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Official languages of Belgium: Dutch (yellow), French (red) and German (blue). Brussels is a bilingual area where both Dutch and French have official status.
Map showing the dialects spoken in the Benelux: many people in Flanders speak a dialect and the common Flemish, and understand spoken Dutch; in writing, the dialects are hardly used, while Flemish and Dutch are nearly identical in this regard

Flemish (Vlaams), Belgian Dutch (Belgisch-Nederlands [ˈbɛlɣis ˈneːdərlɑnts]), southern Dutch (Zuid-Nederlands), or Flemish Dutch (Vlaams-Nederlands) is the variety of the Dutch language as spoken in Flanders, the northern part of Belgium,<ref>Leidraad van de Taaltelefoon. Dienst Taaladvies van de Vlaamse Overheid (Department for Language advice of the Flemish government).</ref><ref>Harbert, The Germanic Languages, CUP, 2007</ref><ref>Jan Kooij, "Dutch", in Comrie, ed., The World's Major Languages, 2nd ed. 2009</ref> be it standard (as used in schools, government and the media)<ref>Speech Rate in a Pluricentric Language: A Comparison Between Dutch in Belgium and the Netherlands (abstract). Language and Speech, Vol. 47, No. 3, 297-308 (2004). By Jo Verhoeven, Guy De Pauw, and Hanne Kloots of the University of Antwerp.</ref> or informal (as used in daily speech, "tussentaal ({{safesubst:#invoke:Separated entries|main}})" [ˈtʏsə(n)ˌtaːl]).<ref name="koen">Tussen spreek- en standaardtaal. Koen Plevoets. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.</ref>

There are four principal Dutch dialects in the Flemish region (Flanders): Brabantian, East Flemish, West Flemish and Limburgish.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>Their ISO 639-3 codes are, vls and lim, respectively</ref> Despite its name, Brabantian is the dominant contributor to the Flemish Dutch tussentaal. The combined region, culture and people of Dutch-speaking Belgium (which consists of the provinces of West Flanders, East Flanders, Flemish Brabant, Antwerp, and Limburg and, historically, of Brussels) has come to be known as Flemish.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Flemish is also used to refer to one of the historical languages spoken in the former County of Flanders.<ref>König & Auwera, eds, The Germanic Languages, Routledge, 1994</ref>

Linguistically and formally, Flemish is not and does not refer to a current language or dialect but refers to the region, culture and people of (West) Belgium or Flanders. Flemish people speak (Belgian) Dutch in Flanders, the Flemish part of Belgium. Belgian Dutch does have slight differences compared to Dutch spoken in The Netherlands, mainly in pronunciation, lexicon and expressions. However, very similar differences exist in other languages, like English (Australia, Canada, UK, USA, South-Africa, etc.), French (Belgium, Canada, France, Switzerland, etc.), or Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal, etc.). Equally as for those languages, the differences are not significant enough to constitute an individual language (eg. American, Australian, Canadian and Brazilian are not languages). Using the term Flemish for the language used by Flemings is therefore incorrect: the official language in Flanders is (standard) Dutch.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>


Flemish sections
Intro  Dutch in Flanders  Etymology  See also   References  

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