regional government, and the government of Flanders only oversees the community aspects of Flanders life in Brussels such as (Flemish) culture and education.
Dutch is the majority language in northern Belgium, being used in written language by three-fifths of the population of Belgium. It is one of the three national languages of Belgium, together with French and German, and is the only official language of the Flemish Region.
A national language is a language that has some connection—de facto or de jure—with people and the territory they occupy. There is little consistency in the use of this term. One or more languages spoken as first languages in the territory of a country may be referred to informally or designated in legislation as national languages of the country. National or national languages are mentioned in over 150 world constitutions.
French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.
German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.
The various Dutch dialects spoken in Belgium contain a number of lexical and a good amount of grammatical features which distinguish them from the standard Dutch. Basic Dutch words can have a completely different meaning in Flemish or imply different context.As in the Netherlands, the pronunciation of Standard Dutch is affected by the native dialect of the speaker.
All Dutch dialect groups spoken in Belgium are spoken in adjacent areas of the Netherlands as well. East Flemish forms a continuum with both Brabantic and West Flemish. Standard Dutch is primarily based on the Hollandic dialect (spoken in the Western provinces of the Netherlands) and to a lesser extent on Brabantian, which is the dominant dialect in Flanders, as well as in the south of the Netherlands.
The supra-regional, semi-standardized colloquial form (mesolect) of Dutch spoken in Belgium uses the vocabulary and the sound inventory of the Brabantic dialects. It is often called Tussentaal("in-between-language" or "intermediate language", intermediate between dialects and standard Dutch). Despite its name, Brabantian is the dominant contributor to the Flemish Dutch tussentaal.
It is a rather informal variety of speech, which occupies an intermediate position between regional dialects and the standard language. It incorporates phonetic, lexical and grammatical elements not part of the standard language but drawn from local dialects.
It is a relatively new phenomenon that has been gaining popularity during the past decades. Some linguists note that it seems to be undergoing a process of (limited) standardisationor that it is evolving into a Koiné language.
Tussentaal is slowly gaining popularity in Flanders because it is used a lot in television dramas and comedies. Often, middle-class characters in a television series will be speaking tussentaal, lower-class characters use the dialect of the location where the show is set, and upper-class characters will speak Standard Dutch.That has given tussentaal the status of normalcy in Flanders. It is slowly being accepted by the general population, but it has met with objections from writers and academics who argue that it dilutes the usage of Standard Dutch. Tussentaal is used in entertainment television but rarely in informative programmes (like the news), which normally use Standard Dutch.
The English adjective Flemish (first attested as flemmysshe, c. 1325;cf. Flæming, c. 1150), meaning "from Flanders", was probably borrowed from Old Frisian. The Old Dutch form is flāmisk, which becomes vlamesc, vlaemsch in Middle Dutch and Vlaams in Modern Dutch.
The word Vlaams itself is derived from flâm,an Ingaevones word, from the Germanic flauma (a cognate to the English flow and the Old German word flaum), which means 'flow or current'. The name Vlaanderen was formed from a stem flâm-, with a suffix -ðr- attached.
Low Franconian/Low Frankish are a group of several West Germanic languages spoken in the Netherlands, northern Belgium (Flanders), in the Nord department of France, in western Germany, as well as in Suriname, South Africa and Namibia that originally descended from the Frankish language.
The Dutch Language Union is an international regulatory institution that governs issues regarding the Dutch language. It is best known for its spelling reforms which are promulgated by member states, grammar books, the Green Booklet and its support of Dutch language courses and studies worldwide. It was founded on 9 September 1980 by the Netherlands and Belgium. Suriname has been an associate member of the Taalunie since 2004.
The Flemish Region is one of the three regions of the Kingdom of Belgium—alongside the Walloon Region and the Brussels-Capital Region. Colloquially, it is usually simply referred to as Flanders. It occupies the northern part of Belgium and covers an area of 13,522 km2. It is one of the most densely populated regions of Europe with around 480 inhabitants per square kilometer.
The term Flemish Community has two distinct, though related, meanings:
Hollandic or Hollandish is the most widely spoken dialect of the Dutch language. Other important Low Franconian language varieties spoken are together with Brabantian, Flemish, Zeelandic and Limburgish.
Brabantian or Brabantish, also Brabantic or Brabantine, is a dialect group of the Dutch language. It is named after the historical Duchy of Brabant, part of the Duchy of Burgundy, which corresponded mainly to the Dutch provinces of North Brabant and southern Gelderland, the Belgian provinces of Antwerp and Flemish Brabant as well as the Brussels-Capital Region and the province of Walloon Brabant. Brabantian expands into small parts in the west of Limburg, and its strong influence on the Flemish dialects in East Flanders weakens toward the west. In a small area in the northwest of North Brabant (Willemstad), Hollandic is spoken. Conventionally, the South Guelderish dialects are distinguished from Brabantian but for objective reason other than geography.
Flemish Sign Language is the deaf sign language of Belgium. VGT and French Belgian Sign Language are very closely related, but now generally recognized as distinct languages. VGT is estimated to include around 6,000 sign-language users.
Dutch is a West Germanic language, that originated from the Old Frankish dialects.
The Low Countries is the coastal Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta region in Western Europe whose definition usually includes the modern countries of Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. Both Belgium and the Netherlands derived their names from earlier names for the region, due to nether meaning "low" and Belgica being the Latinized name for all the Low Countries, a nomenclature that went obsolete after Belgium's secession in 1830.
The Kingdom of Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French, and German. A number of non-official, minority languages and dialects are spoken as well.
The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch, spoken by almost all people in the Netherlands. Dutch is also spoken and official in Aruba, Bonaire, Belgium, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten and Suriname. It is a West Germanic, Low Franconian language that originated in the Early Middle Ages and was standardised in the 16th century.
Dutch dialects are primarily the dialects that are both cognate with the Dutch language and are spoken in the same language area as the Dutch standard language. Dutch dialects are remarkably diverse and are found in the Netherlands and northern Belgium.
The Dutch language used in Belgium can also be referred to as Flemish Dutch (Vlaams-Nederlands), Belgian Dutch, or Southern Dutch (Zuid-Nederlands). Dutch is the mother tongue of about 60% of the population in Belgium, or by approximately 6.5 million people.(over 11 million inhabitants). It is the only official language in the Flemish Region (Flanders) and, in addition to French, the official language in Brussels. However, in the Brussels Capital Region and in the adjacent Flemish-Brabant municipalities, Dutch was largely displaced by French as an everyday language.