Multilingual Business Communication

April 5, 2009

Bozar : will the linguistic quarrel ever stop?

Filed under: internship, Sophie Naveau, Uncategorized — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 9:29 am


The Belgian Linguistic Control Commission has recently condemned the use of the name ‘Bozar’ to designate the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. According to the Commission, ‘Bozar’ would sound too French-speaking.

The term ‘Bozar’ was chosen as a marketing tool a few years ago. There was a double aim for the new appellation. On the one hand the institution needed a shorter and ‘hipper’ name than the too long ‘Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles’ or ‘Paleis voor Schone Kunsten van Brussel’. On the other hand, the name ‘Bozar’ was supposed to please both linguistic communities: it is a contraction of the French ‘Beaux-Arts’ and has Dutch spelling and consonance. However, the neologism doesn’t seem to please the Flemish community; it’s not close enough to Dutch. As for the French-speaking they consider it as a deviation of their language.

When will this linguistic argument end? Is this really worth spending energy, time and money for? By the end of the day, there will always be complaints about a new name; too French or too Flemish, too modern or too old-fashioned, not to mention the language purists who consider the new appellation as a heresy!

Shouldn’t we all be happy as long as we can listen to great music, watch wonderful dance performances and visit amazing exhibitions?

05 April 2009:,,–Lappellation+Bozar+trop+francophone+%3F


1 Comment »

  1. I totally agree with you, Sophie. Since it was introduced, I’ve always liked the new modern-sounding name BOZAR. As you say, it is a French word but with a really Flemish notation and pronunciation. In my opinion, it’s a perfect bridge between the two communities. It’s a pity some people cannot appreciate this linguistic invention. I hope you can help to bring the two communities of our small country together during your internship. Good luck!

    (Séverine De Ryck)

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — April 7, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

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