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I'm confused ... if the Walloons are French-speaking, as this article says, then who speaks the Walloon language? — 24 Nov2005 19:22 (UTC)
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The Walloon language is a language which is neither used in the administration or the common television. The Walloon language is divided in several quite different dialects and is therefore only very locally understandable. Many educated walloons born after the 1970s do not even know more than some simple words or idioms and are not fluent at all in this language. As the common people language before WWII, the Walloon language is nevertheless an important part of the Walloon cultural identity (if there exists any). — 8 Aug2005 09:05 (UTC)
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Walloon language is spoken mainly by Walloons (from Wallonia, and from "French Wallonia", the French region around Givet), and some descendents of Walloons immigrants in Wisconsin, USA.
However, not all Walloons speak Walloon language; first, Walloon language doesn't cover all of Wallonia (look at the Walloon language for a linguistic map, see also how the French area around Givet (Djivet in Walloon) is part of the Walloon linguist area); there are people in Wallonia that speak German as official language (regional language is Ripuarian) in the East (in white in the map, with Deutsch. Gemeinschaft across it), and also in Luxembourgish language (cyan), Lorrain (brown), Champenois (orange) and Picard language (green)
On top of that, with the exception of the small region in the East where German is the official language, for the rest of Wallonia French is the only official language; and harsh policies against regional languages were carried in the past (including physical punishments for childrens speaking Walloon in school, and firing employees and civil servants speaking it with the public) which lead to a fading of its use. Despite all that, there still is a sizeable amount of people that speak Walloon, particularly in rural areas.
I put the map here, in full size:

Linguistic map of Wallonia.png

In Sweden there was (16-17th century) a big immigration from Walloons, that created and develloped there the iron industry (in which Walloons where already very good at the time), several of them gained very high rankings in Swedish society; for some time they lived in their own villages and continued to speak Walloon language; but nowadays they all speak Swedish as they integrated fully in Swedish society (they just proudly remember their ancestry)
Probably the most known of them is Louis de Geer (en: wikipedia has an article on that name but featuring probably one of his descendants), known as "the father of swedish industry".
Peter Minuit, of Manhattan fame, was also a Walloon.
Srtxg 19:46, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Actually, Walloon integration in Sweden is so total that there's no longer any emotional value at all associated with it (pride or otherwise). This makes it a useful tool for anti-racism lectures:
  1. Lecturer asks "Which of you have Walloon ancestors?"
  2. Half of the audience members raise their hands.
  3. Lecturer says "So, does this make you less Swedish?"
  4. Audience laughs at the absurdity of the concept.
Bo Lindbergh (whose great-great-grandmother was named "Hubinette", which in turn is utterly irrelevant to daily life) 14:47, 30 May 2006 (UTC)


I took out this sentence: "The Walloons were enslaved by the Flemish for nearly 200 years until the second Belgian civil war, which cost many lives and did hundreds of dollars of damage." It obviously is made up. — 15 May2006 13:20 (UTC)
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'They are ethnically characterized by darker skin and a distinctive wide nose that set them apart from their Flemish counterparts. The Walloons were enslaved by the Flemish for nearly 200 years until the second Belgian civil war, which cost many lives and did hundreds of dollars of damage.'
This is totally nonsense and somehow quite racist ! There is no physical difference among Flemish and Walloon population.
None were ever enslaved and no Belgian civil war ever occured since 21 July 1830, independence day in Belgium. — 19 May2006/23 May2006 
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Mussels from Brussels is Walloon?[edit]

Isn't Brussels not in Wallonia? How can Brusselers be Walloon then? — 18 Oct2006 19:32 (UTC)
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Jean-Claude Van Damme is indeed born in what is now the Brussels-Capital Region which is surrounded by the Flemish Region, not Wallonia. Much like the name 'Flanders' and its derivate 'Flemish' once referred to the historical countship (including parts in the present Netherlands and France) with a distinct group of dialects, but now to the entire Belgian area where the Dutch language and several distinct groups of dialects are prevalent, the original Walloon-speaking area (see map in the article) is only a part of the present Walloon Region where the French language and originally some related dialects are prevalent [except for 70,000 speakers of German in its East]. Thus today 'Flemish' often means 'Dutch language as natively spoken in Belgium' or one of its speakers; and 'Walloon' often means 'French language as natively spoken in Belgium' or one of its speakers – be it not geographically correct either historically or at present for people from Brussels. Van Damme as well as his true family name Van Varenberg are Flemish names, Jean-Claude – though born in an officially bilingual municipality – is not known to speak Dutch or any Flemish dialect, or the authentic Walloon dialect, and thus may be called 'Walloon' only in the widest sense of 'Belgian speaker of French'. Note that the intitutionalized community of Belgian speakers of Dutch is named the 'Flemish Community' but the intitutionalized community of Belgian speakers of French is named the 'French Community'; thus it is perhaps less common to call a French-speaking person from Brussels 'Walloon', than it is to call a Dutch-speaking person from Brussels 'Flemish'. — SomeHuman 2 Dec2006 13:00-13:22 (UTC)

