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Thread: Mutual Intelligibility Between Old English and Modern Frisian

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    Question to Sybren: How mutually intelligible are Frisian and Low German/Low Saxon, if at all?

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    Senior Member Sybren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingvaeonic View Post
    Question to Sybren: How mutually intelligible are Frisian and Low German/Low Saxon, if at all?
    Not very much.

    I practically understand nothing from this for example:

    Low German

    But then again, someone in the comments says that he speaks Plattdeutsch and he doesn't understand a word of this...

    Edit: strange, i do understand quite a bit from the Low German part in this video:

    Low German video 2

    Maybe also because it is a well known text though. Still, besides that, it sounds much more familiar.


    Maybe some German Low Saxons can shed light on this?
    Bûter, brea en griene tsiis
    Wa't dat net sizze kin is gjin oprjochte Fries!

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    Both Frisian and Low German have a very similar cadence to spoken English. It is easy to see that they are kindred languages.

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    Senior Member Oslaf's Avatar
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    We should go back to the old ways. I like the idea of Anglish.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-S...guistic_purism

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingvaeonic View Post
    ...Didn't some English philologist write a book on how English would have evolved and developed had the Norman Conquest not taken place?
    This is the book I was thinking of when I wrote the above: How We'd Talk If The English Had Won in 1066 by David Cowley.

    http://www.amazon.com/How-Wed-Talk-E...pr_product_top

    I'm all for re-Saxonising English and implementing the reforms of the Anglish movement. English stripped of its Latin, Greek, and French words, and all the disconnected roots that these have produced, can only be better for the language. It is high time these foreign invaders of the language were sent packing and replaced with good, homely, easily understandable Anglo-Saxon words of pure Gemanic origins, a la Modern Frisian or Low German/Low Saxon.

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    Senior Member mvbeleg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sybren View Post
    Not very much.

    I practically understand nothing from this for example:

    Low German

    But then again, someone in the comments says that he speaks Plattdeutsch and he doesn't understand a word of this...

    Edit: strange, i do understand quite a bit from the Low German part in this video:

    Low German video 2

    Maybe also because it is a well known text though. Still, besides that, it sounds much more familiar.


    Maybe some German Low Saxons can shed light on this?

    I believe the first one is a North American variety of Plautdietsch [an East Low German dialect]. See the link below.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plautdietsch_language

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    Aka kentynet Northumbria's Avatar
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    I do wish left wingers here would stop referring to us as a 'Mongrel Nation'. A handful of different Celtic and Germanic tribes and ethnicities is hardly a massive mixture of cultures.

    Anyway, the video.

    Ich viel brugeen brun cuw dat maket....{incomprehensible- something on about milk?}
    I...................brown cow at market.............................

    But dis cuw is not de little brun cuw, is big grene cuw made out of metal

    So I don't think I really want to buy that. (almost no difference, could be a regional accent).

    Oi! = 'Oi' in modern English. Common in the south particularly, used to get attention although sometimes considered rude because it is usually shouted.

    'Hallo' - obvious.

    Ich sprache ald English, understanders dou me?
    I speak old English, understand thou me? ('thou' is uncommon but still used sometimes such as in the bible and law. I noticed it when studying German, that German sounded closer to Middle English than Modern, 'thou' was one such word I picked out)

    Ya - obvious

    Farmer speaks:..........................they (that) - a lot of farmers mumble around here too.

    Farmer: Ich aym (aim) a Friez - I am a Fries.

    Other guy - Ya, friez, elde English - obvious - yes Fries, Old English

    Ich wille rushen brun cuw
    I....will....(buy?)..brown cow

    Farmer: A bun cuw? - obvious

    ya - yeah

    I wille buchen, buchen
    I will buy, buy

    Dat maketh milcher
    That makes milk

    "you want to milk her" - basically the same.

    "You want a brun cow in England to milker" - milker could be milk 'er (milk her).

