Talk:Frisian languages

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Untitled[edit]

I removed the stubs for subpages - all that information (if and when someone actually puts some information on Frisian phonology, etc., into wikipedia) belongs on the page, not on subpages, as per French language, Hebrew language, Arabic language, etc.

Frisian cows? (moved)[edit]

Does anyone else find it HIGHLY improbable that Frisian is really in the top 20 for Google? Is that a separatist movement raising a profile by executing web searches? I can say anecdotally that in my lifetime I've read more about Frisians the cows than about Frisian the language, and I'm a medievalist (a time when Frisia actually existed as a tribal group and a place. St. Wilibrod, Apostle to the Frisians, is of mild interest to me.) --MichaelTinkler

There are two explanations for this. One would be that it is simply co-incidence. This is based only on 4 hits on one day, it might just be that by coincidence on 25 May there were a few of these searches. Another would be that the page contains some words that make it come up in Google for some on mildly related search term, and people look at the page without realising it's not what they are really looking for.
Ahah! Then there were dairy farmers on the web. I don't think I realized what this was until I clicked - pages HERE discovered in a Google search. Thanks. --MichaelTinkler
The secret to the Google popularity is that the normal English spelling for the cows is 'Friesian', where as it is normal when referring to the languages and people to use 'Frisian' without an 'e'. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 09:31, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Number of speakers[edit]

Does someone have some recent information about the number of speakers? I've seen the 700,000 figure at ethnologue, but it was for the 1970s. I find 730,000 a bit optimistic, when there are only 440,000 speakers inside Friesland. Guaka 15:30, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I got the figures from ethnologue - so I don't have anything better. Secretlondon 15:34, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Something like 500,000 is more likely. See the estimates referred to in the Danish, Dutch, and German Wiki. By the way: their maps are decidedly better than the ones in this version. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.84.223.134 (talk) 14:32, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Like English[edit]

Is it true that this language is closer to English than any other currently spoken language? Just curious... Tuf-Kat 07:31, Sep 3, 2004 (UTC)

Actually, the sentence in the article explaining this is itself in very poor English. Should be "closest". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.147.122.14 (talk) 14:48, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Yes - if you count Scots as a variety of English and ignore English-based creoles. It's not that obvious when you look at modern English and Frisian together, because they've been evolving seperately for over a millennium, and English has been heavily inflenced by French while Frisian has been influenced by Dutch and German. Nevertheless, when you compare the same word in English, Frisian, Dutch and German, it is clear that English and Frisian resemble each other more than the other two; e.g. Eng. cheese, Fr. tsiis, Du. kaas and Germ. Käse or Eng. key, Fr. kaai, Du. sleutel and Germ. Schlüssel. Hedgehog 10:21, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It could also be because linguists are basing their judgement on the oldest stages of the languages, rather than the modern lexicon (unless the original language gets nearly dwarfed in borrowings or similar) .
I looked at the Tok Pisin wikipedia, and I believe Friesian is actually closer to english, than some of the creoles... =P

My father tells me that, as a British Army officer in the liberation of Frisia in 1945, he was able to make himself understood in (and understand) Frisian simply by speaking slowly in English. He couldn't do that anywhere else! Has anyone tried more recently?

Nowadays all Dutch children are being taught English starting at age 10, and that's not counting the influence of English television series. So I think you won't have a hard time making yourself understood :D. In the old days kids were also taught French and German that early, which is the reason the Dutch still have a reputation of knowing many foreign languages ;).

It is somewhat politically charged to discount Scots when talking about the Germanic languages most similar to English, and also contradicts content elsewhere on Wikipedia. As I write this, the last sentence of the introduction is Frisian is the living language most closely related to the English language family. I think the phrasing of 'English language family' tempers the controversy, but the link to the English language article counters this. Yet the similarity to English is surely vital in introducing the topic to readers of the English Wikipedia. I am proposing an alternative phrasing Modern Frisian, like Scots, is closely related to the modern English language. What do you think? By the way - for further reading see English language#Classification_and_related_languages. User:anonymous

