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Thread: A Frisian Subforum

  1. #11
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    Thanks Thusnelda. I would like to add that most, if not all, of the Frisians on this board in fact have Frisian as their ethnicity (and not Dutch or any other). I think that says a lot.

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    Senior Member Hemerik's Avatar
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    Let me be an example of that.

    I would certainly welcome a place to discuss particularly Frisian issues (and there are many, politically and linguistically) as well as the recognition that such a forum would represent. Therefore I heartily support this initiative.

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    Outstanding! Thank you, Hemerik.

    I took the liberty of translating the subtitle that is standard to every national/regional subforum:

    Wijd oan algemiene histoaryske, sosjale, taalkundige, polityke en kulturele ûnderwerpen oangeande it Fryske folk.

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    I would be totally up for a Frisian sub-forum as a distinct entity, but first one might wish to show beyond reasonable doubt that there is a need for such. This is achieved by posting threads that talk about Frisian interest that transcend the Dutch/German border.

    And moreover it is done by showing most importantly an identification by Frisians as being "Frisian, not Dutch" respectively "Frisian, not German" instead of an identification as "Frisian AND Dutch" resp. "Frisian AND German". This is what makes the Scottish case so clear, many Scottish Nationalists (well, most) see themselves more as "Scottish, not British".

    For otherwise Bernhard's objection is quite true: It'd qualify sub-forums for let's say us Bavarians. Not that I'd object but I don't see the cause for it since there's no question that we're Bavarian/Austrian AND German.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
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    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    [...] but first one might wish to show beyond reasonable doubt that there is a need for such. This is achieved by posting threads that talk about Frisian interest that transcend the Dutch/German border.
    Except, without an existing Frisian section, the current configuration doesn't really provide for creating threads in the Frisian language. If I understand the distinction between the languages correctly, it would even be against (or bending) the forum rules to open Frisian discussions in f.ex. the Dutch language section, or outside one of the language sections where the board language is English. This is one case where I'd think creating a section to facilitate future discussions, instead of to organise existing threads, would not be putting the cart in front of the horse.

    I think if the idea are unanimously supported by the board's Frisian members, and that they commit themselves to some discourse in Frisian in their own section, it would make even more sense than the Faroese section where there are no actual discussions in Faroese, only a few lonely quotes of interest, mostly placed by an American.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anlef View Post
    I'm pretty sure Frisians have a more distinct and sensed identity than the other groups you name. And I think that relatively speaking there are more far separatists among the Frisians.
    There are separatists in Bavaria as well, the Bavaria Party. Bavaria has more in common with Austria or Austro-Bavarian speaking Switzerland than the German North regarding dialect and local culture. However it doesn't negate the fact that Bavarians are Germans and placing a hierarchy, Bavarian first, German second, European third, and so on, isn't out of the ordinary.

    Also, I would certainly be open to the idea of a future subforum for the Saxons, since they number more than 30 million souls.
    I've never met or heard of any Saxons in Germany who would negate their German roots and prefer to associate with Saxons from the Netherlands or England.

    The Frisians are certainly not part of a linguistic continuum. There is a sharp divide in language between Fryslân and its neighbouring provinces. Most, if not all, people from the those provinces do not understand Frisian. Not even Groningers. And vice versa. This alone is enough to give them a place of their own.
    This argument alone would divide many German regions. Like some members said already, the case of Frisians as you've presented it so far is not unique.

    And consider this: Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxemburg are chucked together in a subforum called Die Deutschen Länder because they share the same language, even though they are all distinct political entities. The same goes for the Netherlands and Flanders. Following that logic, i.e. language is the key factor, Frisia should have its separate subforum.
    I don't think language is the key factor. The Yiddish are Germanic speakers, but there is no section for them. The key factor seems to be ethnicity. It explains why Germany and Austria share the same section. Germany and Austria are distinct only politically and because of post-war reeducation.

    But anyway, even Standard Austrian German differs in some ways from the German spoken in Germany, save for some Southern areas. It's not enough to separate us though.

    Considering the current arguments, for the moment, I'm also undecided about your suggestion. As Sigurd said, I also think a piece of the convincing evidence would be whether the Frisians don't consider themselves also Dutch.

