Best answer: Why does Belgium speak two languages?

Why do Belgium have two languages? DESPITE being a relatively small country, two major languages are spoken around Belgium. … The diversity is due to the countries chequered history, with it constantly changing hands between various nations until independence from the Dutch in 1830.

Why are there two languages in Belgium?

In 1830, the Belgians had enough of the Dutch king Willem I and his malarky, and declared themselves independent. The inhabitants of Wallonia, the region that is called ‘Wallonie’, speak French. Brussels, the capital, is officially bilingual: all signs are in both Dutch and French.

Why does Belgium speak French and Dutch?

Belgium’s famous Dutch-versus-French language divide was established in the Middle Ages when Roman Emperor Charlemagne was forced to divide his kingdom between his three grandsons. … The divide created fluctuating friction between Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia and it continues to this day.

Why does part of Belgium speak French?

Simply said, the divide was a result of the Walloon region in the South of modern-day Belgium being run by the Gauls during the Roman Empire while the Flanders Region in the North was being infiltrated by Gothic Germans. … French immediately became the official language in Belgium which upset the Flemish Speakers.

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Why do they speak Dutch in Belgium?

The main reasons for this are the strengthened economic position of Flanders and the problematic situation of heavy industry in Wallonia since the 1960s. The position of Standard Dutch as a general language has been reinforced at the expense of the previously almost exclusive use of the dialects as spoken languages.

Why is there no Belgian language?

In Belgium you can speak any language you want. … These languages are not spoken everywhere, because Belgium is subdivided into federated states. Each federated state has its own official language. Only the Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual.

Why does Belgium speak 3 languages?

Historically speaking, the country has had quite a wide variety of rulers, influencing how multilingual and multicultural Belgians are today. Due to their close proximity to these three countries, they have three official languages that divide Belgium into three main regions.

How is Belgian French different?

Overall, the lexical differences between Standard French and Belgian French are minor. … The use of septante for “seventy” and nonante for “ninety”, in contrast to Standard French soixante-dix (literally “sixty-ten”) and quatre-vingt-dix'(“four-twenty-ten”).

Is German an official language in Belgium?

Official Languages: French, Dutch and German. Wallon, the local variant of French, is used by 33% of population. Flemish is used by more than 60% of the population, and is spoken in the northern part of the country. The languages learned at school are officially labelled French and Dutch.

Does Belgium speak Flemish?

Flemish is spoken by approximately 5.5 million people in Belgium and by a few thousand people in France. Flemish is spoken by about 55% of the population of Belgium. There are also several thousand Flemish speakers in France. Flemish uses the Latin alphabet.

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Can a Dutch understand Afrikaans?

Although Afrikaans is a daughter of Dutch, Dutch speakers might take some time to understand the language but they can understand Afrikaans. … The spelling is also different from the Dutch standard. The mutual intelligibility is more apparent in the written rather than the spoken form of Afrikaans and Dutch.

Are Belgians Dutch?

Belgium is one of those special countries that have three official languages: Dutch, French and German. That’s right, Dutch (and not Flemish) is one of the official Belgian languages! … So, the terms ‘Flemish’ and ‘Belgian Dutch’ actually refer to the same language.