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Is French enough in Antwerp or should I learn Dutch?

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I'm wondering if my French will be enough to live in Antwerp? As this city is part of Belgium, most of the people should talk French there right?
Any tips on the language? Thanks!

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  • Ina Wermelskirchen

    posted by  in Antwerp forum 

    Hi Bryan,

    for the beginning French is quite ok. Most of the people living in Antwerp had French in school. The Flemish have to learn French, whereas the Wallonians are not 'forced' to learn Flemish. By the way: There are small differences between Flemish and Dutch and the Flemish people are proud of their Flemish. In a lot of families French is today still the language they speak at home - so don' t worry. Depending on how long you are going to stay in this part of the country you should learn Flemish - because you are limiting yoursself in getting contact with the 'locals' :-)) and with local activities. For example: The 'Zomer van Antwerpen' is very nice and special, with a lot of cultural events ... and worth to experience!

    I am living here since 10 years and learned Flemish after 3 years being here. I still have friends with who I am talking English instead of Flemish - good old habits!

    Enjoy your stay in Antwerp!

  • posted by  in Antwerp forum 

    Hi there and welcome to Antwerp.
    I am new to the site but couldn't resist to replying on this topic. I believe for Antwerp specifically your would be better of speaking English or studying Dutch, rather than French. Reasons are the political issues relating to language issues between Flanders and Wallonia and Antwerp historically being the centre of flemish culture. I can imagine some native Dutch speaking people would be quite reluctant to speak French in Antwerp city, although they are perfectly capable to do so. Also, in Antwerp most schools offer very good language programs and often 3 to 4 languages are taught.
    Being said so, French ofcourse is a beautiful language to learn ;-)

  • xu guohai

    posted by  in Antwerp forum 

    it is pity that antwerp is dutch-speaking area for your case.
    From my personally experience in antwerp. more people can speak english rather than french.
    although both of them is foreign language for flemish people.

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