VincentG, you recently added "although English and Frisian are unintelligible to each other" to the lead section. I am not sure that is true, given the anecdotes above. I am not sure of the need for your edit, as many English speakers, especially those from southern England, find Scots unintelligible (but that is not a problem as nearly all Scots are good English speakers, and unconsciously use code-switching to use standard English to make themselves perfectly well understood.) I personally find simple written Frisian quite intelligible, but that is just another anecdote, and is probably a result of my familiarity with Scots and Northern British varieties of English, which seem to have more in common with Frisian than standard English does.
What do you think? --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 09:31, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

It's true that there are common words in Frisian and English but saying that an English speaking person with knowledge of Dutch or Afrikaans can understand Frisian is not true. Native Dutch speakers don't understand Frisian (a part from a few words), this would be no better for an English speaking person. Similarities can be found in many languages (Dutch and German for example) but it takes a whole lot more to understand a language. 81.246.93.2 14:17, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Which variety is closest to English, West, East, or North Frisian? —Wiki Wikardo 00:34, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Reference to Scots[edit]

I've re-inserted a reference to Scots in the introduction. I accept this isn't ideal in an article that has nothing to do with Scots, but my reason is that the contributor who removed the previous compromise wording - "some of the closest to English" - justified doing so by stating that "Scots is part of English". The problem is that this is not accepted fact, it's a hotly disputed assertion. It directly contradicts the hard-fought compromise wording in the introduction to the Scots language article, which gives equal weight to the competing claims that Scots is either a dialect of English, or a fully-fledged Germanic language in its own right. My wording of "with the arguable exception of Scots" is consistent with this. If somebody can think of a more elegant way of explaining Frisian's similarity to English without needing to refer to Scots at all, that would probably be preferable. But to baldly state that "Frisian languages are the closest living European languages to English" - as if there was no widely-held alternative point of view - is clearly misleading, and would not conform to NPOV. Sofia9 01:59, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

guid pynte, Scots an Inglis are gey close, but gin a leid hus its ain dialects, how can it be a dialect o anither yane, een whin lik Scots, its been surpressed thru the state educaition seestem fer monie decades an naibodie kens exactly how tae spell it noowadaysممتاز 23:34, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

The Name[edit]

What does the "Fries"/"Fris" etc. in Frisian mean? If it comes from a geographical name, what does the name mean? Considering that all of High German, Dutch and West Frisian use an "ie" vowel combination in their words for freeze, It seems probable that it somehow derives from the word "Freeze". Is that correct?

(In Frysk "Fris" means cools/fresh.) The word Frisian/Frisii/Friezen is known from roman times. It probably referred to tribes living in the north-west of what are now The Netherlands , and has done so ever since (though whether the same tribes kept living there is a matter of debate). This Frisii is sometimes taken to be derived from Germanic Freisias , from Indo-European Preisios. From there interpretations have ranged from the peaceful, by way of the friends (as opposed to the enemy romans or as opposed to the tribesmen of some germanic tribe?), to the sons of Freya. Other explanations include the low/wet dwellers en the fierce. Aliter 17:50, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC)
As stated above, It could have the same root as modern English "Free", Old English/Anglo-Saxon "Ferth", Old Norse "Frith" and be associated with the old Germanic gods Freyr & Freya. It means 'plenty', 'prosperity', 'freedom', 'harvest', 'peace', 'pleasure', 'comfort' etc. With no direct modern English equivalent. Nagelfar 13:48, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Topic[edit]

The page now has: This page covers the West Frisian language, spoken in the Netherlands. For other Frisian languages see Frisian language (disambiguation). It continues with a treatment of the super language, with only occasional reference to West-Frisian. Something is not quite right there. Aliter 17:50, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Former capitalisation of common nouns?[edit]

I've either read or heard that several Germanic languages besides German used to capitalise all common nouns. In Danish this practice was abolished in a spelling reform in the late 1940s. Can anybody tell me if this was ever practiced in Frisian and if so when was it abolished? — Hippietrail 16:56, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'm afraid you're wrong on this one, Old English certainly did not capitalise nouns, I don't think Dutch did either, nor Swedish, Noregian or Icelandic. It's one of those things the just happened to arise when German and Danish orthographys were divised, for no reason at all. All West Germanic "dialects" spoken within German, Austrian, and Swiss borders happen to be written this way (I'm not sure about Luxemburgish), and dialects in the same continiuum within Dutch and Belguim borders happen not to capitalise nouns.Myrtone (the strict Australian wikipedian)(talk)

