Share article:
Share article:

Belgium in Brief: The Language Of Brussels

The news that Etterbeek is trying to engage foreign citizens more actively in local decision-making by allowing them to do so in English raises an interesting question. 

What’s your Brussels Language? 

For some, this might seem like a pretty obvious question, especially if they happen to be from somewhere francophone. For others, however, it’s a bit less straightforward.

  • Is English your second language, but still the one you use the most? 
  • Do you speak something other than your native tongue at home? 
  • Have you reached a point where you speak a Frankenstein language around the house that’s a mix of a few?

Personally, I have reached a stage that “can you pass me the dinges” is now just normal for me.

So, would making English more official help you? 

According to Brussels Minister for the Promotion of Multilingualism Sven Gatz, who argued the region as a whole can’t ignore the role of English as a language, English should be adopted as an official language in every aspect of daily life.

To Gatz, Belgium now has an opportunity to discuss multilingualism, “discussions that should include a modernisation of the law to consider English as one of the main languages in Brussels,” he told The Brussels Times.

So, where do you stand on this? Would making English more official help integration? Or bring it to a halt? Let @johnstonjules know.

BUT WAIT, one last thing: Want news from The Brussels Times in your inbox every morning? Sign up for The Recap, a free daily newsletter containing all the stories you need to know from the day before. It goes great with your morning coffee. 

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 advised to only allow entry to fully vaccinated travellers

Belgium’s different health ministers only want to allow entry to travellers who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus first, they stated in official advice to Friday’s Consultative Committee. Read more.

2. Etterbeek gives English a seat at the table on local life

One Brussels commune, Etterbeek, has created a new project to engage foreign citizens more actively in local decision-making by allowing them to do so in English for the first time. Read more.

3. Brussels looks to recover 120,000 doses given to residents of other regions

Brussels Minister of Health Alain Maron asked for 120,000 doses to be recovered in Brussels, following reports that vaccines were given to non-residents of the region, during a meeting between the country’s health ministers on Wednesday. Read more.

4. Flanders insists on same closing hour for indoor and outdoor hospitality

The Flemish government will insist on implementing the same closing time for the indoor and outdoor areas of the hospitality industry, according to Flemish Vice-Minister President Hilde Crevits. Read more.

5. Nine out of ten restaurants in Belgium ready to reopen next week

Over 90% of restaurants in Belgium are planning to reopen on Wednesday next week, when the hospitality sector can reopen indoor areas, according to a survey by restaurant booking platform The Fork. Read more.

6. Evidence of ‘endemic racism’ among Brussels fire and emergency medical services

Unia, an independent public institution that fights discrimination and promotes equal opportunities in Belgium, says they have compiled evidence of racism within SIAMU, which provides emergency medical assistance to victims of accidents or medical emergencies in Brussels. Read more.

7. France to vaccinate children aged over 12 from mid-June

The French government announced on Wednesday that people aged between 12 and 18 will be able to receive a coronavirus vaccine from 15 June. Read more.

Latest news

Increase in number of people ‘asking King for mercy’ through royal pardons
More and more people living in Belgium have been seeking royal pardons, mainly for fines, largely as a result of it now being possible to send in ...
England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Federal museums to receive €2.9 million booster shot
Federal museums will receive an additional €2.9 million in support from the government for the fiscal year 2021, of which the first payouts will be ...
European Parliament emphasises healthy food and animal welfare in EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Parliament adopted this week a resolution on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy calling for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Number of international adoptions in Belgium continues to drop
The number of regulated international adoptions authorised by Belgium further dropped in 2020, continuing an ongoing decreasing trend. Last ...
Disaster drill with emergency services held at Brussels Airport
Around 300 people took part in a disaster drill held was organised on Saturday by Brussels Airport in collaboration with external emergency services ...
Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...