We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Frisian?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Language & Humanities is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Language & Humanities, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Frisian refers to a group of languages that are Germanic in origin. Modern Frisian is spoken in the Netherlands, and is one of the Netherlands’ two official languages. It is also a minority language in Germany. It is also one of the two closet relatives to Anglo-Saxon, or old English, which forms the basis for most English language.

Though this language may be a relative to Anglo-Saxon, a modern English speaker cannot understand most Frisian words. Both Danish and Dutch modern speakers can recognize some words due to contact during the Hanseatic League, though the languages are not directly related.

There are three different varieties of Frisian. The most commonly spoken in the Netherlands is West Frisian. In Germany, East and North Frisian are most commonly used. Each language may have several different dialects. Some of these dialects are no longer used or spoken, and some are considered endangered languages because there are few speakers left.

Ease of understanding one dialect over another depends upon dialectical differences and also upon the degree of variety between the three types. In fact in most cases a speaker of one dialect would not be able to understand a speaker of another. Thus some linguists feel that the three variants are actually three separate languages and should be described as such.

There are few examples Frisian literature in any of the three varieties. No writing exists prior to the 1200s. Gysbert Japix is considered the best-known Frisian poet with works published in the 17th century. He advocated a return to writing in the language, which was followed by later poets and may have helped to preserve the language in the Netherlands. Most often, however, language used for writing in the Netherlands was and is Dutch, since Dutch was named the official language at the end of the 15th century.

Language & Humanities is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Language & Humanities contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon37807 — On Jul 22, 2009

It's very sad that East Frisian is dying off. I really despise the Netherlands for not trying to preserve this.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Language & Humanities contributor,...
Learn more
Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.