Discover Benelux | Culture | Language
West Flemish With the city of Bruges, the trenches of Ypres and the North Sea beaches, West Flanders is the perfect destination for tourists. Belgians, however, associate the region more with their peculiar dialect, which is considered the most difficult one in the country. A short introduction: every ‘ch’ and ‘g’ become an ‘h’, yet, when there is an ‘h’ at the beginning of a word, it is not pronounced. An ‘aa’ becomes ‘ao’, an ‘ou’ becomes ‘oo’, an ‘oo’ becomes ‘eu’ and an ‘ij’ or ‘ei’ becomes ‘i’. No wonder the Flemish sometimes struggle to understand their compatriots from the west. When featured on television, West Flemish, therefore, always get subtitled.
Bruges, West Flanders, Belgium. Photo: Pieter D’Hoop
The Belgian coast, West Flanders, Belgium. Photo: Visit.Flanders
West Flemish Lexicon: Beire: Fun Jok: Yes Banin: No, it isn’t Tiw wô wi: It is true Een muhenheheuhen: A mosquito’s memory
Bruges, West Flanders, Belgium. Photo: Sarah Bauwens
Tournai, Hainaut, Belgium.
Picard The French region Nord-Pas-de-Calais and the Belgian province of Hainaut are united by the colourful Picard dialect, better known as Ch’ti. With the release of the French blockbuster Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis in 2008, the idiom became loved throughout all of Belgium and 82 | Issue 63 | March 2019
France. Just like the film’s protagonist Philippe Abrams, most French speakers struggle to understand the Chi’tis’ remarkable pronunciation. Their vowels are nasal and many of the staccato ‘k’s and ‘c’s you find in French get swapped for sizzling ‘ch’s or ‘tch’s.
Picard Lexicon: In.hui: Today Niaf: Funny Tchot: Small Chuque: Sugar Brinderingue: Drunk
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.