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Belgium is a complex country language-wise. There are three official languages (NL/FR/DE). In cinema advertising, the languages that are used are Dutch/Flemish (NL), French (FR) and English (EN). It is also possible to play content in other languages (e.g. Italian), but then subtitles will always be required. Some cinemas expect the content to be spoken/subtitled in the language of the region where the cinema is located.

  • If your content is language-neutral (no spoken words), you can use it in all regions. (E.g. a music video with a simple logo pack shot at the end)
  • If your content is Dutch spoken, you can use it in Flanders without subtitles. Brussels and Wallonia cinemas will expect FR subtitles.
  • If your content is French spoken, you can use it in Wallonia without subtitles. Brussels and Flanders cinemas will expect NL subtitles.
  • If your content is English spoken, you can use it in all regions, but you will need NL substitles in Flanders and Brussels, FR subtitles in Brussels and Wallonia, or bilingual (FR/NL) subtitles if you only want to make one version for the whole territory.
Spoken language Region Subtitles required?
Dutch Brussels Yes, FR
Dutch Flanders No
Dutch Wallonia Yes, FR
French Brussels Yes, NL
French Flanders Yes, NL
French Wallonia No
English Brussels Yes, FR/NL
English Flanders Optional, NL
English Wallonia Yes, FR
Other (e.g. Italian) Brussels Yes, FR/NL
Other (e.g. Italian) Flanders Yes, NL
Other (e.g. Italian) Wallonia Yes, FR

Placement of subtitles

  • Subtitles should be ideally located at the bottom of the screen, with a black/darkened background and white text.
  • They should not be lower than 10% of the screen height, and not higher than 20% of the screen height.
  • If the content doesn't allow bottom subtitles, top subtitles are allowed too.