The border between the Germanic and Romanesque cultures in Europe cut small Belgium in half. In the north of Belgium (Flanders), the inhabitants speak Dutch; in the south (Wallonia), they speak French. Brussel, the capital inhabited by both cultures, is located in the middle of federal Belgium. Finally, there is the small German-speaking Community in the southeast of the country.
Flanders is part of Belgium. In Belgium, three official languages are acknowledged: Dutch, French and German. So Flemings are in any case used to be confronted with different languages. Moreover, throughout its history, the geographical area of modern Flanders has been governed by a variety of rulers (Austrians, Spaniards, French). These historical developments and influences did bring about a multilingual situation in Flanders.
What's more, Flanders is surrounded by world languages: English, French and German. These languages are widely spoken. Abundant access to both printed and televised media from France, the UK, Germany and other international sources makes Flemings receptive to foreign languages. Also the Flemish education emphasises its pupils' active learning of foreign languages. The school curriculum sets aside a considerable amount of time for a second and often third language.
People from Flanders have a widespread knowledge of other languages. This involves a better understanding of different viewpoints and constitutes a major asset and advantage.