Tuesday, 29 October 2013

English should be Brussels' official language.

This might sound like any other blogger spouting off about Belgium and its old, intricate and sometimes confusing linguistic issues and so can easily be dismissed. Who am I to make a difference, right? I'm just some blogger bloke.

The thing is, I didn't say this: "English should be Brussels' official language". Flemish Minister for Education Pascal Smet did. In this article he says it would help Brussels to be further perceived as an international city and (although he doesn't say this in the article) might smooth over some of the linguistic tensions in this multilingual capital.

It seems Mr Smet is echoing German President Joachim Gauck's comments when he suggested English should be the EU's official language. Although there are many obstacles to this idea, not only because it is undemocratic, it's clear to me Gauck is suggesting a more streamlined communications process in the workings of the EU.

But on a personal and completely egocentric level alone…please don't make it more difficult for me to learn Dutch Mr Smet. It's hard enough as it is! I can't find a Dutch speaker willing to speak to me in Dutch in Brussels anyway! This would make it even worse… Let's keep Brussels multi-cultural and mutli-lingual. It's one of the things that makes it a special place.

Vive la différence!


  1. I am willing to speak in Dutch to you, you poor thing... in Brussels or anywhere you would want me to ;-)

  2. Well, it's a start! Thanks for the support :)