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Old May 6th, 2010, 11:35 PM   #3101
Penn's Woods
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Originally Posted by Thermo View Post
In a way, yes, they are immigrants in Flanders. Just like Flemish people in Wallonia are.
Just like someone from Texas needs to accept the laws of California if he decides to live in California.

Even internal borders need to be respected to keep the peace. Belgium is a federal state, so the 'states' Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels act a bit as 'semi-countries' within Belgium. Clearly, you don't understand federal logic.

I don't think Québec would be happy if Ontario systematically claimed Québec territory, don't you think?
On the other hand, there are to this day two English-speaking (not bilingual but English-speaking) universities in the heart of Montreal. The national English-language media (CBC, CTV...) are present in Quebec (as Radio-Canada is in English Canada). There is an English-language daily newspaper in Montreal (and a French one in Ottawa). The Quebec law on commercial signage (which has since been found unconstitutional) was not applicable in municipalities where a majority of the population spoke English. The Canadian Federal government functions bilingually (to the extent possible) everywhere in the country. English-speaking Canadians have a right to have their children educated in English in Quebec (and French-speaking Canadians in English Canada, where there are enough of them). A "wonen in eigen streek" decree is unthinkable in Quebec. The comparison between Flemish and Quebec policies really doesn't go all that far, at least when in comes to respect for individual rights. I hate to say it....
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Old May 6th, 2010, 11:36 PM   #3102
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Funny you should ask. In today's news:

http://www.lalibre.be/actu/elections...-sera-pas.html

Strictly speaking, German-speaking Belgium isn't part of "French-speaking Wallonia". Wallonia is a "region" - an entity whose competences are in the area of economics, infrastructure.... For matters like education and culture, the German-speaking area is a "community" on the same level as the Flemish and French communities. But according to this article, the German-speaking area is seeking the powers of a "region," and its own representation in Parliament, which it doesn't have now because its population is too small (it votes with the French-speaking areas next to it.)
"La Belgique sera à 4 ou ne sera pas". Mr.Lambertz said a lot in a simple sentence. But do they have any chance to make a fourth region only for the German-speaking Belgians? I mean, doesn't this require to modify the Belgian Constitution?

Anyway, looking at the map posted by Thermo, I can't stop thinking of an old saying: "A picture is worth a thousand words". It's fascinating how Belgium looks like it's splitted in two equal parts following an imaginary mirror line. Both Flanders and Wallonia even have their own enclaves/exclaves and the only area which could generate some "troubles" seems to be exactly Brussels.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 11:38 PM   #3103
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Originally Posted by Fuzzy Llama View Post
Just out of curiosity: Do you have any statistics about the percentage of Belgian Francophones capable of using at least basic Dutch and vice versa?

Do you have compulsory French/Dutch in Flemish/Walloon schools?
Very good question.

In Flemish schools, French is compulsory as second language. Children from 10 years old get French lessons until they're 18 years old.

In Francophone Belgium, Dutch is NOT compulsory . They can choose whether they learn Dutch or not. Result: many Walloons choose English.


Need I say more?
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Old May 6th, 2010, 11:40 PM   #3104
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I'm afraid this topic has little to do with border crossings.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 11:47 PM   #3105
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Just out of curiosity: Do you have any statistics about the percentage of Belgian Francophones capable of using at least basic Dutch and vice versa?
As I explained, the Belgian statistical office does not collect information on languages (the last linguistic census was in 1947). They don't collect information on language abilities either.

In Brussels, however, there is a source of information for language use: the Taalbarometer 2005. It's not official statistics from the Belgian statistical office, it's only a survey by non-state organisations (Huis van het Nederlands and Brussels Information, Documentation and Research Centre). In 2005, they surveyed 2,500 people in Brussels whose age was between 18 and 70.

