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Old 12-22-2004, 08:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
Yau
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Default Is it good to study French in Belgium?

I'm planning to take a year long course on French next year, and I'm now stuck in a dilemma.

My favourable choice is Brussel, because I can save a huge lot of money on
accomodation and food as my relatives live there. But every time I tell my french friends about my idea, their responses are so ....suspicious.

Uttered from their mouth is "Oh, NO!" I asked why and then they often ammended what they said. "Hmm, it's a good choice indeed." I've heard that French often laughed at Belgian, saying they're "stupid". My politically correct professeur admitted there's a joke about them, but reiterated Belgian is actually clever---- though he said it with snicker in his voice.

All these are stereotype and I think it's unwise to rely on these stereotype to understand any country. But, what would you suggest if I'd like to make a study on French? Is it a bad choice for going to Belgium?

Please give me some advices---- either politically correct or not--- I'm pleased if I can hear the frank and plain advice about it.....

Last edited by Yau; 12-22-2004 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 12-23-2004, 12:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Yau

I am french native, I stay and live in Paris
Well I have to say it is true that we make fun of Belgian people But it is all stereotypes... french are likely to do so with any foreigners ... such as english, swiss, germans... and so on!!

About the spoken and written language, there are very few differences. But we do understand each other at 100% . So if you go to Belgium to learn french you will totaly be able to speak with french native You may have a very light accent and very few different sayings but nothing serious.

So my advice is: going to Belgium is not a bad choice at all
Just keep going on your plans
I am glad you'll learn french
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Old 12-23-2004, 05:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks FD! I feel less worried about going to brussel now.

Btw, what're the major (but light) difference between belgium french and native french? Could you give me some examples?
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Old 12-23-2004, 05:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well for example there are the numbers:

60 soixante both languages
70 Soixante-dix in france and Septante in Belgium
80 Quatre-vingt in france and Octante ni Belgium
90 Quatre vingt dix in france Nonante in Belgium

orthophoniste (france) = logopède (belgium)
...
hmmm I cannot think of anything else right now but there are some other words... but don't worry again, we do understand each other at 100%
If I think of a few more examples I'll be back here
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Old 12-24-2004, 08:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm sorry, The_FD, but I'm a french belgian and I never heard anyone saying 'octante' instead of 'quatre-vingt', but I think french swiss people maybe say it...
There're some 'belgicism' dictionaries on the net... but they are in french, it couldn't be easy for Yau now but The_FD can explain him it!
http://membres.lycos.fr/clo7/histoire/belgique.htm take a lot of belgicism examples and
http://atelier5.webacademie.ch/scrab...elgicismes.htm is a very complete dictionary of belgian words.
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Old 12-25-2004, 12:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't know for Belgium, I'll trust Slath, but I have to precise that the word 'octante' doesn't exist (unless when French peopl invent it). It is pretty smple sept>septante (et non heptante), therefore huit> HUITante. (But it's not used everywhere.)

No, honestly, there is basically no problem in learning French in Belgium. It is the same language. I is just, that (at least with a part of French and French natives from other countries) the 'standart' pronounciacion (actually the one from Paris) is regarded as THE reference, unlike in German i.e. Therefore, if you are in a region speaking with a different accent, you might notice some strange behaviour. This is not a question of understanding each-other, it is just that there is some kind of denigration of what is neither 'local' nor 'standard'. (It gets even worse, if it is an accent they can't identify, what happens a lot with people from Paris.)
Btw. Russians have a quite similar reaction. It's almost the opposit in German, where they almost expect you to speak with some acent, and are troubled if the way you speak is too standard.

Last edited by Joe Gold; 12-25-2004 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 12-25-2004, 09:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Standard french taught at school is the same everywhere, many Belgian people speak like Parisian people, but there are regional accents, as when you listen to an inhabitant of Marseilles, it is the same kind of difference...
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