Around the World in French!
Episode 3: Belgium
Welcome to Around the World in French! Episode 3 takes us to Belgium! A country famous for their cuisine and diverse music. Belgium has a unique culture that is inspired by their French, Dutch, and German roots. It is a country well-worth visiting and exploring especially if you are learning French and you have the opportunity to travel. About 36% of Belgians speak French as their native language, and nearly half speak it as a second language, so although the country’s primary language is Dutch, French is a big part of the country’s identity, which we will explore in this blog!
First of all, if you ever travel to Belgium, you won’t be disappointed by the food you discover in the country. They are particularly famous for their chocolate, waffles, cheese, and beer. Also, to the surprise of many people, French fries do not actually come from France, they originated in Belgium. These are just a few examples of the delicious foods that Belgium has to offer, many of which you may have already tasted in your own country.
The Music Scene
Belgium is also home to many great music festivals. Their lively and vibrant people love music and love to celebrate it in their festivals. Some of the biggest and most popular music festivals are in Belgium, such as Tomorrowland which draws a massive crowd of nearly 400 000 people from all over the world each year. Belgium has a fair share of their own artists as well. Stromae is one of the great musicians to come out of the country, and he is one of the most popular artists in the French music industry. Many of his songs have gained popularity worldwide such as his hit “Alors on danse” which you may recognize.
The same way French is spoken differently in Quebec and France, Belgium has their own unique dialect and accent in French. Although it is more similar to the French spoken in France, there are unique colloquial expressions and there is a different vocabulary used at times. A common example is how they use different words for the numbers in the seventies and nineties than the rest of the French world. For example, instead of saying “soixante-dix” for 70 they say “septante”, and instead of “quatre-vingt-dix” for 90, they say “nonante”.
The country is a great tourist destination because there is endless sightseeing to do. Belgium is a country rich in history and art, and Brussels (the capital of Belgium) is a great spot to experience it all in one city. There are many great museums to visit such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts d’Ixelles, and historical sites like The Grand Place which are aesthetically stunning and one of a kind. Belgium is a great tourist destination and if you’re learning French or interested in the language, it’s a great place to travel to, to experience their culture and the many beauties of their country.
If you would like to start learning French, we can help you out with that! We offer a variety of classes to suit you and the level you are at, and we offer many classes for your kids if you would like them to learn the language. So feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to sign up!