Een Amerikaanse militaire post aan het eind van de 19e eeuw.
De draaiing van de verdieping onder een hoek van 45 graden zou je tegenwoordig OMA-hip kunnen noemen, maar werd toen gebruikt ter verdediging, zodat de verdedigers in 8 richtingen kon schieten.
Do they speak Dutch in Belgium?/I thought people spoke French in Belgium? Are Dutch and Flemish separate languages/mutually intelligible? What’s a word that’s different? What are the differences?
As a Flemish person, I get these questions relatively often when people discover that yes, my native language is Dutch, but no, I don’t live in the Netherlands. I live in Belgium. In case you don’t know where that is (which most people know but I never take risks, we’re small), maybe the tip ‘Brussels’ will help you and if not, google maps exists. In this post I will try to give some guidelines for the differences between Dutch and Flemish. They’re not very big, but they exist.
Do they speak Dutch in Belgium? / I thought people spoke French in Belgium?
Yes, we speak Dutch in Belgium and yes, we speak French in Belgium. Some people even speak German! The map below shows where people speak which language.
Nederlandstalig: Dutch Franstalig: French Duitstalig: German Tweetalig: French and Dutch (mostly French)
Are Flemish and Dutch separate languages/mutually intelligible?
Flemish and Dutch are not separate languages. Flemish people and Dutch people can understand each other perfectly. They’re just two variants of the same language, each subdivided in other variants, regiolects and dialects.
What’s a word that’s different? What are the differences?
For some word differences, I kindly redirect you to this post I made a while ago.
We always understand each other, but we don’t always use the same words. For example, while Dutch people would often say ‘hartstikke’ before an adjective to express that something is very much so (hartstikke leuk = really fun), Flemish people would rather use kei- or super- (superleuk/keileuk = really fun). Super- is also used in the Netherlands (thank you @join-the-dutch-clan for sharing your native knowledge), but it’s more common in Flanders.
Sometimes we both use a certain word, but there’s a different meaning. This is a bit of a vulgar example, but it’s the best I could come up with. If someone from Flanders says ‘poepen’, they mean ‘to fuck’. If someone from the Netherlands says it, they mean ‘to shit’. What a beautiful language it is.
When you are learning Dutch, you will probably learn the Dutch variants of words, because the Flemish variants are not always considered proper synonyms. But we are valid.
‘Tussentaal’ (lit. in between language) is a typically Flemish phenomenon. It’s something between a dialect and Standard Dutch. It’s what people in Flanders use every day. Some characteristics are of course typically Flemish words and the use of ‘ge/gij’ instead of ‘je/jij’ (more about this later).
I gave this answer like a year ago, it’s worth checking out I think. In general: ge/gij is a Dutch pronoun that is much more used than je/jij in Flanders and is informal here, while in the Netherlands you almost never use it and it’s super super formal (as in, you only use it to talk to God and the Queen). Its conjugations can also differ.
Pronunciation and accent
Only thing you need to remember about this: Flemish people speak normally and Dutch people speak weirdly. Okay just kidding. But it’s true.
What Dutch people tend to do, is giving vowels an extra consonant. So when Flemish people say ‘oo’, they say ‘oow’. Obviously it’s not always very distinct, but it’s often something you can hear if you pay attention to it.
Our ‘g’ is also different. Dutch people produce it with their throat as well I think? No idea how they do it. Flemish people just produce it in the back of their mouth. (look I’m far from a linguist and these explanations might be very off but I am just trying. If anyone with some knowledge about this can correct this, that would be greatly appreciated.)
Flemish people often have a so called French or Italian r: we often roll our r’s. Not all Flemish people can do it, but it’s more common here than in the Netherlands.
What you might hear in in Flanders (and with Flanders in this case, I mean the west of the country, being the province of West-Vlaanderen and also a bit Oost-Vlaanderen) is that people pronounce a ‘g’ is a ‘h’ and they don’t pronounce h’s. But that’s only something they do in the west and it’s a thing we laugh with.
That’s all I can think of for the moment. I hope you enjoyed the ride and realized that Flemish is obviously much, much better than Dutch Dutch.
Occupations and persons De boekhouder (the accountant) De fietser (the cyclist)
Fruits, vegetables, plants, trees De peer (the pear) De bloemkool (the cauliflower) De cactus (the cactus) De eik (the oak)
Exeption: Het witloof (the chicory)
Mountains and rivers De Kilimanjaro De Schelde De Nijl (The Nile)
Words that end in -ing De uitdaging (the challenge) De vergadering (the meeting)
Words that end in –heid, -nis, -st, -de, -te, -ij, -ie, -iek, -schap, -teit De mensheid (the humanity) De geschiedenis (the history) De vangst (the catch) De vrede (the peace) De dikte (the thickness) De bakkerij (the bakery) De radiologie (the radiology) De symboliek (the symbolism) De wetenschap (the science) De kwaliteit (the quality)
Exceptions: Het moederschap (the motherhood) Het vaderschap (the fatherhood) Het ouderschap (the parenthood)
The plural form of nouns De tafel (the table) –> de tafels (the tables) Het bord (the plate) –> de borden (the plates)
Words with 2 syllables that start with be-, ge-, ver-, ont- Hetbegin (the start, the beginning) Het gesprek (the conversation) Het verhaal (the story) Het ontbijt (the breakfast)
Words that end in -isme, -ment, -um Het Boeddhisme (the Buddhism) Het monument (the monument) Het maximum (the maximum)
Collective nouns with ge…te Het gebergte (the mountains) Het gevogelte (the poultry)
Languages, metals, wind directions, sports Het Nederlands (the Dutch language) Het goud (the gold) Het Oosten (the East) Het voetbal (the football)
Nouns that are diverted from a verb Het leven (the living) Het praten (the talking)
Diminutives Het stoeltje (the little chair) Het verhaaltje (the little story)