Historical figures teach Flemish children French via new app


A new digital application developed by Flemish publishers Die Keure introduces Dutch-speaking children to French words and phrases and the Brussels of yesteryear

Bonjour monsieur Merckx!

Children can now prepare their first French lessons using the new mobile application BJR BXL, short for Bonjour Bruxelles. Flemish publisher Die Keure developed the educational app with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund.

The digital lessons are meant to help children transition smoothly into their first French lessons in the third year of primary school. BJR BXL teaches children how to introduce themselves and provides basic vocabulary and phrases around themes, like family, colours, transport and hobbies.

Four historical Belgian figures play a main role in the app: Pioneering anatomist Andreas Vesalius, innovative architect Victor Horta, King Boudewijn and cycling legend Eddy Merckx all show children the Brussels of their respective historical period through images and animations in French.

“Children get to know French words and sayings by hearing them through our app,” said publishing director Nic Pappijn of Die Keure. “We support what they hear with pictures and a word image, so they know immediately what it signifies. Through repetition and playful exercises, the children memorise the words and proverbs, eventually using them themselves.”

BJR BXL was created through the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund’s game division, which stimulates and financially assist the development of games in the region. The game fund is supported by Flemish media minister Sven Gatz and education minister Hilde Crevits.