The Flemish Regional Language
Flemish is everywhere in French Flanders: names, place names, shop signs, repertoire of traditional music, gastronomy, giants, local celebrations and cross-border relations. This language is a true tourist, social and economic affair in our region.
When you go through our picturesque villages, the Flemish language is everywhere. This linguistic heritage is proudly asserted and there is a fierce will to preserve it. Associations such as the Institut de la Langue Régionale Flamande are militantly in favour of preserving this heritage, and some schools and colleges have been teaching it again for the past twenty years. www.anvt.org
The regional language is reflected in the daily life of Flemish people: the names of dishes, family names, the names of localities and of course villages. Would you be able to go to the ‘Godefroy field’, ‘the hare marsh’, ‘the wooden church’, ‘the linden tree’, ‘the elm’ and ‘the stone stream’? Behind these literal translations are the cities and villages of the territory: Godewaersvelde, Hazebrouck, Houtkerque, Lynde, Nieppe and Steenbecque. Try to translate the many Flemish words you will see, and especially to pronounce them!