Belgium Language and Languages
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The FamilySearch moderator for the Netherlands is Daniel Jones.
The major languages of records in Belgium are Flemish (Dutch) in the North, and Walloon (French) in the South, and German in the East. Latin was used extensively, particularly in Catholic records.
Reading the German Records
- It's easier than you think! You do not have to be fluent in French and German to use these records, as there is only a limited vocabulary used in them. By learning a few key phrases, you will be able to read them adequately. Here are some resources for learning to read German records.
- These video webinars will teach you to read German handwriting:
- Also online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:
- Reading German Handwritten Records Lesson 1: Kurrent Letters
- Reading German Handwritten Records Lesson 2: Making Words in Kurrent
- Reading German Handwritten Records Lesson 3: Reading Kurrent Documents. In this lesson, you will explore several types of German genealogical records, including birth, baptismal, marriage, and death records.
- German Script Tutorial
This converter will show you how any phrase or name might look in German script:
- Kurrentschrift Converter (enter German genealogical word, click on "convert", view your word in Kurrentschrift (Gothic handwriting)
Records of the Catholic church will usually be written in Latin:
How to Read the French Records
- For more instruction on using these records, see:
Learning to Read Enough French to Do Genealogy
- It's easier than you think! You do not have to be fluent in French to use these records, as there is only a limited vocabulary used in them. By learning a few key phrases, you will be able to read them adequately. Here are some resources for learning to read French records.
- There is a three-lesson course in reading French Records:
- The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Belgium,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1987-1999.