Which Countries Speak Flemish

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Which Countries Speak Flemish
Which Countries Speak Flemish

Video: Which Countries Speak Flemish

Video: Flemish Dutch vs. Dutch from the Netherlands | Easy Dutch 2 2022, October

Flemish is spoken in the territories of the former County of Flanders, a secular fiefdom that lasted until 1795. The lion's share of the land in the historic county now belongs to Belgium. A small part of them are part of France and the Netherlands. The region of Flanders, in the broadest sense of this concept, today also includes the Belgian provinces of Brabant and Limburg.

Map of the County of Flanders, cartographer Matthias Quad, engraver and publisher Johannes Bussemacher, Cologne, 1609
Map of the County of Flanders, cartographer Matthias Quad, engraver and publisher Johannes Bussemacher, Cologne, 1609

Flemish in Belgium

In Belgium, Flemish is spoken by about four out of seven million inhabitants. It is used mainly in everyday life and everyday communication. The official standard Dutch language in the Flanders region. The same as in neighboring Holland.

Dutch, along with French, is the official language of Belgium. German also has official status in the kingdom.

Flemish and Dutch are very similar. It is not surprising, because until about the 16th century they formed a single whole. There are also significant differences between them. Languages ​​differ both in phonetics and vocabulary.

After all, standard Dutch is based primarily on the Dutch (northern) dialect. While the Flemish language is closer to the southern Dutch dialects. The vocabulary of languages ​​was influenced by cultural differences between Dutch and Flemish. The Dutch are Protestants, and the Flemings are mostly Catholic.

The Flemish language itself is divided into four main groups of dialects: Brabant, East Flemish, West Flemish and Limburgish. The latter two groups are often classified as separate languages.

In the last decades of the twentieth century, a phenomenon such as tusentaal, literally "intermediate language", emerged. It occupies a middle position between Standard Dutch and Flemish dialects. The dictionaries of this Belgian-Dutch language are already being published. But, as of today, Tusenthal is not yet fully standardized.

Flemish in France and the Netherlands

In France, the Flemish language is estimated to be spoken by about 20 thousand inhabitants today. The area of ​​distribution is limited to the Dunkirk district to the Nor departments in the northeast of the country. The area is often referred to as Marine Flanders.

Flemish was used in Maritime Flanders as the language of literature and local administration until the time of the French Revolution. Since then, close cultural ties with Belgium and Holland have been lost. Today, French Flemish is an endangered language and survives only in oral tradition.

Flemish has no legal status in France. He has no recognition from government agencies and the education system. It is not allowed to use it in the media.

The position of the Flemish language in the Netherlands is somewhat better. Here it is in decline, but there is no direct threat of its extinction yet. It is used in everyday life by about 60 percent of the rural population in the province of Zealand, living on isolated islands.

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