In Belgium aprox. 60% speaks Dutch, 39% speaks French and 1% speaks German. In the north (Flanders) the official language is Dutch, in the south (Wallonia) the official language is French. Brussels (the capital) has two official languages French and Dutch. And then there are a few municipalities bordering with Germany where German and French are the official language.
Brussels is historically a Flemish city but now has two official languages French and Dutch, although reality is that Dutch has been totally marginalized by the French language (and others like Arab, English,…). It has basically become a French speaking city because Flemish people adapt to the other person speaking and French speaking people generally don’t. Also because on average our French is better than their Dutch. Reasons being: Better education system. It’s easier for Flemish speakers to learn other languages because our mother tongue has a much wider array of frequencies in it. Another reason is probably having to live under invasions (French, Spanish, …) and having to adapt to the invader. And the last reason is just the fact that French for a time was the worlds diplomatic language and is just spoken by more people in the world.
The few German speakers we have is because of the municipalities we received from Germany as part of the compensation for world war I (peace agreement Versailles 1919).
@Astaire The northern region is called Flanders, we are Flemish, but we speak Dutch. Flemish is a language that does NOT exist. Just like @konacoconutz doesn’t speak American, but she speaks English. The confusion is totally created by Flemish people themselves, since they will often say they speak Flemish in an attempt to distinguish themselves from the Dutch nationals. In fact we share the exact same language with the Dutch people. There is a difference in pronunciation and there are variations in words and ways of saying things. In Flanders we do have a wide array of dialects, with about every small village or town slightly differing from the next. The result is that when two persons living 100km apart speak their own true dialect they won’t understand each other .
@konacoconutz The languages I speak:
Dutch / mother tongue
English / Very good
Spanish / Very good
French / Used to be good, but I have barely spoken it for 18 years. It has also been kind of pushed out by my Spanish. I still understand most of it, but would need a few weeks in France to get to a decent level of speaking.
German / Has always been basic.
Portuguese / In the process of learning.
On Afrikaans… Yes, it’s another branch of Dutch. I would understand it, but apart from “zweefteef” I don’t know any specific words. “Zweefteef” is a stewardess but would literally translate as “bitch floating in the air”. It’s a funny one that always makes me laugh.