“Belgium is located in one of the most densely populated and most commercial regions of the world. It is an integral part of the ?Blue Banana? megalopolis (also known as the ?Grande Région?), a multinational European metropolis of more than 85 million inhabitants constituting the centre of Europe in terms of economy, innovation and power. The region spans from Liverpool via London and Belgium across to the German Ruhr region and down to the north of Italy. The megalopolis represents two thirds of Europe?s GDP.
The region contains four of the world?s ten largest airports (London Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle Paris, Frankfurt am Main and Amsterdam- Schiphol). It also plays host to many international institutions such as the International Court of Justice (The Hague), the capital of the EU (Brussels), the headquarters of the European Central Bank (Frankfurt am Main) and the headquarters of Europol (The Hague). This multinational region is also renowned for its international culture, entertainment and fashion.”
“Belgians are proud of their language skills. Three quarters of the population speak at least one foreign language. A slightly smaller percentage can express themselves fluently in at least two foreign languages. Handy, if you are coming to Belgium to live and work.
Flemish speak better English than Walloons.
The Belgians? language skills differ depending on the region. From a survey conducted by the research bureau Inra on behalf of the European Commission, it appears that 59% of Flemish speak French and 52% of them speak English. Among the Walloons, only 19% speak Dutch and 17% English. General language skills in Brussels, however, are closer to those of Flanders.”
“As inhabitants of a small country with no fewer than three official state languages (Dutch, French and German), Belgians are driven by necessity to demonstrate better language skills than inhabitants of their larger neighbours.
According to the Eurobarometer of February 2006 which included a survey of language skills of inhabitants of the European Union, 74% of the Belgian population speaks at least one ?foreign? language. The European average is 56%. 67% of Belgians speak at least two foreign languages, which is the official objective of the European Union for every European inhabitant. In that regard, Belgium is in fifth place in Europe. 53% of Belgians even claim to speak three foreign languages.
Note: these figures represent what the inhabitants themselves think about their language skills, which does not always correspond with reality. It is worth noting that in the European Union, there are seven countries where the majority of the population does not speak a single foreign language (Ireland, Great Britain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Spain and Romania).
Only 26% of Belgians do not speak a single foreign language.
In Belgium, only 26% of the population does not speak a single foreign language. The survey also reveals that 56% of the inhabitants of Belgium speak Dutch as their mother tongue, 38% are Frenchspeaking, 0.4% German and 8% other languages. (Because more than one answer to the question was possible, the total is slightly above 100%.)”