What’s the difference between Flemish and Dutch?

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.

Dutch Harry Potter Vocabulary!

I’m a huge Potterhead. Since I’m reading the books (again…) at the moment, a HP themed vocab list seemed like a great idea!


  • The magic - De magie
  • The wizard - De tovenaar
  • The witch - De heks
  • The wand - De toverstok
  • The spell - De (tover)spreuk
  • The cauldron - De ketel
  • The potion - De toverdrank
  • The castle - Het kasteel
  • The dungeons - De kerkers
  • The secret passageways - De geheime gangen
  • The towers - De torens
  • The hallways - De gangen
  • The classrooms - De klaslokalen
  • The lessons - De lessen
  • The books - De boeken
  • The parchment - Het perkament
  • The library - De bibliotheek
  • The quill - De ganzenveer
  • The Marauders Map - De 
  • Hogwarts - Zweinstein
  • Hogsmeade - Zweinsveld

The professors - De professoren / leraren

    • Severus Snape - Severus Sneep
    • Minerva McGonagall - Minerva Anderling
    • Albus Dumbledore - Albus Perkamentus
    • Filius Flitwick - Filius Banning
    • Dolores Umbride - Dorothea Omber
    • Quirinus Quirrel - Quirinus Krinkel
    • Horace Slughorn - Hildebrand Slakhoorn
    • Gilderoy Lockheart - Gladianus Smalhart
    • Alastor ‘Mad Eye’ Moody - Alastor ‘Dwaaloog’ Dolleman
    • Pomona Sprout - Pomona Stronk
    • Sybill Trelawney - Sybilla Zwamdrift
    • Remus Lupin - Remus Lupos
    • Rubeus Hagrid - Rubeus Hagrid

The subjects - De vakken

    • Divination - Waarzeggeij
    • Care for magical creatures - Verzorging van fabeldieren
    • Transfiguration - Transfiguratie
    • Potions - Toverdranken
    • Defence against the dark arts - Verweer tegen de zwarte kunsten
    • Astronomy - Astronomie
    • Herbology - Kruidenkunde
    • History pof magic - Geschiedenis van de toverkunst
    • Charms - Bezweringen
    • Study of ancient runes - Oude runen
    • Muggle studies - Dreuzelkunde

The students - De leerlingen

    • Gryffindor - Griffoendor
      • Harry Potter - Harry Potter
      • Ron Weasley - Ron Wemel
      • Ginny Weasley - Ginny Wemel
      • Fred Weasley - Fred Wemel
      • George Weasley - George Wemel
      • Percy Weasley - Percy Wemel
      • Charlie Weasley - Charlie Wemel
      • Bill Weasley - Bill Wemel
      • Hermione Granger - Hermelien Griffel
      • Neville Longbottom - Marcel Lubbermans
      • Seamus Finnigan - Simon Filister
      • Dean Thomas - Daan Tomas
      • Lavender Brown - Belinda Broom
      • Parvati Patil - Parvati Patil
      • Colin Creevey - Kasper Krauwel
      • Dennis Creevey - Dennis Krauwel
      • Alicia Spinnet - Alicia Spinet
      • Angelina Johnson - Angelique Jansen
      • Katie Bell - Katja Bell
      • Lee Jordan - Leo Jordaan
      • Oliver Wood - Olivier Plank
    • Ravenclaw - Ravenklauw
      • Cho Chang - Cho Chang
      • Luna Lovegood - Loena Leeflang
      • Padma Patil - Padma Patil
    • Hufflepuff - Huffelpuf
      • Cedric Diggory - Carlo Kannewasser
      • Ernie MacMillan - Ernst Marsman
      • Justin Finch-Fletchey - Joost Flets-Frimel
      • Hannah Abbott - Hannah Albedil
    • Slytherin - Zwadderich
      • Draco Malfoy - Draco Malfidus
      • Vincent Crabbe - Vincent Korzel
      • Gregory Goyle - Karel Kwast
      • Blaise Zabini - Benno Zabini
      • Pansy Parkinson - Patty Park
      • Millicent Bulstrode - Margriet Bullemans

The ghosts - De geesten:

    • Nearly Headless Nick - Haast Onthoofde Henk
    • Bloody Baron - Bloederige Baron
    • The White Lady (Helena Ravenclaw) - De Witte Dame (Helena Ravenklauw)
    • The Fat Monk - De Dikke Monnik
    • Peeves - Foppe

Magical creatures - Magische wezens:

    • Hippogriff - Hippogrief
    • Dragon - Draak
    • Mermaid - Zeemeermin
    • Giant octopus - Reuzeninktvis
    • Niffler - Niffler
    • Acromantula - Acromantula
    • Basilisk - Basilisk
    • Centaur - Centaur
    • House Elf - Huiself
    • Leprechaun - Kabouter
    • Three-headed dog - Driekoppige hond
    • Fairy - Fee
    • Doxy - Doxy
    • Fire crab - Schroeistaartige kreeft
    • Flobberworm - Flubberworm
    • Phoenix - Feniks
    • Unicorn - Eenhoorn
    • Werewolf - Weerwolf
    • Thestral - Terzieler
    • Dwarf - Dwerg
    • Giant - Reus
    • Goblin - Aardmannetje / Kobold
    • Troll - Trol
    • Vampire - Vampier
    • Dementor - Dementor
    • Boggart - Boeman

Magical objects - Magische objecten

    • Elder Wand - De Zegevlier
    • Resurrection Stone - De Steen van Wederkeer
    • Invisibility Cloak - De Onzichtbaarheidsmantel
    • Remembrall - Geheugensteen
    • Deluminator - Uitsteker
    • Philosopher’s Stone - Steen der Wijzen
    • Exploding Snap - Knalpoker
    • Wizard’s Chess - Tovenaarsschaken
    • Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring - Asmodom Mergel’s ring
    • Tom Riddle’s Diary - Marten Vilijn’s Dagboek
    • Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup - Helga Huffelpuf’s Beker
    • Rowena Ravenclaw’s Diadem - Rowena Ravenklauw’s Diadeem
    • Godric Gryffindor’s Sword - Godric Griffoendor’s Zwaard
    • Salazar Slytherin’s Locket - Zalazar Zwadderich’s Medaillon
    • Goblet of Fire - Vuurbeker
    • Sorting Hat - Sorteerhoed
    • Mirror of Erised - Spiegel van Neregeb
    • Pensieve - Hersenpan
When do you use DE and HET in Dutch?


  • Occupations and persons
    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-
    Het begin (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)

Keep on learning!

So I went to my local bookstore and look what I found guys!  An Dutch Anime Magazine and it had Yuri!!! on Ice in it!

First here is the cover it has Yurio, Yuuri and Viktor on it! Also the “YURI!!! ON ICE MAAKT GESCHIEDENIS” translates to “YURI!!! ON ICE MAKES HISTORY” nice pun on the whole opening song! X3

When you open it up you see “Sexy Katsudon” XD

Then when you flick a few pages further there is two pages full of Yuri!!! on Ice content it’s basically explaining in Dutch what the anime is about. 

And lastly there is a sexy poster of the whole cast~ 

So yeah that’s pretty much there is all to see about Yuri!!! on Ice in this Dutch anime magazine XD I really wanted to share this with you all guys!