28.3% of the people surveyed said that they spoke good to excellent Dutch (95.5% said that they spoke good to excellent French). Among these 28.3% people, 45.1% are native Dutch speakers. In other words, if you do the math, among the non-native Dutch speakers (i.e. the Francophones and the immigrants without French or Dutch as a native tongue), 17.8% said they can speak good to excellent Dutch. The way the questions were asked, it is not possible to give a precise figure for the Belgian Francophones only.

Among the native Dutch speakers (again, we're talking only about people living in Brussels here), more than 90% speak good to excellent French (I can't give a more precise figure due to the way they asked the questions).
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Old May 6th, 2010, 11:50 PM   #3106
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Then I'll come with another anecdote of mine, just to show that all this goes in both ways:
The situation isn't 100% the same, since it's actually much worse than your story...

Some friends of mine went to play some card games in a local cafe. That has been a habit of us for at least 6 years. I wasn't there that day, sadly/luckily enough. We knew the cafe switched owners a couple of weeks ago, but assumed not too much changed with that. Both those friends live in Vilvoorde, which is located in Flanders (but is relatively close to Brussels). After getting their drinks, the people around them started annoying them. They disrupted their game, started talking against them in French. Then they went on interrupting anything they were trying to say to each other. Apparently this went on for a couple of minutes, they asked to stop doing that, but by then already about 7 people were standing around their table, making it as hard as possible to enjoy the game and the drinks.

Once they started taking their cards and becoming even more annoying, they decided to leave. How sad is it that you get bullied out of a cafe in your own city? A cafe in which you've spent so many years, even had French-speaking people in there and shared drinks with them? I simply can't grasp that.

Note that this only happened 2 weeks ago. The saddest part is that this isn't just an individual, but a group of people teaming up against them. You'd start to get stressed out about language for less! (not that I condone what that yelling person did though - yelling and being annoying isn't the answer)

Greetings,
Glodenox
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Old May 6th, 2010, 11:54 PM   #3107
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Originally Posted by nenea_hartia View Post
"La Belgique sera à 4 ou ne sera pas". Mr.Lambertz said a lot in a simple sentence. But do they have any chance to make a fourth region only for the German-speaking Belgians? I mean, doesn't this require to modify the Belgian Constitution?

Anyway, looking at the map posted by Thermo, I can't stop thinking of an old saying: "A picture is worth a thousand words". It's fascinating how Belgium looks like it's splitted in two equal parts following an imaginary mirror line. Both Flanders and Wallonia even have their own enclaves/exclaves and the only area which could generate some "troubles" seems to be exactly Brussels.
Yes, they're talking about modifying the constitution. They can only change provisions of the constitution that the previous parliament said could be changed. So (having now paid attention to a couple of rounds of Belgian elections) apparently it's normal that when parliament is dissolved, the last thing the outgoing government does is approve a list of things that are on the table for the next parliament to revise.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 11:56 PM   #3108
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Does anybody know here with how many countries has Spain boder crossing? (land, not maritime)
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Old May 6th, 2010, 11:57 PM   #3109
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Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
And what's your source for that? Belgium does not conduct censuses anymore and doesn't collect information on languages and places of birth anymore. They only collect information on citizenship (statistics tell you how many people have Belgian, French, Moroccan, Congolese, etc. citizenship, but they don't tell you how many people are speakers of this or that language, or how many people where born in which country) So your statement is impossible to prove.

Common knowledge is the people who get the Belgian citizenship are the children of immigrants, and the children of immigrants living in Brussels integrate in the French-speaking community (i.e. they adopt French as their language). 3rd generation immigrants usually don't speak the native language of their grandparents anymore.
Lol, clearly you don't know the situation in Brussels because children or grandchildren of (North African) immigrants all still speak Arabic or Berber with their family. It might be different in France, but in Brussels Arabic or Berber is the language of daily life in certain neighbourhoods.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 12:01 AM   #3110
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Does anybody know here with how many countries has Spain boder crossing? (land, not maritime)
Four: France, Andorra, Portugal, Morocco.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 12:07 AM   #3111
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I'm afraid this topic has little to do with border crossings.
I'm fairly new here. Is there a place we should take it? It was border-related (if not necessarily border-crossing-related) when it started....
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Old May 7th, 2010, 12:09 AM   #3112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
Four: France, Andorra, Portugal, Morocco.
You missed one...
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Old May 7th, 2010, 12:11 AM   #3113
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You missed one...
UK
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Old May 7th, 2010, 12:11 AM   #3114
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Old May 7th, 2010, 12:11 AM   #3115
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You missed one...
Okay, I'll bite.