    The Frisians of Germany, by the way, generally don't consider themselves distinct from the German identity as far as I know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Degenhard View Post
    Except, without an existing Frisian section, the current configuration doesn't really provide for creating threads in the Frisian language. If I understand the distinction between the languages correctly, it would even be against (or bending) the forum rules to open Frisian discussions in f.ex. the Dutch language section, or outside one of the language sections where the board language is English. This is one case where I'd think creating a section to facilitate future discussions, instead of to organise existing threads, would not be putting the cart in front of the horse.
    The same thing I could say about any German dialects. If someone started posting in Austro-Bavarian dialects, some German members from other regions wouldn't understand much and it wouldn't make sense to them.

    Like I said, it's not only Frisians who have a unique regional identity.
    THINK! It's not illegal yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anlef View Post
    I'm pretty sure Frisians have a more distinct and sensed identity than the other groups you name. And I think that relatively speaking there are more far separatists among the Frisians. Also, I would certainly be open to the idea of a future subforum for the Saxons, since they number more than 30 million souls.
    I think the distinct regional identities are actually very typical for all of the German-Dutch people. There are so many of them; you shouldn't underestimate the importance of this in other regions. I think for example that the sense of a distinct identity here in Limburg is the same as or perhaps even greater than in Frisia. But like I said before, if each distinct regional identity should be regarded as as a distinct nation, we would have way too many different sections on Skadi, which wouldn't be good for our board. There would hardly be any communication between these different groups or all different regional sections will lack activity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anlef View Post
    The Frisians are certainly not part of a linguistic continuum. There is a sharp divide in language between Fryslân and its neighbouring provinces. Most, if not all, people from the those provinces do not understand Frisian. Not even Groningers. And vice versa. This alone is enough to give them a place of their own. Add to that the previously stated fact that Frisians have been a distinct nation for longer than most Germanic nations, I think we should grant them this favour.
    According to this map of Hoppenbrouwers they are.
    Like Sissi said as well, this is true for many regions. Personally I can understand Frisian a bit whenever I hear it on tv. Yet when non-Limburgians hear me speak in dialect they never understand it. I'm not very convinced of this uniqueness of the Frisians compared to other regional identities (no offence to the Frisians of course). I also don't think they are linguistically such a unique case to be regarded as a complete different ethnicity from the Germans and the Dutch within the West-Germanic spectrum. I know that this is what many linguists think; I'm just not very convinced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anlef View Post
    I object to your claim that the distance between Limburgian and Dutch is greater than that between Frisian and Dutch. It is not. The Frisian vocabulary for one differs much more from the Dutch vocabulary than the Limburgian does. Also, Frisian is alone in many specific sound changes, whereas Limburgian shares many with neighbouring dialects. Like I said, Frisian is not part of a dialect continuum, while Limburgian is. Apart from that, Frisia has a literary culture to a much larger extent than Limburg does. And that is generally a large factor in determining whether a certain tongue is a language or a dialect.
    According to the research displayed on this map the dialects of Groningen and Limburg are removed from Dutch the most. I'm not an expert on Frisian language, but I could counter certain Frisian characteristics with Limburgian ones as well.
    Frisia does have a rich literary culture, I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anlef View Post
    And consider this: Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxemburg are chucked together in a subforum called Die Deutschen Länder because they share the same language, even though they are all distinct political entities. The same goes for the Netherlands and Flanders. Following that logic, i.e. language is the key factor, Frisia should have its separate subforum.
    No, because they are part of the Netherlands, just like all other regional languages/dialects in the Netherlands and Flanders.

    In short, I think the Frisians have a culture and identity worth preserving, but the same goes for all other regions. They remain (in my view) part of the German and Dutch nations. It's the richness and diversity of all these regions which together create our nations and I don't see a reason to create sections on Skadi forum for divisions within these nations.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Hemerik's Avatar
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    Frisia as a nation is centuries older than either Germany or the Netherlands. Sure, the Frisians have been more or less forcibly integrated into the current countries, but that does not mean that as a nation they do no longer exist. If you'd just drive through the current province of Friesland in the Netherlands, you'd see how many Frisian flags are waving, how the Frisian language is proudly being used... And I don't see how there can be any serious discussion whether or not Frisian is linguistically a language of its own. To suggest that it would be a Frankish or even a German dialect seems quite ridiculous. Of course it has been heavily influenced because of the political situation, but that is all the more reason to give it some room of its own now.

