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

Up to 100 km/h winds expected across Belgium on Wednesday night
Gusts of up to 100 km/h are expected across Belgium on Wednesday night, according to the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI), which has issued a ...
Cycling traffic officially added to VRT’s traffic bulletin
Usually a list of updates for drivers on busy roads, traffic bulletins will now include the latest travel news for cyclists in Belgium, VRT announced ...
MEPs call for European strategy to protect workers from asbestos
Members of the European Parliament are calling on the Commission to create a strategy for removing all abestos from buildings in order to reduce the ...
Mandatory vaccine for carers: employers call for sanctions
In a notice submitted by the National Council for Work (CNT), employers have called for heavy penalties for healthcare workers who refuse to receive ...
Police pension protest blocks several Brussels crossroads
On Wednesday, around 350 police officers expressed their dissatisfaction about the unclear pension scheme, low salaries and politicised police unions ...
Belgium in Brief: A Consultative Committee Sequel
Sequels often have a lot to live up to and when it comes to movie franchises, it gets difficult to keep up the hype once you get towards the final ...
25 years ago today: 300,000 people marched in white against child abuse
On this day 25 years ago, over 300,000 people marched in Brussels to demand a more effective justice system and to support the families of Julie, ...
Windy weather forecast should lower gas prices
After weeks of relatively calm conditions, a return to windy weather should lower Europe's soaring energy prices. Wind turbines in the UK and Germany ...
EC calls on candidate countries to focus on fundamental reforms before they can join the EU
The Commission adopted yesterday its 2021 Enlargement Package, providing a detailed assessment of the state of play and the progress made by the ...
Cigarette-eating robot patrols Ghent streets to fight littering
A litter fighting (and eating) robot will be patrolling the streets of Ghent in the coming weeks in an effort to raise awareness of the growing ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...
Brussels Airport becomes shareholder in SkeyDrone
The Brussels Airport company has signed an agreement to become a 50 percent shareholder in SkeyDrone, a subsidiary of skeyes, the Belgian Air ...