Thu. 23 Sep 2010. 6:28 pm
As I have been searching the internet for our relatives and family history in Belgium I came across something that I think needs some investigation.
Using Google I typically search for names and places and have found quite a few people in America with the surname of Goens or Delcourt. There are not too many of either name in Michigan when compared to the rest of America. And the same seems to be the case in or around Ghent – just not a lot of them there.
I kept thinking how odd this was. But when I changed the search term “Belgium” to “België” all of a sudden there were quite a few results, especially for Delcourt. Hmm!
Then I came across a web site that had a number of people, more than usual, with the surname of Goens. Turns out this website was in the Netherlands and not Belgium. Well, what’s up with this?
Now I’m off on a side road for little while. We’ll be taking a little journey…so fasten your seat-belts and let’s get this tour bus rolling. Next stop Koninkrijk België (Dutch); Royaume de Belgique (French); Königreich Belgien (German); or as they say in America
The Kingdom of Belgium
The best way to look at Belgium is to understand that it has three regions, three languages, and four language communities. This sounds kind of messy but it’s almost like the red state/blue state thing in the America.
Also, with three different languages you may think that could also be a bit of a problem. Again we can use an example from America. Can you imagine a conversation between someone from Boston, Massachusetts with someone from Macon, Georgia?
So in Belgium the easiest way to explain all this stuff is to steal some graphics from Wikipedia.
Now if you’ll all stay together and please/alstublieft/s’il vous plaît/Bitte follow me you will see in this gallery on our right that we have a graphic that illustrates the three languages distributed in the four language areas in Belgium.
Nice colors but what do they mean you there in the back is asking. Well this should help.
Any more questions? Good, we shall move on.
Now in the next gallery we see the three different regions in Belgium.
All three regions correspond with the language areas we saw in the previous gallery. And the blue area is Brussels which is bilingual.
Did you notice there are no green areas for the Germans on this exhibit? Anyone know the answer? Yes, Amy? No it’s not because they forgot to put it on the map, Amy..heh heh. (Waar komen deze Amerikanen komen met dit spul?…heh heh)
It was because Germany pissed off so many people so many times invading Belgium and such that they said to the Germans, “Screw you.” But it was probably more like, “Schroef je.” Or as the French are fond of saying, “Vous ne recevez pas votre propre domaine, vous rat salauds alors vas te faire encule.”
Very good…who needs to take a break before the next gallery? If you would be so kind, then please follow me…would anyone like to visit the Souvenirwinkel?