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Frisian is a Germanic language, endangered and divided in three dialects, located in non-contiguous territories in Holland and Germany. Those are: Western Frisian in the Netherlands, and Eastern Frisian and Northern Frisian in Germany. Frysk is the native name in Western Frisian, the only variety with a developed literary standard.


Western Frisian (Friesland)

Western Frisian or Frysk is the variety of Frisian best established. It is spoken in Frisia proper, the Friesland province (Dutch name) of the Netherlands, called Fryslân in the native language. The capital of that region is Ljouwert. There are some 400,000 Frisian speakers here.

Eastern Frisian (Saterland)

Eastern Frisian is spoken in only 3 towns, in the Saterland region of Germany, west of Oldenburg. There are only some 1,000 speakers left. This variety of Frisian is called Saterländisch or Saterfriesisch in German, Seeltersk or (more correct) Seelterfräisk in the local language, and Sealtersk or Sealterfrysk in standard Western Frisian.

North Frisia

The North Frisians live in the German-Danish western coastal border area of Schleswig north of Husum and adjacent islands of Föhr, Amrum, Sylt, Helgoland, and the Halligen Islands. Formerly extended to the island of Wangerooge and adjacent Denmark, but there are no speakers in Denmark currently. In Germany there are some 10,000 speakers, but only the Ferring dialect of Föhr and Amrum is actively used by some 2,000 people. The whole area now has a distribution of 82% Germans, 10% mainly German-speaking Frisians and 8% mainly German-speaking Danes. The Frisians here say Fraschlönj for their Homeland, Frisia.



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