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Walloon

A language of Belgium

ISO 639-3wln

Population  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).
Region  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.
Language map  Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands
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
Language use  Many native authors. Used in theaters. Indigenous languages recognized in Belgium in 1990. Usage began decreasing in the 20th century, but Walloon is increasingly recognized as valuable for informal purposes. More rural use than urban. Not used in schools. Some older adults.
Language development  Magazines. Newspapers. Radio programs. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 1934.
Writing system  Latin script.
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