    By the way, I would suggest using the (unofficial) flag of Great Frisia, instead of that of the Dutch province Friesland.



    Frisian anthem

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sissi View Post
    There are separatists in Bavaria as well, the Bavaria Party. Bavaria has more in common with Austria or Austro-Bavarian speaking Switzerland than the German North regarding dialect and local culture. However it doesn't negate the fact that Bavarians are Germans and placing a hierarchy, Bavarian first, German second, European third, and so on, isn't out of the ordinary.
    Yes, thank you; Thusnelda already pointed that out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sissi View Post
    I've never met or heard of any Saxons in Germany who would negate their German roots and prefer to associate with Saxons from the Netherlands or England.
    It’s not about negating roots. The fact that I, a Saxon in the Netherlands, feel more at home and amongst my own in most of Saxon Germany than in the south of the Netherlands doesn’t mean I negate my Dutch roots. They’re just not as strong as my Saxon roots.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sissi View Post
    This argument alone would divide many German regions. Like some members said already, the case of Frisians as you've presented it so far is not unique.
    In the Netherlands, the Frisian case is unique. The Frisians have been a nation for more than 2000 years and have been speaking a language unintelligible to their direct(!) neighbours for over a thousand years. They’ve been struggling to keep their identity and language since they lost their independence 500 years ago. This board would be the last place where I expected to see people opposed to letting them have a place of their own.

    Maybe you’re right and similar cases could be made for certain regions/nations in Germany. But so what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sissi View Post
    I don't think language is the key factor. The Yiddish are Germanic speakers, but there is no section for them. The key factor seems to be ethnicity. It explains why Germany and Austria share the same section. Germany and Austria are distinct only politically and because of post-war reeducation.

    But anyway, even Standard Austrian German differs in some ways from the German spoken in Germany, save for some Southern areas. It's not enough to separate us though.

    Considering the current arguments, for the moment, I'm also undecided about your suggestion. As Sigurd said, I also think a piece of the convincing evidence would be whether the Frisians don't consider themselves also Dutch.

    The Frisians of Germany, by the way, generally don't consider themselves distinct from the German identity as far as I know.
    Do the majority of the Austrians and the German speaking Swiss and the Luxemburgers feel their ethnicity is ‘German’ rather than ‘Austrian’, ‘Swiss’ or ‘Luxemburgish’? If not, then why do they share a single subforum here?

    I know that only a small minority of the Dutch and the Flemish feel they are of one 'Great-Dutch' ethnicity rather than ‘Dutch’ or ‘Flemish’. Yet here they are lumped together. As far as I can recall most if not all the Flemish here have ‘Flemish’ as their ethnicity in their profile. Meanwhile, the Frisians here have ‘Frisian’ as their ethnicity.



    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
    I think the distinct regional identities are actually very typical for all of the German-Dutch people. There are so many of them; you shouldn't underestimate the importance of this in other regions. I think for example that the sense of a distinct identity here in Limburg is the same as or perhaps even greater than in Frisia. But like I said before, if each distinct regional identity should be regarded as as a distinct nation, we would have way too many different sections on Skadi, which wouldn't be good for our board. There would hardly be any communication between these different groups or all different regional sections will lack activity.
    It was never my suggestion that the Frisians are the only ones with a distinct regional identity. My point was that Frisian identity is significantly more distinct, especially with regard to language and history. Frisians have a long history as a nation, while Limburgers and Groningers do not. There is a slumbering awareness of an old Saxon nation, but if it were to be revived, there would hardly be much more division than now, since Saxons are so numerous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
    According to this map of Hoppenbrouwers they are.
    Like Sissi said as well, this is true for many regions. Personally I can understand Frisian a bit whenever I hear it on tv. Yet when non-Limburgians hear me speak in dialect they never understand it. I'm not very convinced of this uniqueness of the Frisians compared to other regional identities (no offence to the Frisians of course). I also don't think they are linguistically such a unique case to be regarded as a complete different ethnicity from the Germans and the Dutch within the West-Germanic spectrum. I know that this is what many linguists think; I'm just not very convinced.
    Concerning that map: those light green areas in Frisia are where a Saxon dialect is spoken with some Frisian influences (Kollumerlands and Stellingwerfs). They form a continuum with the other Saxon dialects, but not with the Frisian dialects.

