Language island

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A language island is an exclave of a language that is surrounded by one or more different languages.[1]

Official languages of Belgium: Dutch (yellow), French (red) and German (blue). Brussels is officially bilingual where both Dutch and French have official status, but is overwhelmingly French-speaking, making it a French-language island within a Dutch-speaking region.

Examples of language islands:


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peter Auer, Frans Hinskens, Paul Kerswill. Dialect change: convergence and divergence in European languages. str. 221. "The term 'Sprachinsel' was used for the first time in 1847 to designate a Slavonic community surrounded by a German-speaking population close to Konigsberg, East Prussia cf. Mattheier 1996. 812"