    Fadder cheese or fadder butter? - very easy

    Now - now

    last part - muttered, just about grasped it without the subtitles.




    I found that quite interesting, it wasn't too different.

    but the farmer spoke a little too quickly for it to be clear.
    Yeah, I found that.

    Hmm, i just saw some of the rest of this program (Mongrel Nation), which apparantly seems to be glorifying ethnic diversity, because all of Britain's greatness stems from other cultures through immigration.

    They seem to conveniently forget to mention yet again that all past immigration to Britain was composed of European peoples, most of them being of Germanic stock. Of course, this tiny little fact is of minor importance... So let's bring in all the cultures of the world, because England's history proved diversity brings greatness... Don't you just love rational reasoning.
    Yes, I picked up on that too. The BBC are the best at that, they love nothing more than telling the English that they're really "Germans" who forgot and that the Celts came from Central Europe.
    As I said, different tribes of two cultures hardly leads to a melting pot as the liberal multiculturalists would have us believe.

    Could it be that Scots as a language retained more of it's Anglo-Frisian origin than English?
    Scots is archaic Northern English, there's a few English dialects like it. A extinct dialect which the English took to Ireland (now extinct) was very archaic too, very Germanic sounding to me - Yola - it sounds like Middle English to me.

    I think that is highly likely. Lowland Scots is quite probably an older and purer form of English and it has been much less affected by change, and so it is closer to the original language. Even modern English in the 17th century was a more Germanic language than contemporary modern English. Modern English has had its Germanic character and characteristics watered down over the centuries and decades, especially with more and more Latin words introduced into the language.
    Northern England and Southern Scotland preserved the purer language better with less influences from Latin, but Northern dialects evolved faster than those in the south which borrowed more non-Germanic words.

    Basically it was scientists, scholars and the elite that introduced a lot of Latin and French into English in an attempt to reshape it as they felt it should sound.
    There was already some Latin and French, but the elites introduced much unnecessary vocabulary into it.

    English recently added its millionth word, more than 900,000 words will be obsolete or barely used and it is a ridiculous state of affairs - most such words are Latin, French and Greek.

    The core vocabulary of English, the basic words for communication are Germanic and haven't changed to much.
    Extending on that you get more French as the language shifts further away from everyday speech and into what are considered more sophisticated words (thanks to the aristocracy).
    People love to harp on about how much of English is French or Latin, but once the useless words are taken out the language would be at least 70% Germanic in my opinion, if not more.

    The Norman-French influence on Middle English set a trend in English to absorb other languages' words, which it did and does like a sponge. Had English not been so fundamentally Latinised by the influence of Norman-French and medieval Latin, English would have probably evolved into something very like modern Frisian or modern Low German/Low Saxon.
    Agreed. And this will never change, the elites will forever keep writing the dictionaries so that foreign words are just taken into the language whether they fit or belong there or not sadly.

    I think it'd sound like Dutch personally, I heard a few sound clips of Anglo-Saxon before - my first thoughts were "who's the Swedish bloke speaking the mangled Dutch?".

    And here's a picture of a couple of Stabijs:
    They look a bit like some spaniels we have here like the Springer Spaniel - they were bred for hunting fowl on the moors and in rivers in Anglia.




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    Aka kentynet Northumbria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oslaf View Post
    We should go back to the old ways. I like the idea of Anglish.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-S...guistic_purism
    I'm all for re-Saxonising English and implementing the reforms of the Anglish movement. English stripped of its Latin, Greek, and French words, and all the disconnected roots that these have produced, can only be better for the language. It is high time these foreign invaders of the language were sent packing and replaced with good, homely, easily understandable Anglo-Saxon words of pure Gemanic origins, a la Modern Frisian or Low German/Low Saxon.
    Yeah, I'm for doing away with the foreign loan words too. Loan words should be from Germanic and maybe a few Celtic only.
    We could fill in the gaps with old English words, make new words like the Icelanders do and borrow a few things from modern Frisian.

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