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Linguaholic

Netherlands Dutch vs. Belgian Dutch


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So I'm taking the time to learn Dutch, although I have to familiarize myself with Flemish too. Since I'll be in a mostly Flemish-speaking area, what are some differences I have to take note of? I can't find many places online that teach Flemish instead of Dutch.

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Oh good luck with that!  It seems there are no resources for people seriously considering to learn Flemish, I know because I'm trying to learn Dutch and just the other day I was thinking it must be really frustrating for those needing to learn Flemish, because they have to settle for Dutch materials.

But as far as I know both languages are the same, excepting for the accent, but as far as I know the spelling is the same.

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It is pretty frustrating. There isn't only a difference in accents. Many things are spelled differently and I think I'd go so far as to say Dutch is only the basic structure to learning Flemish, because all of the Flemish-speaking people I know can speak Dutch, but most Dutch people I know can't understand Flemish very well.

As far as I know, Dutch is taught in Belgian schools, but Flemish is used more loosely at home, not much unlike slang, although it is an official language.

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  • 1 month later...

There certainly are differences. I don't know about spelling, but Flemish uses some grammatical constructions you don't hear in Netherlands Dutch.

I think though, you should be fine learning Dutch and then adapting once you get to Belgium.

Actually, it is similarly true in England. I just learnt plain English in school, but now I live in North England, I do notice differences in speech. But I adapt automatically, just stay in frequent touch with the local population and you'll pick it up.

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I had no trouble talking to a Flemish person once, although perhaps he simply realised I could only speak Netherlands Dutch and adjusted for my benefit. I've heard the difference is no more than American/British English.

Indeed, the difference between Flemish and Netherlands Dutch is almost nothing. The thing is though, that Flemish people easily understand Netherlands people, while the other way around it's way harder (or atleast they say). But Belgian Dutch is more of an accent than an actual language when you'd ask me. If you just speak normal Dutch, it's also okay.

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  • 1 month later...

There certainly are differences. I don't know about spelling, but Flemish uses some grammatical constructions you don't hear in Netherlands Dutch.

I think though, you should be fine learning Dutch and then adapting once you get to Belgium.

Actually, it is similarly true in England. I just learnt plain English in school, but now I live in North England, I do notice differences in speech. But I adapt automatically, just stay in frequent touch with the local population and you'll pick it up.

That is actually good to know :)  I have been watching a lot Belgian TV and yeah, I have noticed the structures of some phrases are actually different to the ones I saw in Dutch. By the way... is it true that in the Netherlands many dialects are used?  I was told that, kinda creeped me out!

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Yes, that's true. Most often, you won't really notice it, but there are some areas where it is difficult to understand.

Oh no!  In the area where I was staying I was told most people spoke a dialect, yikes D:  So, I guess I'll come across a lot people who speak a dialect, and there I'll be with my tidy dutch  :laugh:

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