Romance peoples[edit]

Romance peoples ? really ? what about Romanesque people which is probably more related to Romanesque style than Romance ...? About famous Walloons: James Walmsley is this name or even that guy is from that part of Belgium, I'm ready to offer a tasty Chimay Trappist beer if anyone can proove it !! Pls check your references before writing as Encyclopaedist... :) — 30 Nov2006 14:30 (UTC)
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The Category:Romance peoples includes the article Latin peoples (to which Romance peoples redirects) that states: "those European linguistic-cultural groups and their descendants all over the world that speak Romance languages. The Romance languages descend from Vulgar Latin." There is no distinction on Wikipedia between Romance languages and Romanic languages (the latter redirects to the first), but Romanesque refers to a style, or the era of that style. I do wonder however, whether the term 'Romance languages' might be a rather romantic view on the (in particular French) romance genre of writing and style of speech, versus 'Romanic languages' as a more technically oriented term (but that discussion belongs on the current 'Romance languages' talk page.
Anyway, I removed the line mentioning James Walmsley, an actor known from The Canterbury Tales, and for whom I didn't quickly find a link to Belgium. ;-) — SomeHuman 2 Dec2006 18:16 (UTC)

Famous Walloons[edit]

Under the heading ”Famous Walloons”, I have found a list of people who were obviously not Walloon.

For instance, Pippin of Herstal, Charles Martel, Pippin the Younger and Charlemagne were born at a time where Walloon did not yet exist as a language (see article Walloon), although they were born in what is today known as Wallonia.

I have doubts as whether Baldwin I of Constantinople, Count of Flanders (!) and Godfroid de Bouillon may actually be regarded as Walloon.

It is obvious that Hergé is not Walloon by birth or by culture. He was born in Brussels and Brussels dialect (a Flemish dialect in fact!) appears in some of his books.

Peyo and Marianne Merchez are both born in Brussels.

I suggest therefore to remove all these names from the list.

However, one could add some names like Zénobe Gramme, inventor of the Gramme machine.--Lebob-BE 15:20, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Since I got n reaction on the above, I have removed some of these names. --Lebob-BE 13:24, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Was Guido De Bres a "Famous Walloon"? (Sigi)

In my view, the only thing that could make him a "Famous Walloon" is his birth place. Indeed, Mons is located within the territory of what is now the walloon region. But, at that point in time, the concept of Wallonia did not exist as such. Moreover, for many people in the Low Lands, the concept of nationality, as we know it now was not very developped. De Bres probably thought much more in terms of religion than in terms of nationality. Therefore, I would preferably not classify him a "Famous Walloon". --Lebob-BE 08:30, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I think such names should be included (perhaps with a note to point out that they lived before the idea of Wallonia developed and in some cases before the development of the modern languages of Belgium). Most people from the past wouldn't recognise modern concepts of identity but they played a part in the development of those concepts. (talk) 20:46, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

I am sorry but I can't really share that view. Many of the people you have added lived at a time where Wallonie did not exist and i am not sure that some of them (e.g. roger Vander Weyden) have even spoken Walloon (assuming Walloon already existed as a distinct language at that time. Ohter ones have only tiny links with Wallonia. Best example Cesar Franck: While I agree he is born in Liège and has spent his early life there most of his career took place in France. difficult to regarded him as Walloon or Walloon only. Furthermore there are some tough talks currently going on regardign what is Wallonia[1]. Just be aware that you are putting your feets in a slippery environment :). --Lebob-BE (talk) 12:07, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Flemmish painters are not Walloon!!, They are flemmish, born in Flanders, speak/spoke Dutch (or a Flemmish dialect) , ... (talk) 20:37, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Belgium? Ethnic group ?[edit]

And in France? "Accorder l'union des deux provinces de Flandre pour n'en faire qu'un seul pays d'Etats... en laissant à chaque province son administration particulière régie par un bureau intermédiaire, composé de Wallons pour la Flandre wallonne et de Flamands pour la Flandre maritime." (Cahier de la noblesse de Bailleul, art. 24.).

