Cheer to Belgicisms!


The third edition of the "Dictionnaire des belgicismes" has just been published. In this new opus, which has been revised and includes new entries, linguist Michel Francard, who has been involved in the creation of several French dictionaries highlighting the contribution of the various French-speaking communities around the world, and his team reveal the richness of this variation of the language of Molière.

The "Dictionnaire des Belgicismes" lists and defines, without value judgement or normative or corrective pretension, the Belgian French words that are often forgotten in dictionaries of French from France. But things are far from being as homogeneous as people think. One example of this is our very Belgian "drache nationale", since the word drache (sudden heavy rain) now tends to be used well beyond its country of origin. The word became known internationally thanks to the movie "Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis" (Welcome to the Sticks), when Kad Merad passes the sign "Bienvenue dans le Nord-Pas-de-Calais", and a huge drache falls on his windscreen. Closer to home, the Belgian singer Angèle reaffirmed her Belgian identity with her latest album "Nonante-Cinq" (95), which followed her first album "Brol" (disorder). Further proof of the success of our linguistic particularities is the fact that the author of our dictionary, Michel Francard, Doctor of Philosophy and Letters and Professor Emeritus at UCL, has been in charge of revising the entries devoted to French in Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in the Nouveau Petit Robert dictionary since the 2008 edition.