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Thread: A Frisian Subforum

  1. #1
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    A Frisian Subforum



    I propose we open a regional subforum dedicated to Fryslân (i.e. Frisia).

    Of course Frisia is not a sovereign country at present, but neither are the Føroyar. And while the people of the Føroyar number less than 50,000 souls there are more than 600.000 souls in the Dutch province Fryslân.



    The Frisians have a very long history as a distinct tribe/nation and are still practically a nation to this day, notwithstanding their Dutch citizenship. The average Frisian has a relatively high sense of ethnic (Frisian) identity. Add to that the fact that Frisian is still a very distinct language; the distance between Norwegian, Swedish and Danish for example is smaller than that between Frisian and Dutch.

    Of course we have only a few Frisian members right now, but having a Frisian subforum might increase general interest in Frisian culture and attract new Frisians.

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    Senior Member The Aesthete's Avatar
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    I would also like to see this come into effect

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    Personally I don't think we need a frisian subforum. It would also mean that we have to create distinct subforums for Franks, Saxons, Bavarians, Swabians etc. All of these groups of course have a distinct identity, yet they all belong to the Dutch or German nation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anlef
    Of course Frisia is not a sovereign country at present, but neither are the Føroyar. And while the people of the Føroyar number less than 50,000 souls there are more than 600.000 souls in the Dutch province Fryslân.
    The difference with the Føroyar isles is that (because they are geographically isolated) they have a language and culture which is completely distinct from the danish language and culture. They are a distinct ethnicity. With Frisians this is a lot more problematic (like with any other German/Dutch regional group), because they are part of a linguistic, ethnic and cultural continuum.
    Furthermore the topics concerning Frisia can, as a part of Germany and the Netherlands, be discussed in the German or Dutch sections. For the Føroyar this is less practical, again because of the geographical isolation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anlef
    Add to that the fact that Frisian is still a very distinct language; the distance between Norwegian, Swedish and Danish for example is smaller than that between Frisian and Dutch.
    And the distance between Limburgian and Dutch is even greater than the distance between Frisian and Dutch. The same goes for some other dialects/regional languages in the Netherlands and probably Germany as well.
    Because Germany, the Netherlands and Flanders are a dialect continuum it is pretty hard to establish ethnic borders within this continuum, because they don't really exist. Therefor it is best, in my opinion, to uphold the current distinction which is based on political differences and differences in standardized language.

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    Senior Member Sybren's Avatar
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    I think it's a great idea!

    What Anlef says is quite true, many Frisians see themselves as a seperate people apart from the Dutch.

    Of course the modern Frisian language has had many influences from Dutch, but it is still a real separate language, which you cannot say for the other regional "languages" spoken in the Netherlands for they are just dialects.

    And isn't it so that Frisians have a more defined (by borders f.e.) homecountry than Saxons, Franks, etc.?

    I would like to contribute to this sub-forum off course (if i can..). The only gripe i can think of, is there aren't many of us here it seems... But i don't doubt that Anlef knows a lot more about Frisian culture than myself So he would probably be the driving force behind it And it could indeed attract more Frisians.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sybren View Post
    Of course the modern Frisian language has had many influences from Dutch, but it is still a real separate language, which you cannot say for the other regional "languages" spoken in the Netherlands for they are just dialects.
    No, there are two other officially recognized regional languages in the Netherlands besides Frisian.

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    Senior Member Sybren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
    No, there are two other officially recognized regional languages in the Netherlands besides Frisian.
    You seem to be right. The other regional languages are Nedersaksisch (low Saxon) and Limburgs.

    I thought they were considered dialects, my bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
    Personally I don't think we need a frisian subforum. It would also mean that we have to create distinct subforums for Franks, Saxons, Bavarians, Swabians etc. All of these groups of course have a distinct identity, yet they all belong to the Dutch or German nation.
    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.

    The difference with the Føroyar isles is that (because they are geographically isolated) they have a language and culture which is completely distinct from the danish language and culture. They are a distinct ethnicity. With Frisians this is a lot more problematic (like with any other German/Dutch regional group), because they are part of a linguistic, ethnic and cultural continuum.
    Furthermore the topics concerning Frisia can, as a part of Germany and the Netherlands, be discussed in the German or Dutch sections. For the Føroyar this is less practical, again because of the geographical isolation.
    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.

    And the distance between Limburgian and Dutch is even greater than the distance between Frisian and Dutch. The same goes for some other dialects/regional languages in the Netherlands and probably Germany as well.
    Because Germany, the Netherlands and Flanders are a dialect continuum it is pretty hard to establish ethnic borders within this continuum, because they don't really exist. Therefor it is best, in my opinion, to uphold the current distinction which is based on political differences and differences in standardized language.
    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.

    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.

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    I agree with Bernhard, it would be overkill.

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    And I just realised Scotland has its own subforum. Scotland isn’t an independent nation either. It hasn’t been for more than 300 years. Frisia, by comparison, lost its independence 500 years ago. Yet Frisia has a much stronger linguistic identity. Apart from the mere 1% of the Scots who speak Scottish Gaelic, only 30% of the Scots speak fluent Scots, while a strong 74% of the Frisians speak fluent Frisian (and a whopping 95% understand it). Remember: Frisian is unintelligible to the vast majority of non-Frisians in neighbouring provinces or elsewhere. A further illustration: there are more people with Frisian as their native and daily language than there are with Icelandic.

    And to mention Scotland once more: I feel it’s a shame that the Frisians, who have been around as a Germanic nation since before Tacitus mentioned them, have no place of their own, while the Scots, who are only recently (and not even fully) germanised Celts, dó. (Just to be clear, I have nothing against the Scots; I love them. And I consider the Celts the only true brethren to us Germanics.)

    It’s not much to ask, really. Especially from a board like this one. And it’s no overkill either, since there are more Frisians active on this board than Icelanders, Færoese, Swiss and Austrians. Also, the opening of a Frisian subforum does not automatically mean a Bavarian subforum (to name an example) would need to be opened too. For the simple reason that no-one has asked for one yet.

    One last thing: the anthropologist Carleton Coon, though he did his work midway during the 20th century, thought Frisia merited its own discussion. That adds to the case that Frisia is relatively distinct.

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    Well, I think Anlef has a point. Frisians are quite unique and have an own language and culture. Plus, they are split into two different countries and have a minority status there. Frisians seem to be relatively unmixed with other ethnicities and it is our goal to give room to different Germanic cultures and tribes. I don´t think an own sub-forum for Frisians would overburden our board. We don´t have many Frisian members yet but I hope we can get some more in the future.

    But that´s just my opinion. People know that I´m all in favour of regionalism and local patriotism so I would grant the proud Frisians the honor. Frisians and Bavarians have something in common: We both have a very strong regionalism and kind of tribal pride. "Mia san mia!" is the Bavarian slogan and the Frisian one is "Lever dod as slav!".

    Quote Originally Posted by Sybren View Post
    And isn't it so that Frisians have a more defined (by borders f.e.) homecountry than Saxons, Franks, etc.?
    Franks, Bavarians or Saxons have their own defined borders and home regions as well: Counties, administrative districts or federal states.

    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.
    Don´t underestimate the level of local patriotism and regionalism of us Bavarians. Such signs aren´t uncommon on local Bavarian cars ("We speak Bavarian - and you?"):



    There´s even a political party (Bayernpartei) who works for the full independence of Bavaria from Germany.

    "Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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