The term Flemish is used in at least five ways. These are, in order of increasing order, as an informal term meaning Dutch language in Belgium. Linguists tend to avoid the use of the term Flemish in this context, as a synonym for the so-called intermediate speech known as tussentaal. to denote any of the local Dutch dialects anywhere in the Flanders region. There are four principal Dutch dialects in the Flemish region, Brabantian, East Flemish, the latter two are sometimes considered separate languages. Despite its name, Brabantian is the dominant contributor to the Flemish Dutch tussentaal, the combined region, culture, and people of Dutch-speaking Belgium has come to be known as Flemish. Flemish is also used to refer to one of the languages spoken in the former County of Flanders. Linguistically and formally, Flemish refers to the region, culture, Flemish people speak Dutch in Flanders, the Flemish part of Belgium. Belgian Dutch is slightly different from Dutch spoken in The Netherlands, mainly in pronunciation, lexicon, similar differences exist within other languages, such as English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. The differences are not significant enough to constitute an individual language, Dutch is the majority language in northern Belgium, being spoken natively by three-fifths of the population. It is one of the three languages of Belgium, together with French and German, and is the only official language of the Flemish Region. The various Dutch dialects spoken in Belgium contain a number of lexical, as in the Netherlands, the pronunciation of Standard Dutch is affected by the native dialect of the speaker. All Dutch dialect groups spoken in Belgium are spoken in adjacent areas of the Netherlands as well, East Flemish forms a continuum with both Brabantic and West Flemish. Standard Dutch is primarily based on the Hollandic dialect and to an extent on Brabantian. Among vowels is the diphthong ou / au, ou as in bout and au as in fauna is realized as in formal situations. In informal situations, the sound tends to be pronounced as or as a monophthong, depending on the dialect, in contrast, these are generally pronounced as in the north and middle parts of the Netherlands. Among consonants, the northern Dutch pronunciation of w is, in some southern Dutch dialects it is or, probably the most obvious difference between northern and southern Dutch is in the sounds spelled ⟨ch⟩ and ⟨g⟩. The sound spelled ⟨ch⟩ is a velar fricative in northern Dutch. ⟨w⟩ realised as ⟨ch⟩ and ⟨g⟩ pronounced as front-velars, not as palatals, Belgian Dutch includes different French loanwords in its vocabulary compared to Netherlands Dutch
Map showing the dialects spoken in the Benelux: many people in Flanders speak a dialect and the common Flemish, and understand spoken Dutch; in writing, the dialects are hardly used, while Flemish and Dutch are nearly identical in this regard
Official languages of Belgium: Dutch (yellow), French (red) and German (blue). Brussels is a bilingual area where both Dutch and French have an official status.