    I think the people on this board generally have a higher understanding of other Germanic languages. So it's no wonder you understand a bit of Frisian, more than non-Limburgers understand Limburgs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
    According to the research displayed on this map the dialects of Groningen and Limburg are removed from Dutch the most. I'm not an expert on Frisian language, but I could counter certain Frisian characteristics with Limburgian ones as well.
    Frisia does have a rich literary culture, I agree.
    Hoppenbrouwers uses a method called featurefrequentiemethode (FFM). It only measures how frequently each of the different phonemes are used in each of the different dialects, and then plots a distance. That is all. It ignores the actual distribution within each dialect of those phonemes over all the different words. A Groninger can say gruin hoes ‘green house’, while a Dutchman would say groen huis ‘green house’. The frequency of ui and oe is the same in both cases, but they are distributed differently. And so an important difference between Gronings and Dutch is overlooked. Similarly, Frisian indeed uses a lot of the same phonemes as Dutch, but has a wildly different distribution.

    Furthermore, the difference between Gronings and Dutch is much exaggerated with this method, because of the extremely high frequency in Gronings of syllabic consonants, i.e. Groningers have a tendency to swallow unstressed syllables (especially at the end of verbs). Yet it is but a single structural difference.

    Most importantly though, FFM says absolutely nothing about differences in syntaxis and vocabulary, which are of course very important.

    There is no doubt about it: the Frisian language differs most from standard Dutch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
    No, because they are part of the Netherlands, just like all other regional languages/dialects in the Netherlands and Flanders.

    In short, I think the Frisians have a culture and identity worth preserving, but the same goes for all other regions. They remain (in my view) part of the German and Dutch nations. It's the richness and diversity of all these regions which together create our nations and I don't see a reason to create sections on Skadi forum for divisions within these nations.
    My friend, you will see more Frisian than Dutch flags waving in Frisia, as Hemerik already pointed out. In fact, per capita you will see more Frisian flags waving in Frisia than Dutch flags in the Netherlands. There is no question the Frisians have a more distinct identity and self-awareness than all the other people in the Netherlands.

    I think it's ridiculous the Færoese have their own subforum while the Frisians do not. I can't think of a single Germanic nation as old as the Frisians. The Frisians have remained a distinct nation for more than 2000 years, while every other Germanic nation or tribe has fused with other nations or tribes, or has simply fallen apart.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Sybren's Avatar
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    Why are some people so reluctant to this?

    Anlef's idea is creating a space for a Germanic folk that, regarding their significance in history, should be entitled to one. And his idea also is to educate others about this and attract more Frisians. These are positive things, so i don't see why someone would oppose to bestow this upon their Germanic neighbours and brethren. Also, Anlef isn't even Frisian himself, so it cannot even be out of selfish reasons.

    And how anybody can compare other regional groups like the Limburgians to the Frisians is beyond me. And i don't mean that in any way to be elitist and/or offensive. As already has been said more than one time, Frisia predates most other Dutch regional groups by far. About half of the Netherlands wás Frisia in old times.

    About the Frisian versus Dutch ethnicity: of course Frisians know they are officially part of the Netherlands nowadays. But every Frisian i have talked with about this subject, says he or she is Frisian first and foremost. However, i don't think this should be taken into account much when deciding to create a Frisian subforum, because those feelings of identifying with a regional group are very common among others too and can come into existence in a relatively short period of time. In my opinion the defining properties of the Frisians are their millennia-long existence, their importance in history, their high level of homogeneity and their factual differences from the rest of the Dutch in area's like language, customs, character, etc.

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