https://www.duolingo.com/profile/davidvdb

Probêert e kje West-Vlams!

West Flemish is a dialect/language (depends what you call a language, if you call Frisian one, this one is a real one too :p) closely related to Dutch, and influenced by French (ex. freings from the French les freins, breaks in English and remmen in Dutch) and German (ex. talôre, from the German Teller, plate in English, and bord in Dutch). According to Wikipedia, it has 1.4 million speakers, almost as many as Irish :)

First some West Flemish culture!

1. Brugge [bɾəə]

Brugge (EN: Bruges), the capital of West-Flanders, is a beautiful medieval city in the northern part of the province. It really deserves its title as the Venice of the North!

2. Ieper [ɪpəɾ]

Ieper (EN: Ypres) is the city of cats and of WW1 (I had to mention it. No offence to anyone :p). This city was also very important in the middle ages, as it was famous for the linen trade with England.

3. Kortrijk

Kortrijk (EN: Courtrai), known for the Battle of Courtrai or the Battle of the Golden Spurs which took place on 11 July 1302 (The first, and only, battle Flanders ever won from France ^^, and we are proud of it :/), is the second largest city of the province. A great place to be if you love to shop :)

Now the language itself :)

It is, just as Dutch, a Germanic language, so you will find many cognates with English. E petatte, for example, is in English a potato, but in Dutch een aardappel. Also there are many unique words as gèrnoars (EN: shrimps, NL: garnalen), and unique (maybe weird) grammar rules as conjugating yes and no :)

  • Joak - Nink (Yes/no, I)
  • Joag - Nèg (Yes/no, you)
  • Joaj / Joas / Joat - Nej /nès/nint (Yes/no, he/she/it)
  • Joam - Nim (Yes/no, we)
  • Joag - Nèg (Yes/no, you)
  • Joans - Nins (Yes/no, they)
October 22, 2014

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Frosch0066

Thanks for sharing this. Brugge is indeed a very beautiful town. Always a pleasure to visit. I particularly like "Stoofvlees" - not sure where it fits in on the Flemish/Dutch dialect spectrum but it's certainly very tasty.

October 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/soedori

A beautiful town... with an amazing football team (Club Brugge). I would love to go there one day.

October 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/davidvdb

Oh yes, a Belgian speciality :)

October 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lewisjcranston16

Brugge is lovely I was there in the summer and took the canal tour. I also took the tram down the Belgian coast which was lovely and very practical.

October 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SDL_1987

Mooie voorstelling. Ik als Limburger heb thans alle moeite van de wereld om West-Vlaams te verstaan :p

October 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susande

This sketch about a computer course gives you an idea how West-Flemish sounds like, starting to get a bit outdated with Windows '98 and floppy disks, but you just have to love Gilberke and kjir ù kji weere (backspace).

October 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brijsven

Ha, wat grappig :)

October 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/buunny

Maybe, under Brugge, you could add that it was an important city in the arts during the Renaissance.

October 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yoruji

Side note: although Dutch people do call potatoes "aardappels" (lit. 'earth apples'), in Dutch many people call French fries "patat", which is also a cognate with English (;

October 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/taufan99

I hope Duolingo starts adding West Flemish course!

October 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThomasDepoortere

Also influenced by Celtic and Scandinavian (the latter are Germanic too, I know) languages! (studied linguistics at uni and native speaker of West Flemish). E.g. double negation, "conjugation" of yes and no, double Subject (kenèkik da nie)

December 13, 2015
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.