Why do Belgian speak French?

How did Belgium become French speaking?

Belgium’s famous Dutch-versus-French language divide was established in the Middle Ages when Roman Emperor Charlemagne was forced to divide his kingdom between his three grandsons. … The divide created fluctuating friction between Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia and it continues to this day.

Do all Belgian speak French?

A majority of Belgians are Dutch-speakers who live in the Flemish north. Most of the rest speak French, and there is a small German-speaking community.

Why does Belgium speak two languages?

Why do Belgium have two languages? DESPITE being a relatively small country, two major languages are spoken around Belgium. … The diversity is due to the countries chequered history, with it constantly changing hands between various nations until independence from the Dutch in 1830.

Are Belgians Dutch?

The majority of Belgians, however, belong to two distinct ethnic groups or communities (Dutch: gemeenschap or French: communauté) native to the country, i.e. its historical regions: Flemings in Flanders, who speak Dutch, and Walloons in Wallonia, who speak French or Walloon.

Can French understand Belgium?

Brussels, the capital of the country and the de facto capital of the EU, is officially bilingual, meaning that all street signs and official documents are presented in both French and Dutch. In actuality, 80% of Brussels’ population speaks French, and people generally use French to get around.

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Do Belgians speak both French and Dutch?

As a result of the language split across the country, many road signs and other notices around Belgium are written in both French and Dutch. German, while one of the three official languages, is much less prevalent and spoken by less than 1% of the population. In Brussels, the main language spoken is French.

When did they start speaking French in Belgium?

In 1898, the Equality Law established French and Dutch as co-equal official languages, but there was still often a bias toward French in practice. In 1967, an official Dutch version of the constitution was passed, but this hardly marked the end of regional tensions.

Is Belgium French or Dutch?

The Brussels-Capital Region is officially bilingual in French and Dutch, although French is the dominant language.

Belgium.

Kingdom of Belgium Koninkrijk België (Dutch) Royaume de Belgique (French) Königreich Belgien (German)
Official languages Dutch French German