Ethnologue: Areas: Europe


10,000,000 (1995). Kingdom of Belgium. Koninkrijk België. Royaume de Belgique. Literacy rate 98%. Also includes Albanian 3,000, Moroccan Arabic 105,000 (1984 Time), Algerian Arabic 10,800 (1984 Time), Tunisian Arabic 8,900 (1984 Time), Chinese 14,000, Italian 280,000, Kabyle 2,537,000 (1987), Kurmanji 22,000, Portuguese 80,000, Spanish 70,000, Turkish 63,600 (1984 Time), people from Zaire 10,000. Data accuracy estimate: A2, B. Christian, secular, Muslim. Blind population 4,779. Deaf institutions: 26. The number of languages listed for Belgium is 5.

BELGIAN SIGN LANGUAGE [BVS] Deaf sign language. Dialects: NORTH BELGIUM SIGN LANGUAGE, SOUTH BELGIUM SIGN LANGUAGE. A variety of regional dialects which have their roots in different deaf schools. The dialect in the Flemish region is closer to that in the Walloon region than it is to Dutch Sign Language. Adopted signs from the old French sign language directly and indirectly. It began in 1825. Limited influence from Signed Dutch. Signed French and Signed Dutch are used some for intercommunication with hearing people. 3 deaf schools in Brussels have trained about one-third of the deaf in Belgium. There are 26 deaf institutions. Sign language interpreters are required in court. Some interpreters are available for college students. Some interpreters are provided for job training and mental health programs. There is sign language instruction for parents of deaf children. There is a committee on national sign language. Little research on the language. There are sign language classes for hearing people. There have been schools for deaf people since 1825. Different sign languages are used in the classroom and by adults outside the classroom. In the Walloon area there is often signed interpretation on TV, and videos and film. Dictionaries in both dialects.

DUTCH (FLEMISH, VLAAMSCH, VLAAMS) [DUT] 5,640,150 in Belgium (1990), 57% of the population (1990 WA); 20,000,000 to 21,000,000 in all countries. Flanders; provinces of West Flanders, East Flanders, Antwerp, Limberg, most of Brabant. Northern lowlands. Indo-European, Germanic, West, Continental, Low, Dutch. The variety spoken in Belgium is only slightly different from the variety spoken in the Netherlands. National language. Braille Bible. Bible 1522-1988. NT 1480-1992. Bible portions 1477-1986.

FRENCH (FRANÇAIS) [FRN] 4,000,000 in Belgium (M. Harris in B. Comrie 1988), 33% of the population (1990 WA); 72,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Wallonie; provinces of Hainaut, Namur, Liege, Luxembourg, part of Brabant, southern hills, and the bilingual part of Brussels. Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Romance. Dialects: WALLOON (WALLON), PICARD. National language. Braille Bible. Bible 1530-1986. NT 1474-1980. Bible portions 1483-1987.

GERMAN, STANDARD [GER] 150,000 in Belgium (J.A. Hawkins in B. Comrie 1988), 1.5% of the population; 98,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Eastern Cantons, Liege Province, around Eupen. Also in Germany, other countries. Indo-European, Germanic, West, Continental, High. Official regional language in Eupen-Malmédy-St. Vith. Bible 1466-1982. NT 1522-1983. Bible portions 1522-1987.

LUXEMBOURGEOIS (LETZBURGISCH) [LUX] 14,900 in Belgium (1976 Stephens); 300,000 in Luxembourg; 20,618 in USA; 335,518 in all countries. Area of Arlon, Luxembourg Province. Also in Luxembourg, France, and Germany. Indo-European, Germanic, West, Continental, High. Work in progress.

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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
Copyright © 1996, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. All rights reserved.

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