|Native to||Belgium, Netherlands, France|
|Region||Flanders, Zeelandic Flanders, French Flanders|
|6.5 million (2016)|
Flemish (Vlaams) also called Flemish Dutch (Vlaams-Nederlands), Belgian Dutch (Belgisch-Nederlands [ˈbɛlɣis ˈneːdərlɑnts] (listen)), or Southern Dutch (Zuid-Nederlands) is a Low Franconian dialect cluster of the Dutch language, as spoken in Flanders, a historical region in northern Belgium, by Flemings, the dominant ethnic group of the region. Along with Flanders, it is also spoken to some extent in French Flanders and the Dutch Zeelandic Flanders by approximately 6.5 million people.
The term Flemish itself has become ambiguous. Nowadays, it is used in at least five ways, depending on the context. These include:
- An indication of Dutch written and spoken in Flanders including the Dutch standard language as well as the non-standardized dialects, including intermediate forms between vernacular dialects and the standard. Some linguists avoid the term Flemish in this context and prefer the designation Belgian-Dutch or South-Dutch
- A synonym for the so-called intermediate language in Flanders region, the Tussentaal
- An indication of the non-standardized dialects and regiolects of Flanders region
- An indication of the non-standardized dialects of only the former County of Flanders, ie the current provinces of West Flanders and East Flanders, Zeelandic Flanders and Frans-Vlaanderen
- An indication of the non-standardized West Flemish dialects of the province of West Flanders, the Dutch Zeelandic Flanders and French Frans-Vlaanderen
MultiTree considers Flemish to include the four principal Dutch dialects in the Flemish region (Flanders): Brabantian, East Flemish, West Flemish and Limburgish as well as three other dialects. Glottolog considers Flemish to be a separate (regional) language, which includes the dialects of Antverpian (the dialect of the city of Antwerp), French Flemish, West Flemish, East Flemish and Limburgish. Ethnologue considers Limburgish and West Flemish to be separate (regional) languages.
Dutch is the majority language in northern Belgium, being used in written language by three-fifths of the population of Belgium. It is one of the three national languages of Belgium, together with French and German, and is the only official language of the Flemish Region.
The various Dutch dialects spoken in Belgium contain a number of lexical and a good amount of grammatical features which distinguish them from the standard Dutch. Basic Dutch words can have a completely different meaning in Flemish or imply different context. As in the Netherlands, the pronunciation of Standard Dutch is affected by the native dialect of the speaker.
All Dutch dialect groups spoken in Belgium are spoken in adjacent areas of the Netherlands as well. East Flemish forms a continuum with both Brabantic and West Flemish. Standard Dutch is primarily based on the Hollandic dialect  (spoken in the Western provinces of the Netherlands) and to a lesser extent on Brabantian, which is the dominant dialect in Flanders, as well as in the south of the Netherlands.
The supra-regional, semi-standardized colloquial form (mesolect) of Dutch spoken in Belgium uses the vocabulary and the sound inventory of the Brabantic dialects. It is often called an "in-between-language" or "intermediate language," intermediate between dialects and standard Dutch. Despite its name, Brabantian is the dominant contributor to the Flemish Dutch tussentaal.
It is a rather informal variety of speech, which occupies an intermediate position between vernacular dialects and the standard language. It incorporates phonetic, lexical and grammatical elements not part of the standard language but drawn from local dialects.
It is a relatively new phenomenon that has been gaining popularity during the past decades. Some linguists note that it seems to be undergoing a process of (limited) standardisation or that it is evolving into a koiné variety.
Tussentaal is slowly gaining popularity in Flanders because it is used a lot in television dramas and comedies. Often, middle-class characters in a television series will be speaking tussentaal, lower-class characters use the dialect of the location where the show is set, and upper-class characters will speak Standard Dutch. That has given tussentaal the status of normalcy in Flanders. It is slowly being accepted by the general population, but it has met with objections from writers and academics who argue that it dilutes the usage of Standard Dutch. Tussentaal is used in entertainment television but rarely in informative programmes (like the news), which normally use Standard Dutch.
The English adjective Flemish (first attested as flemmysshe, c. 1325; compare Flæming, c. 1150), meaning "from Flanders", was probably borrowed from Old Frisian. The Old Dutch form is flāmisk, which becomes vlamesc, vlaemsch in Middle Dutch and Vlaams in Modern Dutch.