Oh. I see Josh's post. Never mind....

Last edited by Penn's Woods; May 7th, 2010 at 12:21 AM.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 12:21 AM   #3116
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Gibraltar...
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Old May 7th, 2010, 12:22 AM   #3117
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Gibraltar...
Right. How'd I miss that?!
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Old May 7th, 2010, 12:38 AM   #3118
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Lol, clearly you don't know the situation in Brussels because children or grandchildren of (North African) immigrants all still speak Arabic or Berber with their family. It might be different in France, but in Brussels Arabic or Berber is the language of daily life in certain neighbourhoods.
Really?

In 2005, according to official statistics, there were 265,211 foreigners (people with non-Belgian citizenship) in Brussels, i.e. 26.3% of all the people living in Brussels. Among these, 40,192 were French citizens and 5,567 were Dutch citizens. So if you exclude the French and the Dutch, that's 21.8% of the people living in Brussels who were foreigners other than French and Dutch. If you also exclude the other native francophone foreigners (French-speaking Swiss, Canadians, etc.), then about 21.5% of the people living in Brussels were foreigners who were neither native French speakers nor native Dutch speakers. Among these, 44,849 were citizens from the Maghreb, i.e. 4.5% of the total population living in Brussels (just to keep things in perspective!).

Now, in the Taalbarometer 2005, 16.3% of people reported that the language they spoke inside their house was neither French nor Dutch, and 11.3% reported that they spoke both French and a language other than Dutch in their house.

So on the one hand, we have 21.5% of people who are foreigners without French and Dutch as a native language, and on the other hand we have only 27.6% of people who speak a language other than French and Dutch in their houses. This would seem to indicate that 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants, who usually all have Belgian citizenship, have a clear tendency to abandon the language of their parents or grandparents, otherwise you would have much more than 27.6% of people speaking a language other than French and Dutch in their houses.

Last but not least, in the Taalbarometer 2000 the number of people who reported that they could speak good to excellent Arabic was 10.0%, whereas in the Taalbarometer 2005 the number of people who reported that they could speak good to excellent Arabic dropped to 6.4%. Of course the sample in the survey is a bit small (only 2,500 people), so minority languages might not be properly accounted for, but still it seems to contradict your assertion that the children of Arabic immigrants continue to speak Arabic.

You can find the results of the Taalbarometer 2005 here: http://www.brusselsstudies.be/PDF/EN_51_BruS13EN.pdf
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Old May 7th, 2010, 02:07 AM   #3119
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Guys - maybe it's time to give it a rest?

To diffuse the situation let me take you away from Belgium towards the real centre of Europe, Poland.
If you like it rough () you can cross the CZ/PL border in the mountains, so long as you have a decent 4x4.
The border is open and on a sunny day the scenery is breathtaking.
Here is a sample, unfortunately the weather was c**p:


Czantoria mountain summit (994 m) and the border road, which is out of bounds to most traffic


Border post - view from Poland


Border post - view from the Czech Rep

As you can see, the grass is always greener on the other side of the border.



However, if you are short of money (like me) and are unable to fork out €40k on a 4x4, you can take the chair lift and experience the thrill of gliding through the air for ~15 min while the lift takes you close to the mountain peak. After that you have to go up another 2 km to get to the summit:


Chair lift to Czantoria mountain


-------------------

If you are ever in the Wisła/Ustroń area of Poland I highly recommend you go up Czantoria.
I guarantee you won't regret it.


.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 02:19 AM   #3120
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thx , nice post
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