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Languages of Belgium

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Kingdom of Belgium. Koninkrijk België, Royaume de Belgique. 10,396,000. National or official languages: Dutch, French, Standard German. Literacy rate: 98%. Immigrant languages: Algerian Spoken Arabic (10,800), Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Catalan-Valencian-Balear, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic, Eastern Yiddish (20,000), Italian (280,000), Iu Mien (200), Kabyle (49,000), Laz, Moroccan Spoken Arabic (105,000), Northern Kurdish (22,000), Portuguese (80,000), Spanish (70,000), Tarifit, Tosk Albanian (3,000), Tunisian Spoken Arabic (8,900), Turkish (63,600), Turoyo (2,000), Western Yiddish. Also includes speakers of Chinese varieties (14,000), languages of Democratic Republic of the Congo (10,000). Information mainly from B. Comrie 1976; M. Stephens 1976. Blind population: 4,779. Deaf population: 610,119. Deaf institutions: 26. The number of individual languages listed for Belgium is 10. Of those, all are living languages.
Dutch

[nld] 4,620,000 in Belgium (1990 WA). West Vlaanderen, Oost Vlaanderen, Antwerpen, Limburg, Vlaams-Brabant, and bilingual part (10% to 20%) of Brussels. Alternate names: Nederlands.  Dialects: Brabants, Oost-Vlaams.  Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, Low Saxon-Low Franconian, Low Franconian 
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Flemish Sign Language

[vgt] 6,000 (2005 M. Vermeerbergen).  Alternate names: VGT.  Dialects: West Flanders, East Flanders, Antwerp, Flemish Brabant, Limburg. Most similar to French Belgian Sign Language [sfb]. A variety of regional dialects developed in different deaf schools. Influence from spoken Dutch, particularly in mouthing.  Classification: Deaf sign language 
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French

[fra] 4,000,000 in Belgium (Harris 1987). Hainaut, Namur, Liège, Luxembourg, Brabant-Walloon provinces, southern hills, and bilingual part of Brussels. Lorraine in Luxembourg Province south. Alternate names: Français.  Dialects: Lorraine.  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Gallo-Romance, Gallo-Rhaetian, Oïl, French 
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French Belgian Sign Language

[sfb]   Alternate names: Langue des Signes Belge Francophone, LSFB.  Dialects: Most similar to Flemish Sign Language [vgt]. Major difference is in the mouthings; sometimes people can understand the other language moderately well, but others have difficulty, especially (as in television) where there is no adjustment to the language of the addressee. Regional dialects developed in different deaf schools.  Classification: Deaf sign language 
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German, Standard

[deu] 150,000 in Belgium (Hawkins 1987). Liège Province, Eupen and Sankt-Vith cantons, municipalities: Eupen, Kelmis, Lontzen, Raeren, Amel, Bnlingen, Bntchenbach, Sankt-Vith, and Burg-Reuland. Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, High German, German, Middle German, East Middle German 
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Limburgish

[lim] 600,000 in Belgium (2001). Hasselt, Genk, Maaseik, Voeren, Eupen. Alternate names: Limburgan, Limburgian, Limburgic, Limberger, Limburgs Plat.  Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, High German, German, Middle German, West Middle German, Rhenisch Franconian 
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Luxembourgeois

[ltz] 30,000 in Belgium (1998). Luxembourg Province, Arlon and Bastogne area. Alternate names: Letzburgisch.  Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, High German, German, Middle German, West Middle German, Moselle Franconian 
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Picard

[pcd]  Most of Hainaut Province, Tournai, Mons, Ath. Alternate names: Chtimi, Rouchi.  Dialects: Belgian Picard.  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Gallo-Romance, Gallo-Rhaetian, Oïl, French 
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Vlaams

[vls] 6,000,000 in Belgium (2007 M. De Belder). Population total all countries: 6,141,560. Flanders. Also in Canada, France, Netherlands, United States. Alternate names: Flamand, Flemish.  Dialects: Westvlaams, Oostvlaams, Antwerps, Limburgs, Brabants. Considered a variant of Dutch [nld]. Similar to German, English, Frisian.  Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, Low Saxon-Low Franconian, Low Franconian 
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Walloon

[wln] 1,120,000 (1998), decreasing. Few monolinguals. 320,000 young people (1998). 1,220,000 to 1,920,000 young people can understand it (1998). Wallonia. Central Walloon: Namur, Wavre, and Dinant; Eastern Walloon: Liège, Malmedy, Verviers, Huy, and Waremme; Western Walloon: Charleroi, Nivelles, and Philippeville; Southern Walloon: the Ardennes region, Marche, and Neufchâteau. Also spoken in Luxembourg until recently. It is or was spoken in parts of northern France, and in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA. Alternate names: Wallon.  Dialects: Central Walloon, Eastern Walloon, Western Walloon, Southern Walloon. Developed between the 8th and 12th centuries from remnants of Latin brought to the region by Roman soldiers, merchants, and settlers. Eastern subdialect considered the most difficult to understand.  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Gallo-Romance, Gallo-Rhaetian, Oïl, French 
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