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You are here: Home Education Languages Editor's Guide: Languages in Belgium
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04/10/2011Editor's Guide: Languages in Belgium

Editor's Guide: Languages in Belgium Read Expatica's articles on the languages in Belgium, be it the French language or Flemish, where to learn and how to learn languages in Europe, including practical guides and tips.

Learning a new language
Whatever your attitude to language learning, intercultural specialists all agree that learning the language of your new country of residence is a crucial step to understanding your adopted culture.

After you master the local language/s, doors will open for you — you’ll be able to deal with your own administration — and you’ll feel happier and more at ease in your new environment.

If you are new to the country, click here to read our practical French guide to help you get around for the first couple of months.


When you are ready to start learning the language, gather learning languages tips written by experts such as Surviving the language learning curve or read Katie Read's amusing account of her 'voice-box maintenance' while putting her French into practice. Also invest in a good dictionary that translates from your native language to that of France and vice versa, and make an effort to learn French or Dutch. Our Netherlands site offers Learning Dutch without tears, explaining that learning the language really isn't so difficult after all.

Finding an expat language course
Find the right language course for you — Linda Margaret takes a look at language classes in the capital - the where, when, what type and how much.. Find out if your local government subsidises courses for expats to learn French or Dutch and if your employer finances language training. Otherwise, simply select a local expat language course. Check out Expatica’s A-Z listings for a selection of language schools near you.
 
Raising children bilingually
Children take language learning in their stride, and any anxiety about learning a new language is generally felt only by parents. Check out Expatica articles such as Language issues for expat families, which offers strategies for multilingual families

Go to Expatica’s forums to see if you can pick up expat language learning tips, or simply wallow in the fact that others are facing the same uphill struggle as you. Persevere! You’ll get there in the end.



3 reactions to this article

Nico Keppens posted: 2010-09-22 12:40:20

Dear editors,

I do appreciate your efforts to promote that expats learn the local languages, something which, as you say, opens doors.

However, already from the introduction (Read Expatica's short introduction to our Languages section for Belgium to find out where you can learn French and how fellow expats are coping with their struggle to learn a new language.) it seems that your preference is that they should learn French ...

This remark may look childish, but it is not at all. It has to do with respect for the real situation in a country. Or do you too want to maintain the perception that Belgium is basically a french speaking country ? It is this attittude that helped to lead to the current problems of this country.

Greetings,

charlene van thomme posted: 2010-09-22 20:13:31

I'm Flemish, I do not acknowledge french speaking in Belgium.
Where are the lessons on this?

Charlene

Mel Andrews posted: 2011-10-04 12:30:53

I am sorry for Charlene for encouraging anyone to learn Dutch/Flemish; it is not good advice. Like Gaelic (my family's orginal language) Dutch is a lingo of the past that neither children or expats need anymore. My wife and friends are Flemish but all speak English and French with me although my Dutch is fluent I praise the Flemish for learning such good English but please keep Dutch for chatting with your grandmother!

3 reactions to this article

Nico Keppens posted: 2010-09-22 12:40:20

Dear editors,

I do appreciate your efforts to promote that expats learn the local languages, something which, as you say, opens doors.

However, already from the introduction (Read Expatica's short introduction to our Languages section for Belgium to find out where you can learn French and how fellow expats are coping with their struggle to learn a new language.) it seems that your preference is that they should learn French ...

This remark may look childish, but it is not at all. It has to do with respect for the real situation in a country. Or do you too want to maintain the perception that Belgium is basically a french speaking country ? It is this attittude that helped to lead to the current problems of this country.

Greetings,

charlene van thomme posted: 2010-09-22 20:13:31

I'm Flemish, I do not acknowledge french speaking in Belgium.
Where are the lessons on this?

Charlene

Mel Andrews posted: 2011-10-04 12:30:53

I am sorry for Charlene for encouraging anyone to learn Dutch/Flemish; it is not good advice. Like Gaelic (my family's orginal language) Dutch is a lingo of the past that neither children or expats need anymore. My wife and friends are Flemish but all speak English and French with me although my Dutch is fluent I praise the Flemish for learning such good English but please keep Dutch for chatting with your grandmother!

 
 
 
 
 
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