2 comments on “Learning language learning from bilingual countries: Canada and Belgium

  1. Hi Ed,

    I have to correct one point of your article : Belgium is not a bilingual country, even if the fight against Flemish and Walloon politician lets you think so. One part of the country, between Liège, Verviers, Eupen, Malmedy… speak German and fight with no one… They generally speak perfectly German AND French. Their German culture is alive and they have no particular difficulty to learn both languages at an early age.

    The statement that Dutch was trivialized by French speaking people is largely overstated and is one main argument of the Flemish nationalists who struggle for the independancy of their own area…

    I’m myself Italian, born in Wallonia, living now in the Netherlands. My mother was of Flemish origin. I speak French, Italian, Flemish, English (not to bad I hope) and Spanish.

    My wife is Malaysian and our kids speak perfectly Dutch and English.

    An we cofounded a foundation which aims to promote international exchanges and language learning. Learning a foreign language is not that difficult. In your other article you give the best advices to learn a language. But the first point is motivation. If you have no good reason to learn a new language, you won’t… As simple as that.

    Thank you for sharing your experience on this blog and enjoy your new language.

    Marco.

  2. >The statement that Dutch was trivialized by French speaking people is largely overstated and is one main argument of the Flemish nationalists who struggle for the interdependency of their own area…
    I am checking Belgian history a bit and there were serious mistreatments in the past. Please check “Is Belgium going to split?”. Some francophone people are really worried about it; like my boss who commutes from the south. He joked that he may need passport to come to the Institute. He met the Education minister one day but he checked his party before the meeting since it was sensitive. I told him that he should tell them he wanted to separate…
    It is just a politics but politics in Europe can become very complex…

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