World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

East Frisian Low Saxon

Article Id: WHEBN0000185362
Reproduction Date:

Title: East Frisian Low Saxon  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Frisian languages, East Frisia, Northern Low Saxon, Low German, Frisia
Collection: Culture of Lower Saxony, German Dialects, Low German
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

East Frisian Low Saxon

East Frisian Low Saxon
Native to Germany
Region East Frisia
Native speakers
unknown (undated figure of 2,000 in Germany (2003);
3,000 in other countries)[1]
mainly older adults
Language codes
ISO 639-2 frs
ISO 639-3 frs
Glottolog east2288[2]

East Frisian Low Saxon is one of the Friso-Saxon dialects, a West Low German dialect spoken in the East Frisian peninsula of northwestern Lower Saxony. It is used quite frequently in everyday speech there. About half of the East Frisian population in the coastal region uses Platdüütsk. A number of individuals, despite not being active speakers of Low Saxon, are able to understand it to some extent. However, both active and passive language skills are in a state of decrease.

East Frisian Low Saxon is not to be confused with the Eastern Frisian language; the latter, spoken by about 2,000 individuals in the Saterland region, is a Frisian language, not Low German.

There are several dialects in East Frisian Low Saxon. There are two main groups of dialects. The dialects in the east, called Harlinger Platt, are strongly influenced by Northern Low Saxon of Oldenburg. The western dialects are closer to the Low Saxon Language spoken in the Dutch province of Groningen, Gronings.[3]

East Frisian Low Saxon differs from Northern Low Saxon in several aspects, which are often linked to Frisian heritage. The language originally spoken in East Frisia and Groningen was Frisian, so the current Low Saxon dialects build on a Frisian substrate, which has led to a large amount of unique lexical, syntactic, and phonological items which differ from other Low Saxon variants.

East Frisian features frequent use of diminutives, as in the Dutch language, e.g. Footjes = little feet, Kluntje = piece of sugar. In many cases, diminutives of names, especially female ones, have become names of their own. For example: Antje (from Anna), Trientje (from Trina = Katharina) etc.

The dialects spoken in East Frisia are closely related to those spoken in the Dutch province of Groningen (Grunnegs, Grünnigs) and in Northern Drenthe (Noordenvelds). The biggest difference seem to be that of loanwords (from Dutch or German, resp.).

East Frisian Low Saxon Gronings Northern Low Saxon English
[høːə] [høːə] [eə] her
[moːi] [moːi] [ʃœːin] beautiful, nice, fine
[vas] [vas] [vɛ.iə] was
[ɡebøːrɪn] [ɣəbøːrɪn] [passe.rn] to happen
[prɔ.tɪn, proːtɪn] [pro.tɪn] [snakɪn] to talk

The standard greeting is Moin (moi in Gronings), used 24 hours a day. Its use has spread from East Frisia to the whole of northern Germany, and it is heard more and more in the rest of Germany as well.

External links

  • Low Saxon Office at the Ostfriesische Landschaft
  • Ostfreeske Taal
  • Diesel - dat oostfreeske Bladdje, the trilingual East Frisian newspaper
  • Project for an alternative Orthography


  1. ^ East Frisian Low Saxon at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "East Frisian Low Saxon".  
  3. ^
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.