English on the rise

Not a surprise:

Dutch decline
English has overtaken Dutch as the city’s second language, according to a study published by the Free University of Brussels in January. Some 35% of city residents claimed to know English, but just 28% knew Dutch. When the survey was first conducted in 2000, Dutch had the edge. The number of Arabic-, Turkish- and German-speakers has also declined, whereas Italian- and Spanish-speakers have increased. The study’s publication coincided with news that Zaventem, a Flemish suburb of Brussels, had introduced a law letting only Dutch speakers buy or sell property there. Officials claim the new rules will preserve the area’s “Flemish character”.

from The Economist’s Brussels Briefing
It is 12:06 a.m. Thursday in Brussels, 48

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