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Thread: The North Frisians in Germany

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    The North Frisians in Germany

    The North Frisians live on the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein – from the German-Danish border region in the north to the more southern town of Bredstedt (district of North Friesland). Also the islands Sylt, Föhr, Amrum and Helgoland (district of Pinneberg) and a number of small islands, the “Halligen” are part of the area where North Frisian is being spoken.

    History

    The historical area of settlement of the Frisians, a Germanic people, lies on the southern North Sea coast between the rivers Rhine and Weser. The Frisians were first mentioned in the year 12 BC, when the Roman commander Drusus concluded patron-client agreements with them.

    In two waves in the eight and eleventh century Frisian groups moved to North Friesland. The Frisians lived in administrative units called “Harde” like they existed everywhere in the Danish kingdom. The borders between the different “Hardes” were mostly formed by wide and marshy glacial valleys.

    The North Frisians never had a state of their own, but for a long time they could maintain their own political independence, for instance in the administration of justice and in the area of dike building and maintenance.

    The landscape of North Friesland is mainly characterised by floods, of which the so-called “Mandränken” in the years 1362 and 1634 were the most severe. In the 17th and 18th century North Friesland experienced a period of economic prosperity; virtually the entire male population went on whale-hunt to Greenland and some of them became very wealthy because of whaling and seal hunting. The most important economic sectors in later centuries were mainly agriculture and later tourism.

    The history of North Friesland is characterised by a feeling of regional identity, which also today is still very strong. The district of North Friesland as an administrative unit was established not until 1970. Until 1864 North Friesland was part of the Danish state, afterwards it belonged to Prussia and Germany. The place in the middle of German and Danish cast a shadow over the national-political development of North Friesland since the 19th century and made it difficult to establish Frisian structures of its own.

    Legal situation

    Since 1998 the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities also protects the Frisians. The constitution of Schleswig-Holstein provides protection and support for the Frisian minority since 1990.

    The regional parliament of Schleswig-Holstein decided in 2004 to adopt an Act on the Promotion of Frisian in the Public Area (in Frisian: Friisk Gesäts; Gesäts fort stipen foont friisk önj e öfentlikhäid; in German: Friesengesetz; Gesetz zur Förderung des Friesischen im öffentlichen Raum). It provides the basis for bilingual signs in North Friesland and Helgoland, which is clearly visible. A number of municipalities have bilingual place name signs and the signs in North Frisian train stations are also bilingual. Also regional authorities like tax offices or police stations in North Friesland and in Helgoland have bilingual signposting. With this Act Frisian became the second official language in North Friesland and in Helgoland.

    Constitution of the Land of Schleswig-Holstein in the version of 13 June 1990, as changed by statute 2/2004 GVOBl. Schl.-H. S. 54 (Verfassung des Landes Schleswig-Holstein in der Fassung vom 13. Juni 1990, zuletzt geändert durch ein Gesetz 2/2004 GVOBl. Schl.-H. S. 54 – Auszug) (in German)
    Act on the Promotion of Frisian in the Public Area (Gesetz zur Förderung des Friesischen im öffentlichen Raum / Gesäts fort stipen foont friisk önj e öfentlikhäid (Friesisch-Gesetz – FriesischG) Vom 13. Dezember 2004 (GVOBl. Schl.-H. 2004 S. 481))

    Organisations

    The Interfrisian Council is the umbrella organisation that brings together the North Frisians and East Frisians in Germany with the West Frisians who are living in the Netherlands.

    The two largest North Frisian associations are the North Frisian Association (Nordfriesische Verein e.V.) and the Friisk Foriining. They are umbrellas for several smaller local associations and groups. All the North Frisian organisations work together in the Frisian Council Section North. This is the main interlocutory partner for the Federal Republic of Germany, the Land of Schleswig-Holstein, the district of North Friesland and its municipalities. The local Frisian associations are highly committed to accomplishing a wide variety of cultural work. Next to language-related issues they also work on Frisian traditions and customs, and typical architecture, which foster Frisian history and are part of the Frisian identity.



    • Interfrisian Council
    • North Frisian Association (Nordfriesischer Verein e.V.) (in German)
    • Friisk Foriining (in German)
    • Frisian Council Section North


    The „Nordfriisk Instituut“ in Bredstedt is very important for cultivating the Frisian language, culture and history, as it is the main scientific institute. It considers itself as building bridges between theory and practice, between science and laymen research. The institute is mainly active in the field of language, history and regional studies, both scientifically and journalistically. The institute has a specialised library and an archive, it publishes magazines and books in German and in Frisian, offers courses, lectures, conferences and working groups. The work is foremost covered by grants from the Land of Schleswig-Holstein and by circa 850 members of the Association of the Nordfriisk Instituut.

    Education

    Like is the case for most linguistic minorities the teaching of and about its own language in schools and kindergartens is of great importance for the North Frisian minority. The North Frisians do not have a school system of their own. Instead Frisian is taught in public schools and in some schools of the Danish minority. An exception is the Danish private school in Risum – this is the only bilingual school where Danish, German and Frisian are also taught outside the language lessons. The school is an elementary / comprehensive school until 8th or 9th grade, and is one of the 46 schools of the Danish minority.

    Generally Frisian is only taught in the third and fourth grade for two hours in the week, and on a voluntary basis.

    Frisian can be studied at the universities of Kiel and Flensburg. Since 1950 there is the so-called North Frisian Dictionary Department (Nordfriesische Wörterbuchstelle) in Kiel, which is managed by the professor for Frisian, a position established in 1978. The Frisian department at Flensburg University mainly aims at training Frisian teachers; teaching and research take place in close cooperation with the Nordfriisk Instituut and the Ferring-Foundation.

