West Frisian language

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West Frisian
Native speakers 470,000  (2001)
Language family
Official status
Official language in Netherlands
Language codes
ISO 639-1 fy
ISO 639-2 fry
ISO 639-3 fry
Linguasphere 52-ACA-b
Frisian languages in Europe.svg
     West Frisian      North Frisian      Saterland Frisian

West Frisian (Dutch: Fries) is a language that is mainly spoken in Friesland, Netherlands. As of 2005, 94% of the people in Friesland understand West Frisian, 74% can speak it, 75% can read it and 27% can write it[1].

Alphabet and grammar[change | change source]

West Frisian and Dutch signs in Hindeloopen.

West Frisian uses the Latin alphabet. A,E,O and U can sometimes have unique accents added to them.

In Western Frisian, there are two types of genders that nouns can have. One is the common gender (where both the male and female genders are put together). The other type is a neutral gender noun.

Like many other languages, West Frisian has singular and plural nouns. The two main suffixes used in the language, are "-(e)n" and "-s."

West Frisian also used three types of verbs: weak, strong and irregular.

Dutch model Doutzen Kroes speaks West Frisian.

Status[change | change source]

After a series of riots by pro-Frisian activists, West Frisian became an official language in the Netherlands in 1956.

West Frisian is a required subject in schools in Friesland. Courts in Friesland speak West Frisian. People in court are allowed to go under oath speaking West Frisian.

References[change | change source]

  1. Provinsje Fryslân (2007), Fluchhifking Fryske Taal.