In addition to our translation, interpreting and proofing services, we are able to offer business consultation for companies preparing presentations, publicity material, pitches and campaigns in the Netherlands and Belgium.
The Kingdom of Belgium (Dutch: Koninkrijk België, French: Royaume de Belgique, German: Königreich Belgien) is a country in northwest Europe bordered by the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and France and is one of the founding members of the European Union. Belgium has a population of over ten million people, in an area of around 30,000 square kilometres (11,700 square miles). Click here to read more about Belgium http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgium
About the Netherlands:
The Kingdom of the Netherlands (Dutch: koninkrijk der Nederlanden) consists of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, and Aruba. The Netherlands is a country in northwest Europe bordered by the North Sea in the north and west, Belgium in the south, and Germany to the east. The Netherlands is often referred to by the name Holland. The national language is Dutch. Click here to read more about the Netherlands http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands
Belgium: This is the conventional name of the Kingdom of Belgium. It has two regions, Flanders and Wallonia, where Dutch and French are the main languages respectively.
Belgian: This word refers to nationality only. There is no language called Belgian – the inhabitants of Belgium speak French, Dutch, or German.
Brussels: This is the capital of Belgium. It is officially bilingual (French and Dutch), but the majority language is French.
Dutch (nationality): The inhabitants of the Netherlands are called the Dutch. This should not be confused with ‘Deutsch’, the German word for ‘German’.
Dutch (language): Dutch is spoken by the inhabitants of the Netherlands, Flanders (see the entry for Flanders), and outside Europe also in the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba and Suriname.
Flanders: The northern region in Belgium. The main language here is Dutch.
Flemish: The Flemish people are the people who live in the northern Belgian region of Flanders. They speak Dutch. Dutch as spoken in Flanders is sometimes called Flemish, to distinguish it from Dutch as spoken in the Netherlands.
Holland: This name is commonly used as a synonym of the Netherlands as a whole, but actually it refers to only two of the country’s twelve provinces, North Holland and South Holland.
Languages in Belgium: Belgium is a tri-lingual country: French (spoken in the southern region of Wallonia), Dutch (spoken in the northern region of Flanders), and German (the first language of about 1% of the population, mainly in and around the town of Eupen in Wallonia).
Netherlands: This is the conventional name of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Wallonia: This is the name of the southern region of Belgium. The main language is French.
Walloon: The Walloon are the people who live in Wallonia, the southern region of Belgium. There is an old language called Walloon, but this is now more or less extinct.
Differences between Flemish and Dutch
Although the Flemish and the Dutch speak the same language, there are important dissimilarities in the language, and the two cultures are markedly different. It is important to keep these in mind when doing business with these two groups and when writing to or for them.
What Flemish people value:
• doing the ‘real’ business outside meetings: use mealtimes and coffee breaks
• compromises and friendly agreements
• avoiding overt conflict
• avoiding red tape
What Dutch people value
• being busness-like and ‘to the point’
• sticking rigorously to agreements
• discounts, economies and time savers
• the letter of the law
When doing business inside Flemish culture, you should forget anything you learned while doing business with Dutch people. Flemish people often like to discuss by allusion and implication. Overtly stating your rights, making demands or insisting on the letter of the law may bring you gains in the very short term, but it will close doors for you quite quickly. In any confrontation, take a step back and say, ‘let’s find a way around this.’