Our European Friends

I met a Belgian soldier from SHAPE in Kandahar . He asked if it was true that he could get the darts on his computer (BFBS DVT) I told him that I would do it.
Six months later he was in Brussum (NATO) and ask me to take him to another Belgian WO.
I took him and they started chatting in English which was the accepted way when and English speaker was present.
I told them that I was off so speak their Mickey Mouse language, they said that they could not. Again I told them that I was going.
At this point they told me they have to speak in English as one spoke Dutch/English and one spoke French/English
Lucky that the Walloon (French speaker) spoke English. Usually in my (somewhat dated, I’ll admit) experience, they only spoke French. Whereas the Flemings (Dutch speakers) usually spoke reasonable French, German and English.
 
Lucky that the Walloon (French speaker) spoke English. Usually in my (somewhat dated, I’ll admit) experience, they only spoke French. Whereas the Flemings (Dutch speakers) usually spoke reasonable French, German and English.
A Flemish friend speaks English, Flemish, and German, but no French.
She understands my bit of Yiddish easily.
Another friend, a Walloon, spoke French and English, despite his clearly Dutch name!
 
A Flemish friend speaks English, Flemish, and German, but no French.
She understands my bit of Yiddish easily.
Another friend, a Walloon, spoke French and English, despite his clearly Dutch name!
There are always exceptions.
 
I met a Belgian soldier from SHAPE in Kandahar . He asked if it was true that he could get the darts on his computer (BFBS DVT) I told him that I would do it.
Six months later he was in Brussum (NATO) and ask me to take him to another Belgian WO.
I took him and they started chatting in English which was the accepted way when and English speaker was present.
I told them that I was off so speak their Mickey Mouse language, they said that they could not. Again I told them that I was going.
At this point they told me they have to speak in English as one spoke Dutch/English and one spoke French/English

I did some convoy escorts picking up wagons at the French border and watching them through Belgium safely to the docks - its amazing where the MoD goes shopping. The bloke who came along to act as the fixer was the transport manager from Antwerp. I can do English, and boxhead, and muddle through in Cloggie, but this bloke had 5 languages down pat. He spoke; English, German, French, Dutch, and either Flemish, or Walloon. I once took part in a conversation with him and a few others where he was more or less doing simultaneous translation of 4 languages whilst also being one of the negotiators.
 
I did some convoy escorts picking up wagons at the French border and watching them through Belgium safely to the docks - its amazing where the MoD goes shopping. The bloke who came along to act as the fixer was the transport manager from Antwerp. I can do English, and boxhead, and muddle through in Cloggie, but this bloke had 5 languages down pat. He spoke; English, German, French, Dutch and Walloon. I once took part in a conversation with him and a few others where he was more or less doing simultaneous translation of 4 languages whilst also being one of the negotiators.
I was always led to believe (by the Walloons I met in the Legion) that they spoke French, I didn't realise until I just looked it up they have a separate dialect of French, which some scholars classify as a separate language of the "Langue d'oil" family: Walloon language - Wikipedia
 
I was always led to believe (by the Walloons I met in the Legion) that they spoke French, I didn't realise until I just looked it up they have a separate dialect of French, which some scholars classify as a separate language of the "Langue d'oil" family: Walloon language - Wikipedia

Walloon, or Flemish, I can't remember which he had tucked in his linguistic toolbox. I think of them, and also Bavarian/Austrian German as the French, Dutch and German versions of Geordie.
 
I was always led to believe (by the Walloons I met in the Legion) that they spoke French, I didn't realise until I just looked it up they have a separate dialect of French, which some scholars classify as a separate language of the "Langue d'oil" family: Walloon language - Wikipedia
I went to school in Belgium for a couple of years and we spoke Belgian French (as distinct from Walloon) which is broadly similar to French with a few exceptions on individual words etc. We didn't learn Flemish at school (I seem to remember that they tried to teach us a bit in cub scouts) and I didn't have any Flemish speaking friends despite the fact that we lived right on the (internal) border between the French and Flemish halves of the country. Our two local supermarkets (both Delhaize iirc) had staff speaking different languages despite being only a couple of miles apart.

I am, genuinely, not surprised that even now speakers of one do not speak the other.
 
I did some convoy escorts picking up wagons at the French border and watching them through Belgium safely to the docks - its amazing where the MoD goes shopping. The bloke who came along to act as the fixer was the transport manager from Antwerp. I can do English, and boxhead, and muddle through in Cloggie, but this bloke had 5 languages down pat. He spoke; English, German, French, Dutch, and either Flemish, or Walloon. I once took part in a conversation with him and a few others where he was more or less doing simultaneous translation of 4 languages whilst also being one of the negotiators.
I rather liked Bismarck’s observation that the ability to speak multiple languages was only necessary or commendable in a head waiter.
 
Turks had a fearsome reputation in the Korean War. Fought to the very last man.
Confirmed to me by a CPVA veteran who told me they were afraid of US firepower but not of US troops. The Turks, on the other hand, were feared and respected even by men who'd fought the Japanese and the Nationalists.

Hard lads with the Karnakale spirit.
 
Walloon, or Flemish, I can't remember which he had tucked in his linguistic toolbox. I think of them, and also Bavarian/Austrian German as the French, Dutch and German versions of Geordie.
My German colleagues told me that Swiss Germans are the hardest to understand.
 
. He spoke; English, German, French, Dutch, and either Flemish,

The teenagers who served me sandwiches in the Subway in Brunssum could do the same, alot of people on the borders can, Flemish and Dutch are extremely similar, German is close to Dutch and English is a Germanic language.
But they mainly learn it from the TV. All programs (except kids) are shown in their native language in the Netherlands.
 
The king of Belgium is 61 today.

Joyeux anniversaire, Sire!

Ey_304EXMAAsmrw.png
 
Yes, they tend to be decent and discreet individuals. The same cannot be said of the king's brother, prince Laurent, who is quite scandal prone.

View attachment 565427
Yeah, he looks like he cheerfully engages in that other Belgian vice involving small children and dank basements.
 
Yeah, he looks like he cheerfully engages in that other Belgian vice involving small children and dank basements.

AFAIK, all the scandals related to prince Laurent are financial.

He had a complicated childhood with separated parents. He once shaved his head, some said it was to draw attention, others because of a break up with his GF....at any rate a troubled individual.
 

Latest Threads

Top