Belgian FN box


#1

This is my first Belgian box, I am taken aback by double language French-Dutch label. I am aware of Belgian origin as a country and internal language and cultural frictions. My Belgian relatives used to come to the USSR and I grew up with Belgian stories and toys. Up to now I just saw Belgian ammo as lone rounds, never a whole box. Is it normal (i.e.usual) for Belgian ammo to be imprinted in 2 languages?
P.S. A kind of a WWII story. One of my relatives from Liege was taken as an interpreter by advancing British since he spoke Russian and English in addition to the usual stuff. One morning British soldiers got an order to advance against Germans but their field kitchen bringing breakfast broke some distance away and they did not get their morning food. So the soldiers refused to fight until the food was finally expedited to them and they got their bellies full. This story always amazed us in Moscow, because if that happened in the Red Army, one would be just shot on the spot.


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#2

To clarify my question above, look, here is a box made at the same place just months before and it is only in French.
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#3

It is quite common. The Belgian language barrier is one that has plagued the Belgians just about as long as the country exists. The Dutch speaking part will not accept the French language as the official language and vice versa. So anything official will usually be bilingual.


#4

Those are some nice boxes. Here are 3 of mine.


#5

Just an advice…The bilingual Belgian state has French and Flemish as their official languages ( “Vlamminge”), Not “Dutch” although the two are similar (just as Afrikaans is a Dutch derived language). Don’t insult the Belgians calling one of their languages “Dutch” please.
It was common practice for FN to use bi-lingual labels on all their ammo, both Military and Commercial, before WW II.
Even after WWII, when free production resumed, the Belgian Military contracts remained bilingual. Foreign contracts were usually in the Language of the commissioning customer, or in French, or English.

Interesting the Germanic influence on the information on the label about Powder etc. (From FN’s pre-WW I control by DWM/DM).

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics
Brisbane.


#6

Doc,

I live close enough to Belgium to know the difference. ‘Dutch’ is well accepted as it is ‘Dutch’ that they are speaking (although some think otherwise) :)

The Flemish are ‘Nederlandstalig’.