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This article is a part of the
Dutch dialects series.

Low Franconian

Low Franconian/Ripuarian

Low Saxon

Spoken in  Belgium
Total speakers Unknown
Language family Indo-European
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2
ISO 639-3 bzc

Brabantian or Brabantish, also: Brabantic (Brabantian: Braobans; Dutch: Brabants) is a dialect group of the Dutch language. It is named after the historical Duchy of Brabant which corresponded mainly to the Dutch province of North Brabant, the Belgian provinces of Antwerp and Flemish Brabant, as well as the institutional Region of Brussels-Capital (where its native speakers have become a minority) and the province of Walloon Brabant (where the use of French has caused the dialect to become extinct). Brabantian expands into small parts in the west of Limburg while its strong influence on the Flemish dialects in East-Flanders weakens towards the west. In the northwest of North Brabant (Willemstad), Hollandic is spoken. Conventionally, the South Guelderish dialects are distinguished from Brabantian, though there are no objective criteria apart from geography to do this.

Because of the relatively large area in which Brabantian is spoken, it can be roughly divided in three sub-dialects:

  • West Brabantian, spoken in the area west of the river Donge; in the west of North Brabant (the area around the cities Breda, Roosendaal, and Bergen op Zoom) and in the north and west of the Province of Antwerp in Belgium.
  • East Brabantian, spoken in the area east of the river Donge; in the middle and east of North Brabant (the area around the cities Tilburg, Eindhoven, 's-Hertogenbosch and Helmond), the east of the Province of Antwerp and the far west of the Province of Limburg.
  • South Brabantian, spoken in the province of Flemish Brabant and the south of Antwerp.

Brabantian is not recognized as a minority language in the Netherlands. Standard Dutch is partly based on Brabantian. About one third of the Dutch-speaking population lives in the Brabantian dialect zone. In large Dutch towns such as Breda and Eindhoven, where there are many people of Hollandic descent speaking standard Dutch, Brabantian dialects have been largely abandoned, whereas in rural areas many people still speak the original dialect. Tilburg and 's-Hertogenbosch, however, have a large number of people speaking the Brabantian dialect.

In Belgium, dialects are still the common spoken language. In the capital of Brussels, French largely replaced Dutch in the middle of the 20th century. Despite this, there are many cultural activities using the Brussels dialect, and recently also at masses in a church in Jette. Moreover, use of Dutch is reviving among young Dutch-speaking families who are moving back from the suburbs toward the old city centre.


The Brabantian dialect is rather close to standard Dutch. Brabantian uses a weak "G". A characteristic phrase is "Houdoe" (Take care), where colloquial Dutch uses "Doei" (Bye).


The first attempts on standardizing the Dutch language in the 1540s were based on the Brabantian dialect, specifically that of Antwerp and its surroundings. However, following the Dutch Revolt, the Dutch economical and political focus shifted North, centering on the County of Holland and the importance of Brabantian dwindled. More recent attempts to establish a Standard form of Brabantic have met little success. However, the new phenomenon of tussentaal is more and more widespread.

Position of Brabantian (beige) among the other minority languages, regional languages and dialects in the Benelux




Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



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Brabantian (not comparable)


not comparable

none (absolute)

  1. Of or pertaining to the Brabantian language.
    That is a Brabantian accent, and not a Limburgish one!
  2. Of or pertaining to Brabant or its people.
    The Brabantian calvinists emigrated en masse to Holland after the Sack of Antwerp in the 1580s.

Proper noun




  1. The language/dialect mainly spoken in North Brabant, Flemish Brabant and Antwerp provinces, Benelux.
    He speaks Brabantian with his schoolmates, standard language with unfamiliar teachers and in the classroom.
  2. A person from Brabant.
    The Brabantians used to be known as rather reticent and stubborn, in stark contrast to their more open and louder Northern neighbors, i.e. the Dutch.


Usage notes

  • The name of the language, Brabantian, when it means "the Brabantian language", does not assume an article.
  • Nowadays the demonym mostly applies to people from the eponymous provinces.




Brabantian (uncountable)

  1. One’s ability to speak Brabantian
    In Flanders, many second-generation immigrants of Moroccan descent speak fluent Brabantian!
  2. Brabantian-language term or expression for something.
    • What’s the Brabantian for the Dutch 'Verdorie!', you know, what is in English 'Damn!' ?
    • 'Verdomme!'



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