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Speaking the Language

Brussels - Speaking the Language

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The official languages of Brussels and Belgium are Dutch and French. Brussels is primarily French speaking, while elsewhere in the country Dutch speakers hold a slight majority. Surprisingly, many people in Brussels can speak English as well. There are over 200,000 native English speakers in the city, and English has quickly become the language of workers there due partly to the growing number of English speaking expats. There are local papers in English as well as English television and radio stations. Brussels is very accommodating to English speaker, but is also known as the best place in the world to learn a second language.

There are numerous places in Brussels where one can learn to speak Flemish (Dutch) and/or French. This would not only help you intellectually and in business, but will help you socially as well. Many people and even employers like to see that you are adapting to Brussels and learning the language rather than simply going where there are people that speak your native language. Some excellent places to learn the Belgian native languages are places like the Amira Language School in Brussels. Amira can be found online at http://www.amira.be/. Amira has a step by step program that allows you to join at any point of the year and be placed with other students at the same progress level as you, and is perhaps the most popular language school.

Ceran Lingua also has foreign language programs available. Ceran is located online at http://www.ceran-us.com/index.php. Their programs are quite expensive, but work in a total immersion method that is extremely thorough and fast. Courses last only a week and are broken into numerous blocks daily of intensive study.

The Europa Language School is less expensive and offers a number of different class types. Located at http://www.elsb.be/general-EN.html, Europa offers small classes, private lessons, or total immersion sessions. They also offer company courses for businesses that have brought in a number of expats who need to learn the language or who intend to send a group of workers abroad.

There is a comprehensive listing of language schools in Brussels located at http://www.europe-cities.com/en/589/belgium/brussels/language-schools/ if none of the schools listed above meets your needs. The schools on this page are quite varied in cost and methodology, with schools ranging from use of immersion techniques to hypnosis. The options are practically unlimited.

For those who are looking for language services upon first arriving to help them get around, there is a site that lists English speaking interpreters in Brussels at http://brussels.angloinfo.com/af/324/brussels-translators-and-interpreters.html. These services can be quite helpful, though many Belgians do speak conversational English and interpreters are offered for many public services.



Expat Health Insurance Partners


Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.

Cigna

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.