Walloons is not a ethnic, it was an expression to say romance-speaking people in Low countries. You could be walloon and flemish at the same time. David Descamps 13:04, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

How old is this Cahier de la noblesse de Bailleul? --moyogo (talk) 23:21, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Very old. It was just an example. If you want some information about the word Walloon, you should look at fr:Histoire du terme Wallon and at fr:Wallons David Descamps (talk) 09:25, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Edit to polish up the text a bit[edit]

I think that SRXTG ought to edit this page too to underline the differences between the Walloon language and the Walloon region of Belgium. I have given an example with Brussels which cold be expanded upon. I have added Georges lemaître as a famous Walloon.Jeremynicholas 19:53, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

We need to clean this page up a bit. Maybe add that ethnic group box thingy (similar to the one on the Flemish page) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:57, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Brussels Walloon? Definitely not![edit]

Brussel is not Walloon and defintely not French speaking. Trying to insinuate this is highly offensive and definitely untrue. Brussel is bilingual and neither Flemish or French-speaking. Nor is it Walloon. It's in the middle of Flemish Brabant, is the capital of the Flemish Community, The capital of the Walloon community, the capital of Belgium, the capital of Europe and the capital of the Brussel Capital Region. Suggesting Brussel is a French-speaking city is not only wrong but also spitting in the face of every Belgian. There are many many people that speak Flemish, Walloon, Belgian-French, Brabantic or Brussels Vloms in the capital city and none of these have an absolute majority since most people speak at least two of these languages. Trying to call the Wallloon region the economic powerhouse of the region is also wrong and is again offensive, I will reverse this doubtful addition to wikipedia and make Brussel bilingual again as it is and should be. Brussel is not a place for Flemish or Walloon nationalism,

. --Jorgenpfhartogs (talk) 00:02, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

If I can agree that Brussels has never been, is not and will never been a Walloon city (and certainly not a Walloon speaking city) saying that it is not a city where a majority of inhabitants speak French is a complete denial of the reality. By the way, Brussels is the capital of the Flemish Region (and not of the Flemish Community). Furthermore, it has never been the capital of the Walloon community since such an institution does not even exist in Belgium. There is Walloon Region with its capital in Namur. Last time I checked, Namur is 50 km away from Brussels. --Lebob-BE (talk) 17:21, 1 June 2008 (UTC — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

EDIT: Brussels is largely French speaking, and any educated person who isn't swayed by a linguistic bias would know this. Although it is true that many people in Brussels do speak two or more languages, the main language used in transactions (e.g. shops, banks, police... etc) is French. Statistically, only 7% of Brussels' inhabitants speak Flemish as their only language, and only 13% speak it as a mother tongue while still speaking French. 87% of Brussels speaks French as a first language and in the case of immigrants, French is usually second to their mother tongue and Dutch third. As for the comment on nationalism, it is true that Flemish and French nationalism shouldn't be acceptable within Brussels, but to say that they aren't present is just plain ignorant. If you live in Brussels, you know that most of the French speaking population dislike the Flemish more than Walloons do, and most of the Flemish population dislike the French equally.

The law states however that Brussels is entirely bilingual, and all road signs, council-run buildings... must be bilingual. In addition, as a shopkeeper, you must be at least capable of enough Flemish (or French) to serve customers in either language. But this is just a law, it doesn't mean that everyone follows it or believes in it.

There are more French speaking schools than Flemish, more French libraries, theatres... and the French parties are in political majority. In conclusion, Brussels is a bilingual territory by law, but most people in Brussels are French speaking and the feel of the city is very much French. It does however have nothing to do with Wallonia. The only similarity with Wallonia is the language, and even on that front the accents and dialects are very different. . --Jorgenpfhartogs (talk) 00:02, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

If I can agree that Brussels has never been, is not and will never been a Walloon city (and certainly not a Walloon speaking city) saying that it is not a city where a majority of inhabitants speak French is a complete denial of the reality. By the way, Brussels is the capital of the Flemish Region (and not of the Flemish Community). Furthermore, it has never been the capital of the Walloon community since such an institution does not even exist in Belgium. There is Walloon Region with its capital in Namur. Last time I checked, Namur is 50 km away from Brussels. --Lebob-BE (talk) 17:21, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Original research?[edit]

Is it possible to say the reasons why this tag was be placed? José Fontaine (talk) 14:36, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