The word Vlaams itself is derived from flâm, an Ingaevones word, from the Germanic flauma (a cognate to the English flow and the Old German word flaum), which means 'flow or current'. The name Vlaanderen was formed from a stem flâm-, with a suffix -ðr- attached.
- Belgian French
- French Flemish, the West Flemish dialect as spoken in France
- Languages of Belgium
- Zeelandic, a transitional dialect between West Flemish and Hollandic
- Depending on the definition of "Flemish" in context. Brabantian is classified as a dialect of Dutch. It is spoken in the historical Duchy of Brabant, spanning the Belgian provinces of Antwerp, Flemish Brabant and Brussels that are part of the modern region of Flanders.
- Depending on the definition of "Flemish" in context. Limburgish is either classified as a dialect of Dutch or as a separate language altogether. It is spoken in the historical Duchy of Limburg and County of Loon, spanning the Belgian province of Limburg that is part of the modern region of Flanders.
- "ATLAS - Dutch: Who speaks it?". University College London. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Dutch". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- "Flemish, Vlaams". BBC. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- De Cock, Barbara (2006), Flemish language policy in an era of globalisation (PDF), Gencat.cat, retrieved 3 May 2017
- "Flemish language, alphabet and pronunciation". Omniglot. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- Lichfield, John (18 December 2007). "Belgium: A nation divided". The Independent. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- Leidraad van de Taaltelefoon. Dienst Taaladvies van de Vlaamse Overheid (Department for Language advice of the Flemish government).
- Harbert, Wayne (2007). The Germanic Languages. Cambridge University Press.
- Kooij, Jan (2009). "Dutch". In Comrie, Bernard (ed.). The World's Major Languages (2nd ed.). Routledge.
- Casert, Raf (20 February 2005). "Belgium Bickering Over French and Dutch, Its Dual Languages". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- "About Belgium - Language Matters". Beer Tourism. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- Konig, Ekkehard; van der Auwera, Johan, eds. (1994). The Germanic Languages. London & New York: Routledge.
- "Vlaams". MultiTree: A Digital Library of Language Relationships. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
- "Vlaams". Glottolog. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
- "Linguistic map of Benelux". Ethnologue. 1999-02-19. Retrieved 2013-10-17.
- Their ISO 639-3 codes are vls and lim, respectively.
- Janssens, Guy; Marynissen, Ann (2005). Het Nederlands vroeger en nu. Leuven & Voorburg: Acco., 155 ff.
- "De gesproken standaardtaal: het Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands" [The standard spoken language: General Civilized Dutch]. Structuur en geschiedenis van het Nederlands Een inleiding tot de taalkunde van het Nederlands (in Dutch). Niederländische Philologie, Freie Universität Berlin. 2014-06-10. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
- Geeraerts, Dirk (2001), "Een zondagspak? Het Nederlands in Vlaanderen: gedrag, beleid, attitudes" (PDF), Ons Erfdeel (in Dutch), 44, pp. 337–344, retrieved 2012-01-19
- Janssens, Guy; Marynissen, Ann (2005). Het Nederlands vroeger en nu. Leuven & Voorburg: Acco., 196.
- "Algemeen Vlaams". VlaamseTaal.be. Retrieved 2013-04-14.
- Rys, K. & J. Taeldeman (2007). Fonologische ingrediënten van Vlaamse tussentaal. In: D. Sandra, R. Rymenans, P. Cuvelier et al. (red.), Tussen taal, spelling en onderwijs. Essays bij het emeritaat van Frans Daems. Gent: Academia Press, 1-9, p.2.
- Standaardtaal of tussentaal op televisie (PDF) (in Dutch), Universiteit Gent, retrieved 2014-08-28
- Vervaeke, Leen (8 February 2014). "Actie tegen onverstaanbare Vlaamse 'tussentaal' op televisie". De Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 2014-08-28.
- "Flēmish", Middle English Dictionary (MED)
- "Flēming", Middle English Dictionary (MED), retrieved 2013-10-17
- "Flemish". Online Etymological Dictionary. Etymonline.com. which cites Flemische as an Old Frisian form; but compare "entry FLĀMISK, which gives flēmisk". Oudnederlands Woordenboek (ONW). Gtb.inl.nl.
- "FLĀMISK", Oudnederlands Woordenboek (ONW)
- www.culturamavzw.be http://www.culturamavzw.be/index.php?id=30#naam. Missing or empty
- "Entry VLAENDREN; ONW, entry FLĀMINK; Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal (WNT), entry VLAMING". Vroeg Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek (VMNW). Gtb.inl.nl.