Languages in Belgium
Belgium Business Experts
Recent forum posts
Hello everyone,My name is Hermann Rodrigue KOUADIO, I am African, of Ivorian nationality. My interest on this site is to sell large quantities of agricultural products including cocoa beans, roucou seeds, and cashew nuts. And to allow German companies to build a supply chain with producers.I have a quantity of 10,000 tons of cocoa beans for sale for the next harvest in September-December. I am
Total Posts: 1 Last post by Hermann
I have been asked through a colleague to run a bar for a private event at a chateau in France. It is a pay per drink bar, and I am trying to make sense of the legal requirements - any advice please
Total Posts: 1 Last post by PaulC
Belgium Language / Translation / Interpretation
Language can be quite an issue when setting up a business in Belgium. The country has three official languages: Dutch, French, and German. At business level English is widely spoken, however you should well know the area of the country you are targeting before choosing the language (for instance in advertising).
Dont wait until you're in Belgium to pick up the language. Would it not be wise to familiarise yourself with an adoptive tongue before making the big move abroad, ensuring you have the confidence and ability to interact with your customers, clients and business associates. There are many UK-based tutorial companies that can help you learn a foreign language in your own time. These companies cover all levels of ability, from understanding your first foreign word to refining your last. Sessions can be available either at your office, home, or organised classes.
Depending on the nature of your business or investment, foreign nationals generally prefer dealing with someone who they can form a good business relationship with. Communication and interpersonal skills are therefore paramount, as well as the ability to be enthused about a product, service or business plan.
Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French, and German. Close to 60% of the country's population speaks Dutch as their primary language. Dutch is the official language of the Flemish Community and the Flemish Region and, along with French, an official language of the Brussels-Capital Region.
The second-most spoken primary language, used natively by 40% of the population, is French. French is the dominant language in Wallonia as well as the Brussels-Capital Region.
German is the least prevalent official language in Belgium, spoken natively by less than 1% of the population.
Belgium is a multilingual country: the 60% of the Dutch speakers know also French or English, the 20% of the French speakers know Dutch or English.
Translation and Interpretation
When doing business in Belgium It is very likely, at some point, you will need to use a translator. Depending on who you are conversing with, it may be necessary for formal meetings and negotiations that you use an interpreter. Looking ahead, this will help eradicate even the slightest chance of misinterpretation or miscommunication.
Knowledge of the targeting area's language could mean the difference between a deal clincher or calamity, and therefore it would be advisable to hire a reputable translator. Translators will also be able to help you with marketing and advertising. They can ensure you avoid cultural and grammatical faux pas, which could otherwise be detrimental to your business.
Whether its documental, personal on interactive interpretation or translation youre after, there are many fine, highly-qualified companies who can assist you in doing business in Belgium, many of which can be found right here.
Organisations that can assist with Languages
Surrey Translation Bureau is a leading independent translation company providing high quality translations in various fields for over 30 years.
weRtranslations is an Edinburgh-based translation company and we are proud to count clients and linguists all over the globe. Our company offers translation and interpreting, as well as Desk Top Publishing (DTP).
Multi-lingual Notaries to notarise, translate and legalise documents for international use
GTP cross cultural trainings and intercultural workshops help global companies in improving their communication, efficiency and profitability when doing business across cultures.