Walloon Language Interpreters and Translators
Cal Interpreting & Translations (CIT) offers Walloon interpreters and translators with legal, medical, and specialty experience, including criminal and civil matters, employee meetings, engineering, patent cases, labor disputes, immigration, and more.
CIT offers comprehensive Walloon language services including interpretation, translation, and transcription, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. Our interpreters and translators are native speakers who have been screened, certified, provided credentials, field tested, and kept up to date with developments in both English and Walloon languages through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel. Cal Interpreting & Translations’ Walloon language interpreters and translators possess in depth knowledge of the Walloon language, as well as of the culture and history of the Walloon people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.
Who speaks Walloon?
Walloon, or Walon in Walloon) is a Romance language spoken in most of Wallonia, a region in southern Belgium, as well as in some villages in northern France. Walloon belongs to the langue d’oïl language family. The most prominent member of this language family is French. Walloon is very nearly considered a dead language, with less than one million remaining speakers, many of whom are from older generations.
A History of the Walloon Language
Descending from Vulgar Latin, written Walloon began appearing in the 16th century. However, use of Walloon began a rapid decline following France’s annexation of Wallonia in 1795. During this time, the French language underwent a climb in social use and hierarchy. After World War I, public schools provided French-speaking education to all children, but not Walloon-speaking education. This caused a disparagement of Walloon, which was especially compounded by official orders in 1952 to actually punish the use of Walloon in public schools. Because of these acts, usage of Walloon has steadily decreased.
Before the 1900’s, Walloon was usually classified as a dialect of French, both of which are descendants of Vulgar Latin. However, linguist Jules Feller (1859–1940) argued that a French-speaking person could not understand Walloon. Feller insisted that Walloon had an original “superior unity”, which made it it’s own distinct language, not a dialect.
Dialects of Walloon
Four dialects of Walloon exist today. These dialects developed in four different areas of Wallonia:
-Central Walloon, spoken in Namur (Nameur), the Wallon capital, and the cities of Wavre (Åve) and Dinant.
-Eastern Walloon, spoken in Liège (Lidje), Verviers (Vervî), Malmedy (Måmdi), Huy (Hu), and Waremme (Wareme).
-Western Walloon, spoken in Charleroi (Tchårlerwè), Nivelles (Nivele), and Philippeville (Flipvile). This dialect is the closest dialect to French.
-Southern Walloon, Spoken in Bastogne, Marche-en-Famenne (Måtche-el-Fåmene), and Neufchâteau (Li Tchestea), all in the Ardennes region. Similar to the Lorrain and Champenois languages.
A great number of professional associations and organizations, including many theatre companies, are today working to keep the Walloon language alive. In 1990, Walloon was formally recognized as a regional indigenous language in France. Beginning in the 1990s, a common orthography was formed (the Rifondou walon). This allowed larger print companies to begin translation of beloved works into Walloon. One of the first such works to be translated was Tintin.
Walloon is more distinct as a language than Belgian French, which differs from the French spoken in France only in some minor points of vocabulary and pronunciation. Wallonia is mostly French speaking, and comprises more than half of Belgium. The capital city is Namur.