Belgium in Brief: Your New Language

Belgium in Brief: Your New Language
Credit: canva

I would hazard a guess that many of you reading this don't come from the country you're living in. 

So probably – even without realising – you've picked up some new phrases along the way.

Does your new language seep into your home life? Have you started dropping French words – or an English version of them – into your daily conversations?

Sure, this language adoption is a fairly normal thing when you live in a new place. I have a great love of the not-at-all-annoying practice of incorrectly adding the Dutch diminutive "-je" to random words in English. I fear I've become unbearableje.

But what made this all a little odder is the words we've picked up in the times of covid. "Cuddle contact" is just so saccharine it hurts a little, and the fact you could talk about who was in your bubble without anyone batting an eye is a testament to how flexible we can be when words start to appear. 

These are obvious examples. I want to hear your weird imposter words that are now part of your daily chit chat. 

Let @johnstonjules know (or email me j.johnston@brusselstimes.com). 

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Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. Belgium launches website to check if you need a Covid test

Those with a cough, a sore throat or a fever can visit a website that tells them exactly what to do after they have answered a few questions, announced the cabinet of Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke. Read more.

2. Thousands of extra seats will ease crowding on Brussels metros

Inside the new M7 metro. Credit: STIB

On Monday, an extra 2,000 seats will be added per hour in every direction on the metro lines 2 and 6, Brussels public transport operator STIB announced. Read more.

3. ‘Can’t afford not to act,’ Belgian Prime Minister warns COP26

Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo warned world leaders at COP26 that governments need to do more to tackle global warming, and that action needs to happen now. Here's more.

4. 24 Brussels bars and restaurants open toilets to anyone free of charge

Together with the City of Brussels, 24 bars and restaurants in the city are making their toilets available free of charge as ‘guest toilets,’ meaning that people do not have to consume something to be allowed to use them. Read More.

5. Covid and cuddle contact included in latest edition of Dutch dictionary

Thousands of new words, some of which refer to the pandemic, climate change, social media and inclusiveness, have been added to the latest edition of the Dikke van Dale, the dictionary of Dutch Language. Read more.

6. Petition against face masks in primary schools gets 19,000+ signatures

An open letter against the wearing of face masks in Belgian primary schools has collected nearly 20,000 signatures of support. Here's more.

7. Nutella shortage at Colruyt over price dispute

Belgian low-cost supermarket chain Colruyt has no smaller jars of the Nutella hazelnut spread left on shelves due to ongoing price negotiations between the companies. See more here.


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