What is "tussentaal?"

Hi, I’m Sofie, the founder of Goesting in Taal, a project that wants to help people learning Dutch in Belgium feel more comfortable with native speakers by helping them discover informal language.
Discover more about what we do here.

If you have been studying Dutch in Belgium, you might have come across the term “tussentaal” or “in-between-language”. But what is this “tussentaal” exactly?

Tussentaal is the informal language most Flemish people use when talking to their friends, family, colleagues and neighbors. It’s the language you hear in most Flemish series and movies as well.

Tussentaal is not the same as dialect. It’s somewhere in between official Standard Dutch and the dialects (hence the name) and it has less regional differences. I usually help my students understand what tussentaal is by comparing it to a cocktail 🍹😄.
It’s a mix of:

✔️ a lot of official Standard Dutch
✔️ specific pronunciation that allows us to speak faster, mostly by dropping certain sounds
✔️ some typical Flemish words and also grammar elements from Flemish dialects
✔️regional accents
✔️ a lot of words & expressions that come from French (which makes sense, since we live in a multilingual country 🇧🇪❤️)

Why should I learn more about this language?

✨ First of all, because it’s FUN! Discovering the way people actually talk & how you can sound more authentic and natural, that’s fascinating, no?

Tussentaal is EVERYWHERE! It’s the language we use amongst friends and family, but also with our colleagues, neighbors, even at the baker or the hairdresser. We use this language to decrease the distance between us and the other person, to have a warmer contact.

✨ For most Flemish people, especially the young ones, tussentaal is their real mother tongue, and it holds a very special place in our hearts. It’s the language we use to express our emotions, to make jokes. It’s the language we speak when we are being spontaneous.

✨ Most Flemish movies and tv series are in tussentaal. You will finally be able to understand them without subtitles!

✨ There is something magical in knowing this informal language as a language learner. I see it everytime. Suddenly, people see you with different eyes. You are suddenly much more considered as an insider. It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes or if you have an accent.

✨ You will have more authentic conversations and connections with people, and they will be happy to help you discover new words & expressions once they are aware of your interest in informal language.

E-book: Tussentaal voor beginners

Check out our newest e-book!

Have you already studied Dutch but you are wondering what are the differences between the official language and the informal spoken language? Check out our e-book!

  • 💡Clear explanations with examples
  • 💡Practical exercises
  • 💡Audio & listening exercises included
  • 💡Help to understand regional accents

for ONLY € 8,99!

“Practical, to-the-point, very helpful!”

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