Flemish/Dutch is sort of a cross between German and English, so if you sound out the words you can often figure out what they mean.
Something I know a little about..... I'm of Dutch origin.
The original Germanic language split into Northern and Western Branches. The Northern branch spawned the Scandinavian languages: Norwegian, Swedish and Danish, as well as Icelandic and Faroese. The Western branch begat English, Dutch, German and Frisian. The latter spoken in one of the Northern provinces of The Netherlands.
There are two languages spoken in Belgium. Dutch and French. That said, they call their version of Dutch Flemish which is technically a dialect. I can speak with them when they use their school language and haven't had their fifth Duvel yet. Beyond that there is a whole vocabulary of it's own. Kinda like talking to someone in a dark bar in England or Ireland after midnight. He's speaking English, but that doesn't mean you can understand him.
Meanwhile the language thing in Belgium is not unlike the Quebec situation. Basically they've been burning each others books for a few thousand years. Once Vlaanderen (the Northern part where Vlaams or Flemish is spoken) was a part of Holland (The Netherlands) and the South was French. Although one country now, the two halves still have, eh, their differences.
And yes, a lot of people speak English.
The smoking thing is very divisive in the countries themselves. Don't know the Belgian situation, but I know Holland, after an all out ban is now allowing family owned and operated establishments to set their own policy. As an ex smoker I want nothing to do with the odor.
OK, back to beer talk now.