Infobox Language
fam3=West Germanic
fam4=Low Franconian
speakers=6.1 million [This number refers to the inhabitants of Flanders, so this number applies to the first meaning, Belgian Dutch. To see the number of speakers of the whole Dutch language, see the article Dutch language.]

Flemish "(Vlaams" in Dutch) is a popular informal term to refer to Belgian Dutch ("Belgisch-Nederlands" in Dutch), Dutch as spoken in Belgium. [ [http://www.vandale.nl/vandale/opzoeken/woordenboek/?zoekwoord=vlaams As according to Van Dale.] ] Among linguists, 'Flemish' refers to two specific dialects of Dutch alone, namely East and West Flemish. Occasionally 'Flemish' is used to refer to "tussentaal" a Dutch sociolect, also spoken in Belgium.

Dutch is the majority language in Belgium, being spoken natively by about 59% of the population. Its various dialects contain a number of lexical and a few grammatical features which distinguish them from the standard language. [G. Janssens and A. Marynissen, "Het Nederlands vroeger en nu" (Leuven/Voorburg 2005), 155 ff.] As in the Netherlands, the pronunciation of Standard Dutch is affected by the native dialect of the speaker.

All Dutch dialects spoken in Belgium (with the exception of East Flemish) are spoken in adjacent areas of the Netherlands as well. At the same time East Flemish forms a continuum with both Brabantic and West Flemish. Standard Dutch is primarily based on the Hollandic dialect (spoken in the Northern Netherlands) and to a lesser extent on Brabantian, which is the most dominant Dutch dialect of the Southern Netherlands and Flanders.

The main difference between Dutch spoken in Belgium and the Netherlands, is that Dutch in Belgium is uses the sound inventory of the Brabantic dialects. [ [http://www.demorgen.be/dm/nl/1344/Onderwijs/article/detail/159691/2008/02/05/Jongeren-spreken-geen-AN-maar-wel-Algemeen-Vlaams.dhtml Jongeren spreken geen AN, maar wel Algemeen Vlaams] ] which is often called "tussentaal" ("in-between-language", between dialects and standard Dutch). [http://wwwling.arts.kuleuven.ac.be/qlvl/PDFPublications/01Eenzondagspak.pdf Geeraerts, Dirk. 2001. "Een zondagspak ? Het Nederlands in Vlaanderen: gedrag, beleid, attitudes". OnsErfdeel 44: 337-344] ] This evolution is somewhat similar to the emergence of "Poldernederlands" in the Netherlands, a medium of everyday speech heavily influenced by Hollandic. It should be emphasized that neither "Poldernederlands" nor "Tussentaal" are dialects or different standard forms, but sociolects.

Phonological differences

Among Belgian Dutch vowels, the diphthong "ou/au" (as in "bout" bolt and "fauna") is realized as IPA| [ɔu] , whereas northern Dutch realizes it as IPA| [ʌu] . Among consonants, the northern Dutch pronunciation of "w" (as in "wang" cheek) is IPA| [ʋ] or IPA| [v] , in some southern Dutch dialects it is IPA| [β] . Probably the most obvious difference between northern and southern Dutch is the northern voiceless velar fricative IPA| [x] , which is equivalent in southern Dutch to either a voiced velar fricative IPA| [ɣ] , most often when spelt "g", or a voiceless palatal fricative IPA|/ç/, most often when spelt "ch".

Lexical differences

Belgian Dutch encompasses more French loanwords in everyday vocubulary than Dutch spoken in the Netherlands. [G. Janssens and A. Marynissen, "Het Nederlands vroeger en nu" (Leuven/Voorburg 2005), 156] At the same time Brabantian, traditionally the most spoken Dutch dialect in Belgium, has had a larger influence on the vocabulary used in Belgium. Examples include "beenhouwer" (Brabantian) and "slager" (Hollandic), both meaning butcher; and "schoon" (Brabantian) vs. "mooi" (Hollandic) "beautiful". The changes (isoglosses) from northern to southern Dutch dialects are gradual, both vocabulary-wise and phonetically, and the boundaries do not coincide with territorial borders.


The "tussentaal" ("in-between-language") is a primarily informal variety of speech which occupies an intermediate position between regional dialects and the standard language. This "tussentaal" incorporates phonetic, lexical and grammatical elements that are not part of the standard language but are 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) standardisation. [G. Janssens and A. Marynissen, "Het Nederlands vroeger en nu" (Leuven/Voorburg 2005), 196.]

Dutch dialects in Belgium

"" of Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaNote this is written in the West Flemish dialect of Dutch, "not" Belgian Dutch, which only differs in pronunciation.
There are four principal Dutch dialects in Flanders: Brabantian, Limburgish, East Flemish, and West Flemish. Linguistically however, Flemish is used as a general term encompassing both East Flemish and West Flemish. Despite the name, Brabantian is the dominant contributor to the "tussentaal." Both uses of the term derive from name of the historically most powerful county in the area, the County of Flanders.

ee also

* Dutch language.
* French Flemish, the West Flemish dialect as spoken in France.
* Zeelandic, a transitional dialect between West Flemish and Hollandic.


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  • Flemish — Flem ish, a. Pertaining to Flanders, or the Flemings. n. The language or dialect spoken by the Flemings; also, collectively, the people of Flanders. [1913 Webster] {Flemish accounts} (Naut.), short or deficient accounts. [Humorous] Ham. Nav.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Flemish — ► NOUN 1) (the Flemish) the people of Flanders, a region divided between Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. 2) the Dutch language as spoken in Flanders. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ relating to the Flemish people or language. ORIGIN Dutch Vl misch …   English terms dictionary

  • Flemish — [flem′ish] n. the West Germanic language spoken in Flanders, very closely related to Dutch adj. of Flanders or its people, language, or culture the Flemish the people of Flanders …   English World dictionary

  • Flemish — early 14c., flemmysshe, probably from O.Fris. Flemische, or from FLEMING (Cf. Fleming) + ISH (Cf. ish) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Flemish — [[t]fle̱mɪʃ[/t]] 1) ADJ Flemish means belonging or relating to the region of Flanders in northern Europe, or to its people, language, or culture. ...a splendid collection of Dutch, French and Flemish art. ...this picturesque Flemish town. 2) N… …   English dictionary

  • Flemish — Flem|ish1 [ flemıʃ ] adjective 1. ) someone who is Flemish comes from Flanders in Belgium 2. ) relating to Flanders, or its language or culture Flemish Flem|ish 2 [ flemıʃ ] noun uncount the language that people speak in Flanders. It is a variety …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Flemish — [ flɛmɪʃ] noun 1》 (the Flemish) the people of Flanders, a region divided between Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. 2》 the Dutch language as spoken in Flanders. adjective relating to the Flemish people or language. Origin ME: from MDu.… …   English new terms dictionary

  • Flemish — /ˈflɛmɪʃ/ (say flemish) adjective 1. of or relating to Flanders, its people, or their language. 2. of or denoting a school of painting developed in Flanders and northern France in the 15th century, characterised by cool, clear colours, sharply… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Flemish — German Ger man, n.; pl. {Germans}[L. Germanus, prob. of Celtis origin.] 1. A native or one of the people of Germany. [1913 Webster] 2. The German language. [1913 Webster] 3. (a) A round dance, often with a waltz movement, abounding in capriciosly …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Flemish — 1. adjective a) Of or relating to Flanders, either as the historical county of Flanders (the current provinces of West Flanders and East Flanders in Belgium, Zeelandic Flanders in the Netherlands and French Flanders); or as the Dutch speaking… …   Wiktionary

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