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Range of the Flemish dialect.
Flemish (Vlaams), also called Flemish Dutch (Vlaams-Nederlands), Belgian Dutch (Belgisch-Nederlands
They differ to some extent from the Dutch spoken in the Netherlands in terms of intonation and pronunciation, and there are minor differences in vocabulary, including loanwords from French, German and English not found in Standard Dutch.
There are four principal Dutch dialects in the Flemish region (Flanders):
Linguistically and formally, "Flemish" refers to the region, culture and people of (North) Belgium or Flanders.
Dutch is the
The various Dutch dialects spoken in Belgium contain a number of lexical and a few grammatical features which distinguish them from the standard Dutch. As in the Netherlands, the pronunciation of Standard Dutch is affected by the native dialect of the speaker.
All Dutch dialect groups spoken in Belgium are spoken in adjacent areas of the Netherlands as well. East Flemish forms a continuum with both Brabantic and West Flemish. Standard Dutch is primarily based on the
Among vowels is the diphthong "ou" / "au." Ou as in bout (
|r ~ ʀ|
The difference between short and long vowels tends to be quantitative instead of qualitative, especially in the influential Brabantic pronunciation.
Strong tendency towards
Northern Dutch speakers tend to retain the foreign pronunciation of loanwords, whereas Belgian speakers tend to dutchify their pronunciation.
Belgian Dutch includes different French loanwords in its vocabulary compared to Netherlands Dutch. There are also different Dutch terms for similar things: for example, the former Belgian
The traditionally most spoken Dutch dialect in Belgium, Brabantian, has had a large influence on the vocabulary used in Belgium. Examples include beenhouwer (Brabantian) and slager (Hollandic), both meaning
Flemish and Dutch television shows are occasionally subtitled for the other country in their standard language when using informal speech or dialects because of the differences in pronunciation, lexicon and expressions.
In 2009, one of the main publishers of Dutch dictionaries, Prisma, published the first Dutch dictionary that distinguished between the two natiolectic varieties "Nederlands Nederlands" (or "Netherlandish Dutch") and "Belgisch Nederlands" ("Belgian Dutch"), treating both variations as equally correct. The selection of the "Flemish Dutch" words was based on the Referentiebestand Belgisch Nederlands (RBBN): an electronic database built under the supervision of Prof. Dr. W. Martin (
Professor Willy Martin, one of the Flemish editors, claimed that the latter expressions are "just as correct" as the former. This formed a break with the previous
In November 2012 the Belgian radio channel
The supra-regional, semi-standardized colloquial form (
It is a rather informal variety of speech, which occupies an intermediate position between regional dialects and the standard language. It incorporates phonetic, lexical and grammatical elements not part of the standard language but 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 or that it is evolving into a
Tussentaal is slowly gaining popularity in Flanders because it is used a lot in television dramas and comedies. Often, middle-class characters in a television series will be speaking tussentaal, lower-class characters use the dialect of the location where the show is set, and upper-class characters will speak Standard Dutch. That has given tussentaal the status of normalcy in Flanders. It is slowly being accepted by the general population, but it has met with objections from writers and academics who argue that it dilutes the usage of Standard Dutch. Tussentaal is used in entertainment television but rarely in informative programmes (like the news), which normally use Standard Dutch.