What is the difference between Flemish and Dutch? Does Flemish only sound a bit more formal, or are there really big differences so we can see each one as a separate language?

Under the word Vlaams we can understand three different things.First of all we have the West-Flemish and east-Flemish dialects.

Yves Leterme and Mark Rutte shake the Hand[1

The first is a Dutch dialect that resembles the most on the Zeeuws, while the second is a Dutch dialect that resembles the Brabants most.

In addition, under this word also the standard Dutch, which is spoken in Belgium is understood.

The Flemish is actually a misnomer, this language variety is called official Belgian-Dutch. Dutch is also spoken in Brussels-Capital region and Wallonia.

In Wallonia it is not only spoken at the border in so-called facilities municipalities, but also in some enclaves. [2

The West-Flemish and the east-Flemish differ greatly from the standard Dutch or the ABN that would be spoken in the surroundings of Haarlem in North and South Holland.

The Belgian-Dutch[3 and Dutch-Dutch[4 are two different standards of the same language.You can say that Belgian-Dutch mainly refers to the Brabants[5 , while Dutch-Dutch is tending to Dutch[6 .

For a Dutch language the Belgian language sounds more formal, because many common expressions in the Dutch have fallen into disuse.In other words, Belgian Dutch has a number of archaisms. In addition, a number of expressions and words are different. In contrast, there are also differences in vocabulary in the Netherlands.

I hope to have answered your question with this.

Thank you for asking me this question Hannah Villarba (Hannah Villarba).


[1 premiers Leterme and Rutte will speak on the performance

[2 Dutch in Wallonia-Wikipedia

[3 Belgian-English-Wikipedia

[4 Dutch in the Netherlands-Wikipedia

[5 brabants-Wikipedia

[6 Dutch dialect-Wikipedia

Only your third word “Well” makes it clear that you are a Dutchman.It is never used in Belgium and sounds to many of us as a circular saw on steel.

But then… What exactly do you mean by “Vlaams”?
I assume you mean Belgian Dutch.That’s not one whole, though.
In The north of Belgium we speak three dialect groups.

  1. Flemish.

This is spoken in the provinces of East and West Flanders, but also in Zeeland and even still in some parts of French Flanders.

  • Brabants.
  • This is spoken in the provinces of “Vlaams” Brabant (which is actually a wrong term) and Antwerp, but also in Noord-Brabant.

  • Limburgish.
  • This is spoken in Limburg but also in Dutch Limburg.

    For me as Antwerp, Noord-Brabants sounds much less “different” than East-Flemish, although East Flanders borders Antwerp, while for example Den Bosch is much farther away.Kruibeke even borders the municipality of Antwerp

    The official language in Flanders is called “Dutch”.This is indeed the same language as the official language of the Netherlands.

    Of course there are differences in vocabulary and pronunciation between North and south, but they are also between East and west.

    There is no language, or dialect, which is called “Flemish”.However, the following dialects exist in Flanders: West-Flemish; Gents Antwerps Limburgish. And of course still a whole series of others.
    There is a much larger difference between e.g. West-Flemish and Limburgs than between e.g. West-Flemish and Zeeuws, or between e.g. Limburgs spoken in e.g. Maaseik (Flanders) and that of B.V. Heerlen (The Netherlands).So the merging of West-Flemish, Limburgish, Antwerps, etc. Under the name “Vlaams” is totally ridicuul.

    In Austria We also speak German.Not “Austrian”.

    Regional languages are a “problem” inside and outside of Landsgrensen.But Austrian German and Germany-German are the same language. Exactly like “Flemish” and “Dutch”.

    They are particularly idiom differences.These differences also exist within the borders of the Netherlands. In addition, there is simply the tongue trap, or the accent. You can also find that within the borders of the Netherlands.

    I can’t demonstrate the differences in the tongue, but as an idiom difference you can take for example:

    • I like to see you: in Flemish: I love you; In English: unused/It is pleasant to see you.
    • Donate/Shake: In Limburg It is normal for someone to shake a cup of coffee, further north is to pour a cup of coffee.
    • The door is loose/open: In Twente a door that is loose does not fall out of its handles, but is simply open.


    When I worked as a Belgian in the Netherlands, we sometimes laughed at the differences.There is no dog listening to you, in Flemish there is no cat. The real differences are cultural. Flemings look at other television, so if the way Andr茅 van Duyn launches a saying, we will escape that. And in Flanders it can happen that there are things translated from the French inside. But in general, the differences are minimal.

    Dutch is a collection of dialects and regional languages spoken in Belgium, the Netherlands, Suriname, South Africa and the Antilles.That is a group of 30 million people. Due to isolation, certain areas are increasingly developing their own direction. In history, there are sometimes effects of e.g. A State translation that works more equalizing. This is how languages work and not only in the Netherlands and Flanders. If you take the Scandinavian languages, you will see exactly the same. Lots of words from e.g. The Swedish are just the same as in Dutch, but are no longer used here or have a slightly shifted content. Just think of ‘ gammal ‘ which in Scandinavian languages simply means old but in English means ‘ Gammel ‘. When I started learning Swedish, I noticed that most of the Germanic languages are interchangeable. Just think of ‘ garden ‘ in Dutch, ‘ Zaun ‘ (fence) in German and ‘ town ‘ (fenced village) in English. In fact, they all mean the same thing.

    Of course, WJ is talking about one and the same language, Dutch.The differences have a historical and geographical origin. In this discussion, cultural differences are also touched between in particular Holland and Flanders, these have nothing to do with the language but rather with the centuries-long influence in Flanders first by the Spanish occupation which was more prolonged there and Then the centuries-long French domination (which also existed before the advent of the Spaniards).

    Now the language.The current standard Dutch, the official language of the Netherlands, is derived from the Haarlem and other Dutch dialects. The Dutch dialects have been very gradual since about 500 N. chr. From a mixture of lower Franconian and Frisian dialects. To the south and east the Frisian influence became smaller and the language remained closer to the lower Franconian, on the coasts and towards the north it leaned closer to the frieze. A harder-to-detect but present influence south of the Meuse and along the coast south of the old Rhine estuary near Katwijk were further Roman and, still older and vaguer, Celtic influences.

    These influences are important for understanding differences between the Dutch dialects southern of the Dutch state border.For the rest, I join the other responders.

    I would say that they speak their version of Dutch.

    In Flanders one feels that their version of’t ABN speaks, the pronunciation is “southerly”, some words are for northerners what apart: ham instead of ham, onion instead of onion, Kot instead of (students) room, someone with “thou” appealing does what Old-fashioned, often your own children with “you” appeal so formally, in the Sixties when I studied there doing very Flemish: sidewalk (from French) is “not done”, had to be sidewalk, but one uses in the same sentence unconsciously many French words such as Platter instead of serving tray, a tasse caf茅 instead of a cup of coffee, sometimes sous tasse instead of saucer.

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