Toponymic Lexicon of
French Flanders

This section was written by

Jean Frutsaert
rue des Aviateurs 4
B-1450 Chastre

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French - Dutch/Flemish       Dutch/Flemish - French

French Flanders

In the past, Flanders occupied a broader territory as it is today. The County of Flanders extended in particular to the South-West and nearly covered today's French "Départements" of the Nord and Pas-de-Calais. The so-called Pyrenean treaty of 1659 gave the Artois region to France. In 1667, Louis XIVth annexed the Southern part of Flanders (Lille). After the Holland war, the Nijmegen treaty cut down again from Flanders another part of his territories, at the advantage of France.

These regions, being during four or five centuries a part of Flanders, were deeply influenced by the Flemish culture and language. This influence left traces up to today. When looking at a recent map it is remarkable to observe a great number of towns, villages or rivers having typically Flemish names. However, the increasing domination of the French language imposed to "translate" as well as possible some of these toponyms. It is often a simple adaptation to the spelling rules or to the French language customs, but in many cases the correspondance between both languages is not evident. The genealogist may often fall in perplexity and be unable to find the link between two toponyms. To help his research, the present list has been put available to him. It is divided in two parts, one by French names alphabetical order, and then by Dutch/Flemish names ("Nederlands").

Any remark, correction or addition is welcome.

French - Dutch/Flemish       Dutch/Flemish - French