Walloon is a Romance language with about 600.000 speakers mainly in Walloonia (southern Belgium) and Brussels. It is also spoken in parts of northern France, Luxembourg and in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA. Walloon began to appear as a distinct language between the 8th and 12th centuries and started to appear in writing in the early 15th century. It is one of oïl languages and is closely related to Champagneois and Picard.
Walloon has no official status in Belgium and is not used in education, though there are many evening classes in the language. The majority of the population of Walloonia can understand the language, about a quarter can speak it and only a few can write it.