Languages in Belgium

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Most people probably don’t know Belgium, it is a very small country in west Europe, famous for its beer and chocolate. It is surrounded by 4 countries: France, Germany, Nederlands and Luxembourg, this is also part of the reason for the complexity of its politics and languages. The official languages in Belgium are: Dutch, French and German.

Belgium

Living in Belgium for more than 5 years, I have always been occupied with languages learning. In Belgium you can find people from all ages, all over the world, with all kinds of professions taking language courses in the evenings or weekends. I have met a 90 years old gentleman coming from USA learning Dutch, a director of a company who comes from Australia learning French, and a cleaning lady coming from Poland learning Dutch. In other words, You can easily expect someone walking on the street speaking English, Dutch, French sometimes even Spanish, well if he or she looks Asian, then Chinese 😀

The best part of learning languages in Belgium is, if you are legally living in Belgium, the state encourages you to learn the local languages. For instance, if you are living in Brussels, you can learn Dutch completely for free. If you are an immigrate with permanent residence, you can learn all the local languages for free. Otherwise you just need to pay around 120 euro for learning 1 level (typically 1 lesson per week for 1 whole year) of the language of your choices ( including Spanish, Italian, even Chinese, Japanese!) . So cheap, right? If you are working in Belgium, most probably your company will pay for your language lessons, on top of that, you get 10 extra holidays per year as a compensation. If you see a job post with the language requirements: English, Dutch and French, no doubt it comes from Belgium!

Some people got surprised that I speak Chinese, English, Dutch and French, well, now you know, with the multi language environment, the advantage and the competition, you just got motivated!

Let me know what you think about learning a new language in the comment!

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