Friday, March 13, 2020


Brea, buter, en griene tsiis, is goed Ingelsk en goed Frysk. 

Give it a try. My only hint to to keep the "k" soft.

Update:  Fun With Frisian is recommended for browsing


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Bread, butter, and green cheese, is good English and good Fries.

It is an old saw among the people of that region, now that the closest relative of the Frisian language has achieved such world-importance. The words are carefully chosen for similarity. Not all Friesina is like this. For basic preschool Frisian, we could hang around for a month and start to hear it a version of accented English. Another example would be (with a clue of a misty sky with colors in the background) "Yn de reinbogen sitte in soad kleuren: read, oranje, giel, grien, blau, en pears" That is In the rainbow sits a lot (of) colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Notice the plural of color takes the -en instead of -s, as in the old Germanic forms of children, brethren, and oxen.

Not all of Frisian is that intuitive to English speakers, mostly just the Swadesh words, the most common and simplest vocabulary. Still, if you were looking for a place that you might want to take the family for a summer and have the kids pick up a foreign language quickly, quiet and family friendly, Friesland isn't a bad choice. It has canals connecting is small cities, and islands offshore are an important part of the province. And cows. They've got cows.

Jonathan said...

My maternal grandmother came from Emden. Her family raised cattle. She and several of her siblings migrated to Palestine before the war. One of her brothers became the main cattleman of a large kibbutz. Many years ago I went on a date with a nice Jewish girl from Chicago. It turned out that her family were also of German origin, I think also Frisian, and raised cattle in rural Illinois.

Grim said...

It's fun realizing how much you can understand of Germanic languages when you figure out the cognates. But Middle English works like this too; if you wanted to read Malory or Chaucer in the original, it's not that hard. You have to take on a certain amount of vocabulary and understand that some words were used differently back then, but with just a little practice you can read it just fine.