I think it is because the Flemish AN and the Dutch (say but Dutch) are so different.
As English, Americans and Australians also sound different, even though they speak “General English”.I once played between an Australian and a Canadian who did not understand each other, and mutually believed that it was a different language-German or so. This is 40 years ago, and I suspect that through the proliferation of Australian TV series Since then, the Canadians are now familiar with the Australian accent and timbre.
In the same way, Flemings have been very familiar with the Dutch timbre since the years 70 (cable television!).In the opposite direction this is much less the case. On the Studio 100 creations na-K3, Kabouter Plop, Piet Pirate, Galaxy Park,…-Most Flemish programmes are subtitled.
What I find for certain programs-not to mention Temptation Island-is also somewhat understandable.And that is what I am concerned about in 2 directions.
Of course, many Dutch people might think: But that’s because your flemings pronounce things wrong , and we do it right.
Allow me to very much relativate the latter:
The pronunciation of the Flemish newsreaders (Martine Tanghe) and the Dutch newsreaders a while ago, such as The late Fred Emmer (and you hear Fred Foppen Ok)or Harmen Siezen is/was not really big.Listen to Boudewijn de Grootfor example.
And then listen to how it sounds today: NOS journaal ON MH17.
It all sounds lots of Hollandser.
“V” becomes “F”, “Z” becomes “S”, “G” becomes “CH”, the “R” is pronounced on its American and that goes on.I assume that many Dutch people do not even hear that themselves, because this has become the “new normal” for them.
And of course most flemings do not speak like our newsreaders.Most of them have regional accents (Limburgish, West-Flemish, Brabants,…). And then the difference for the untrained ear of a typical Dutchman is sometimes too big.
But there is also good news: Practice makes perfect.
If you hold it for more than 5 minutes, it gets used, and most Dutch and Flemish people can understand each other perfectly.And the next time it goes after a few seconds and then it goes without saying.
Assuming that both are attempting to speak AN.
If at least one of them speaks dialect, then you need more time.Depending on how far that dialect of the AN or your own speaking language is located, it may take some time to recognise sound patterns, and then there is often also a rather deviant vocabulary. But even then it is possible to understand each other well after a few hours of choice.
But in the case of fast contacts-such as at the checkout in a shop-there is no time or willingness to understand each other well, and in the Netherlands it is soon switched to English, in the (rather fast) assumption that one is to be with a foreign-speaking foreigner Has to do.
Only if they have a strong regional dialect can I find it more difficult.But I also have Dutch regional dialects. I do not know which Dutch it is but given the large number of Flemish people who work in the Netherlands, I think it is best.
Let’s say I’m a Fleming.So I look at it from this point of view. It’s IMHO more of a way it’s pronounced. A Fleming who speaks to you is more difficult. They all suffer from their dialect. Some regions in Flanders have worse than others. Personally, I suffer less from it because I have teachers as parents and at home it was usually something in the direction of AN. The Dutch friends I have understand I am without any problem and they also mean me well. Occasionally we have words that are quite diverse though we all speak AN (or think to do this anyway). I therefore do not speak a specific Flemish dialect because we never did this at home. I am very grateful to my parents for that.