    General Frisian language courses for beginners and advanced students are offered by Frisian associations, community colleges, cultural groups and also privately. Each autumn “Friisk Foriining” offers the “Friisk Harfsthuuchschölj”: with courses and activities that are all taking place in Frisian for young and old. Furthermore the “Friisk Foriining” organises cultural and language travels to other minorities, like for examples a visit to the Sorbs in the surroundings of Bautzen or to the Welsh or to Cornwall.

    According to Steensen (2010) the North Frisian language remains endangered, despite all the efforts. Some of the dialects will soon have faded away and Frisian will never again be the widespread common speech of a village, because the social fabric has totally changed. Nowadays Frisian is used in new situations, especially young people recognise its opportunities. As a traditional language that exists only in this region, and nowhere else in the world, it has the ability to continue characterising the identity of the people and to create a sense of regional belonging. (Steensen (2010) “Nordfriesland und die Friesen”, p. 30)
    http://language-diversity.eu/en/know...n-deutschland/

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    If there's any place in Europe where English ought to be spoken, it's Friesland. I don't care whether Normandy or Gibraltar are Anglophonic; I think it's important to maintain Ingvaeonic distinction from surrounding folks. If Frisians embrace English, then both Saxons and Jutes should follow; Danes also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodskarl Dubhgall View Post
    If there's any place in Europe where English ought to be spoken, it's Friesland.
    One could also say - "As der in plak yn Ingelân wêryn't Fryske sprekt wurde moat, is it Ingelân."
    Last edited by Hammish; Friday, June 15th, 2018 at 05:43 AM. Reason: HTML

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodskarl Dubhgall View Post
    If there's any place in Europe where English ought to be spoken, it's Friesland. I don't care whether Normandy or Gibraltar are Anglophonic; I think it's important to maintain Ingvaeonic distinction from surrounding folks. If Frisians embrace English, then both Saxons and Jutes should follow; Danes also.

    Why should any of them throw away their almost perfectly germanic languages for English, which:

    A significant portion of the English vocabulary comes from Romance and Latinate sources. Estimates of native words (derived from Old English) range from 20%–33%, with the rest made up of outside borrowings. A portion of these borrowings come directly from Latin, or through one of the Romance languages, particularly Anglo-Norman and French, but some also from Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish; or from other languages (such as Gothic, Frankish or Greek) into Latin and then into English.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreig...ces_in_English

    ??????

    How does using so many greek, latin, french, spanish, etc. words make you distinctly Ingvaeonic?
    Lieber tot als Sklave!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mööv View Post
    Estimates of native words (derived from Old English) range from 20%–33%, with the rest made up of outside borrowings.
    Well, to be fair to the English Language, a number like that comes purely from a vocabulary count and English is very good at borrowing words from other languages.

    But from the same article:
    As a statistical rule, around 70 percent of words in any text are Anglo-Saxon
    I'd go even further and say that 85% - 90 % of the speech used by native English speakers among each other is derived from Anglo-Saxon.

    For instance, in the excerpt of the famous W. Churchill speech below, only two words used are not from Anglo-Saxon.

    “We shall go on to the end,” “We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
    we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches,
    we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammish View Post
    I'd go even further and say that 85% - 90 % of the speech used by native English speakers among each other is derived from Anglo-Saxon.

    Yes, everyday speech is rather limited so it's bound to have less foreign words.
    My point was not to attack the English language, nor to make an argument that it is not Germanic.
    Rodskarl insists everywhere on "purity" and he stated that he wants to remove native languages from the regions he mentioned and replace them with English (for the sake of purity). However those languages he wishes to remove do have much less non-germanic loanwords.
    So, my aim was to show his statement, concerning purity, is invalid.
    I did not expect, however, to see such low numbers when I opened the article. I expected it to be somewhere around 60%. So not too far from the 70%.
    Thanks for correcting me.
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    All I meant, is that the Anglo-Frisian tongues ought to dissolve the differences betwixt them, by placing emphasis on the common roots and reconstituting the fullness of them by recombination. The point is to regain some tradition for English and to expand the global reach of Frisian. There's a mutual benefit for rebuilding Ingvaeonic in the North Sea and elsewhere. Like American colonial investment itself, most of my ancestors are from England and the Netherlands, followed by Sweden. In this order does England find its heritage, out of Germany and Denmark. My aim is to stimulate Ingvaeonic revivalism and be done with foreign entanglements.

    I don't care about foreign words such as "ocean" and "confidence", that the evil ZOG Churchill used. You know, it must have been a conspiracy to use those non-Germanic words...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammish View Post
    One could also say - "As der in plak yn Ingelân wêryn't Fryske sprekt wurde moat, is it Ingelân."
    And it's perfectly understandable to me - Frisian is an ancestor language to Afrikaans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theunissen View Post
    And it's perfectly understandable to me - Frisian is an ancestor language to Afrikaans.
    This certainly had a positive influence on Anglo-Dutch colonial ventures. My grandmother's got this background fundamental to New York, that would equally apply to South Africa and the obvious preservation of a Dutch name like New Zealand, even if Australia doesn't make use of New Holland.

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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammish View Post
    One could also say - "As der in plak yn Ingelân wêryn't Fryske sprekt wurde moat, is it Ingelân."
    In High German I would translate the saying as :

    Als dort ein Placken in Englisch während Friesisch gesprochen wurde muß, ist es Englisch.

    And translated it would be

    Since there a patch in English while Frisian spoken was must, it is English.

    The sentence does not really make sense to me, translated that way.
    Maybe the sentence should express, that since just a little bit of Frisian language is included
    in the English language, it is English language, and not Frisian language.

    An overproud person would probably mean, that since a little bit of Frisian tongue is included
    in the English tongue, the English tongue is a Frisian tongue.
    Mk 10:18 What do you call me a good master, no-one is good .

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