West Flemish (Dutch: West-Vlaams, French: flamand occidental, West Flemish: West-Vlams/West-Vloams), "Flemish" in the linguistic sense, is a language spoken in western Belgium and adjoining parts of the Netherlands and France. It is generally considered a dialect of Dutch, but is incomprehensible to speakers of the Dutch dialects of Antwerp and Amsterdam.
West Flemish is spoken by 1.07 million people in West Flanders (in Belgium), 120,000 in the neighbouring Dutch coastal district of Zeelandic Flanders (and another 220,000 if Zealandic is included), and 10,000 in the northern part of the French département of Nord. Some of the main cities where West Flemish is widely spoken are Bruges, Kortrijk, Ostend, Roeselare, and Ypres. The dialects of the rest of the Dutch province of Zeeland, Zeelandic, are often included in West Flemish; these are part of a dialect continuum which proceeds further north into Hollandic.
West Flemish is listed as a "vulnerable" language in UNESCO's online Red Book of Endangered Languages.
Geographical location of West Flemish (colour: sandy
) among the other minority and regional languages and dialects of the Benelux
Apartment building in Blankenberge
(Belgium) with West Flemish name "Yzeren Rampe" (Iron embankment)