For example, your personal fabulations about Heyst and Pinkerton. This is original analysis from primary sources. One example among others. That's symptomatic of your contributions, one of the reasons you've been banned on fr.wikipedia. Speculoos (talk) 15:36, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't reply you about fr:Wp, (not because I am not able to reply...). I change the page following what you said. If you have no other objections may I remove the tag? I will wait some hours... José Fontaine (talk) 16:00, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
That's not only that example, there is a lot of your theories in that article. You can't put primary sources on WP. That's (always) what you're doing. So, no, you can't remove the tag. Speculoos (talk) 16:51, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
I recognize these sentences were ambiguous because of me :
The linguistic cleavage in the politics of Belgium and the birth of a Walloon Movement adds a «conceptual and emotional content»[2] to the term Walloon so that it then also designates the inhabitants of Wallonia — a monolingual French-speaking territory — as opposed to Flemish. But it seems that this meaning did exist previously for instance in the book etc.
The words ///But it seems that this meaning/// were not neutral but, with good faith, I meant a territory in front of the Flemish territory...
On the other hand, your words //// and the birth of a Walloon Movement adds a «conceptual and emotional content» to the terme Walloon. /// are nowhere in Albert Henry's book. I don't know what does a conceptual content mean...
I hope you would say accurately how this text is possibly now an original work. I don't think so. I hope a positiv abnswer. Sincerely José Fontaine (talk) 21:02, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

You could at least have some respect for the other person and their work when you discuss with them or when you modify or analyze what they've written. Your corrections about the pages 14-15 of Henry's book are wrong, if you don't revert them I will put a {{POV}} label. Because «contenu conceptuel et affectif» is a title written in bold on page 14 and resume the paragraph about the influence of Walloon Movement on the words Wallonia and Walloon. Speculoos (talk) 21:19, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

OK. I was wrong. But even for these words of Henry "a conceptual content". They are strange. All the words have a conceptual content... I was so worry about the text that I didn't see the title in bold. But I maintain that the emotional, cultural and linguistic aspects were described by Henry as existing before 1880 ( I quote To these emotional, linguistic and cultural concept was added little a little, because of the intern evolution of Begium, especially since 1880, a political content). What is added - if I read well Henry - is well the political content, and nothing else. The only thing about the Walloon movement Henry wrote in these pages is the fact that this movement was not popular. I revert you fairly and motivate it. I would prefer you don't put the ṃ label. If you do it, I ask you to motivate deeply such a thing which is discouraging because I work hard on this page and with honesty. When I recognize I am wrong, when I motivate my changes, I have respect for the others. Sincerely, José Fontaine (talk) 22:15, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Etymology section is overlong and complex[edit]

I think this section is overly complex for a general-purpose encyclopedia. Perhaps where there is consensus on certain points, one cite is sufficient.--Parkwells (talk) 17:02, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Article needs editing for English language[edit]

Copy editing to improve flow in English.--Parkwells (talk) 17:02, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Wallonia: Monolingual or Multilingual?[edit]

The lede says,

More generally, the term [Walloon] also refers to the inhabitants of the Walloon Region. They speak regional languages such as Walloon (with Picard in the West and Lorrain in the South).

But the article says,

Walloon also designates the inhabitants of Wallonia — a monolingual French-speaking territory — as opposed to Flemish.

The fact that Walloon, Picard, and Lorrain are all related to French, as opposed to Flemish, which isn't, doesn't make them one language; and it doesn't make Wallonia a monolingual, French-speaking territory.

Officially, like the rest of Belgium, Wallonia is trilingual, recognizing French, Flemish (? perhaps sub nom. Nederlands), and German for purposes of state and commerce. Furthermore, if Walloon, Picard, and Lorrain are regional languages, and not dialects of French (as I believe they formerly were regarded), then Wallonia is also multilingual in cultural or ethnic terms. (Because of my ignorance on the subject, I pass over the likelihood that there are also many native speakers of Flemish and German resident in Wallonia, who still use their native languages at home; and the possibility that those speakers belong to long-established linguistic and cultural enclaves within Wallonia.)

In any case, the contradiction between the lede and the article should be resolved by a qualified editor; and it seems quite clear to me that Wallonia cannot properly be called monolingual. (Some readers, doubtless, will disagree, particularly if they still adhere to the old, nationalistic concept of language, whereby the dialect with the largest army--or GNP--gets to call itself a language, while the rest of the family are relegated to the status of local curiosities and badges of ignorance. But one would expect such readers to accept the authority of Belgium's own national ordinance, which makes Wallonia trilingual.)

Jdcrutch (talk) 15:18, 12 October 2012 (UTC)