Andrew (aindreas) wrote in linguaphiles,

Language in Belgium

Yesterday I was talking to a teacher of mine about language decline. This teacher had spent about 7 weeks this past summer doing research at a university in Belgium, and he told me about how universities there are shifting to English as their primary language, and English is taking over as the language of the young people. And I said, "Well, the language in the education system there surely doesn't effect shift in native language? I mean, the young people haven't stopped speaking Dutch and French among themselves?" And he said, yes, the youth actually are starting to speak English among themselves now.

I was giving a presentation to a room full of people at the time, so I couldn't exactly go "uh .... I think you're wrong." But this seemed pretty preposterous to me, that English is taking the place of Dutch as French as the native language of the Belgian youth. My teacher speaks neither French nor Dutch, nor anything other than English, so I felt his linguistic analysis of the situation could be pretty limited, but maybe I'm completely wrong.

Can someone comment? I think I remember some similar discussion ages ago regarding language replacement in Europe ... if someone has the link please comment. Thanks!
Tags: dutch, english, french

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