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Native toBelgium
Language family
  • Italic
    • Romance
      • Western Romance
        • Gallo-Romance
          • Oïl
            • Borain
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Borain is an oil language spoken in the Belgian region of Borinage.[1]

Geographic distribution[edit]

The Borain sprachraum does not exactly correspond to the geographical boundaries of Borinage. Of the 18 localities that constitute it, only 9 of them can be considered as belonging to the same dialectal group: Cuesmes, Flénu, Jemappes, Pâturages, Quaregnon, Warquignies, Wasmes and Wasmuël. Also, Borain is absolutely uniform in only 3 villages: Pâturages, Wasmes and Quaregnon. In the last century, particularisms made it possible to identify the speaker's place of origin.

Three Boran dialectal groups can be distinguished. The differences between these groups can be highlighted by observing the conjugation of the verb canté (to sing), in the imparfait and conditional present tense.

A first group, located in the northern part of Borinage which includes: Flénu, Jemappes, Pâturages, Quaregnon, Saint-Ghislain, Warquignies, Wasmes and Wasmuël :

Differences must be observed within this first group and three subgroups must be distinguished:

  1. first subgroup : Flénu and Jemappes.
  2. second subgroup : Quaregnon and Wasmuël.
  3. third subgroup : Wasmes, Warquignies and Pâturages.
First group (imparfait)
1st subgroup 2nd subgroup 3rd subgroup
Dj'cantos Dj'cantos De cantos
Tu cantos Tu cantos Tu cantos
I cantot I cantot I cantot
Nos cantinnes Nos cantennes Nos cantonnes
Vos cantétes Vos cantétes Vos cantétes
I cantinne I cantoête I cantonte
First group (conditional present)
1st subgroup 2nd subgroup 3rd subgroup
Dj'cantros Dj'cantros De cantros
Tu cantros Tu cantros Tu cantros
I cantrot I cantrot I cantrot
Nos cantrinnes Nos cantrennes Nos cantronnes
Vos cantrétes Vos cantrétes Vos cantrétes
I cantrinne I cantroête I cantronte

A second group, in the east: Cuesmes, Eugies, Frameries and La Bouverie.

Second group (imparfait)
Dju cant
Tu cantoûs
I cantoût
Nos cantinnes
Vos cantée
I cantinne
Second group (conditional present)
Dju cantroû
Tu cantroûs
I cantroût
Nos cantrinnes
Vos cantrée
I cantrinne

And a third group, in the west: Boussu, Dour, Élouges and Hornu, in which two subgroups can be distinguished:

  1. first subgroup : Boussu and Hornu.
  2. second subgroup : Élouges and Dour.
Third group (imparfait)
1st subgroup 2nd subgroup
J'cant J'canteus
Tu cantwés Tu canteus
I cantwét I canteut
Nos cantwétes Nos canteutes
Vos cantwétes Vos canteutes
I cantwéte I canteute
Third group (conditional present)
1st subgroup 2nd subgroup
J'cantrwé J'cantreus
Tu cantrwés Tu cantreus
I cantrwét I cantreut
Nos cantrwétes Nos cantreutes
Vos cantrwétes Vos cantreutes
I cantrwéte I cantreute

The final "s" are generally silent.


  1. Roland Coulon (1992). L'Alion de Colfontaine (in français). Saint-Ghislain: Cercle d'histoire et d'archéologie de Saint-Ghislain et de la region. p. 3. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png


Alain Jouret, 1914-1918 dans la région de Mons-Borinage. En patois et en images, Saint-Ghislain, 2018, 512 p. (Publication extraordinaire du Cercle d'histoire et d'archéologie de Saint-Ghislain et de la région, 17).

This article "Borain" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Borain. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.