At the time of Old English (up to the end of the 11th century) no western European languages had a standard system of capitalization as we think of it today — capital letters were used primarily for visual purposes, e.g. to start a new section of a text or otherwise emphasize a word (the same way you might choose a font today). By the early modern English period in the 16th century, you do start to see some capitalization of common nouns in printed English texts, and if I recall correctly, you can find it right on through the 18th century, though it's not a rule that everyone followed. After that, different languages/countries/regions standardized orthography in different ways, formally or informally. David 16:14, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Colonial Frisian?[edit]

While Frisian is a "minority language" in Europe, I been wondering if there ever have been Frisian "minoritys" in coloys of the Western world. For example, the Europen colonists in both Canada and what is today the USA (Nice play Shakespeare, Racine, Goethe, etc/usw) arived speaking many different European languages, including French and German (I wonder how many and which dialects they arrived speaking), did any (significant group) arrive speaking Frisian or any other European minority language?Myrtone (the strict Australian wikipedian)(talk)

Does Kent count? ThW5 20:48, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't know, but you're referring to County of Kent? There has to be a reference about Frisian settlers in wikipedia articles on pre-Norman invasion England. Not only the Angles and Saxons ruled most of England, the Jutes, Danes and even the Norse are predominantly in Southeast England, in areas like Norfolk and Suffolk counties: In the late 1st millennia AD, the area facing the North Sea was called "the Danelaw". I suspected the County Kent was frequently visited by the Frisians from across the North Sea, it is not really far like about 40 kilometers apart. The Frisians and early Dutch peoples were expert shipfarers. + 71.102.2.206 (talk) 05:40, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Language or Language Group?[edit]

In some places in this article, Frisian is called one language, but then in other places the "Frisian Languages" are mentioned. Which is correct?

I suspect that both are correct - similar to discussing the German languages (such as Luxemburgish, Swiss German, Low German ....) but other times talking about the German language.--Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 09:31, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Audio samples[edit]

Does anyone know if there are any audio samples of a Frisian language available on the net?--Blackfield 15:59, 29 May 2006 (UTC)


Yes http://www.allezhop.de/frysk/ ممتاز 19:26, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Frisian..[edit]

Hi, ehm.. if someone will ever read this.. can someone provide with a frisian pronunciation tabel, like those of other languages, i mean those table of consonants and vowels with IPA value, or better a new page like "frisian phonology", i mean there are many languages that have a page dedicated to their phonology, anyway for an exact pronunciation there are many sites, first for a very "table like" pronunciaton there is http://www.omniglot.com/writing/frisian.htm or others ( http://www.allezhop.de/frysk/staver_e.htm ) ..so

ken net! I'm sorry, maybe you can look at the Dutch or English wikipedia? type: Frisian or Fries. I do know that Frisian and English have many words somewhat pronounced the same as chair is in Frisian tsj..maybe you won't recognize the tsj but it's the same :P 81.69.203.77 20:49, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Gender[edit]

Is it correct that Frisian used to have masculine/feminine/neuter but now has common/neuter? Or is the truth more complicated like the case with Dutch? — Hippietrail 05:11, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Danish[edit]

Are you certain Danish would retain much intelligibility with Frisian? I know Danish has borrowed much vocabulary from Middle Low Saxon (rather closely related to Dutch) and that Friesian seems to have been quite affected by Dutch, but I doubt that would have a significant impact to cause notable intelligibility. (Although the lexical similarity between Danish and Dutch probably is rather high.) 惑乱 分からん 10:55, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Being Frisian and having travelled to Denmark on several occasions, I can ensure you that if two persons were to have a conversation with one talking (west) Frisian and the other Danish, neither one would have a clue what the other would be saying. 81.246.93.2 14:02, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

As a native Danish speaker with some proficiency in German, it's possible for me to read Frisian with some difficulty, but I doubt I'd understand a single word if spoken to me. I've heard old Frisian songs (some examples here) and I only grasp one word in ten. Perhaps speakers of South Jutlandic would find it a bit easier, but that might be due to exposure. Mikkel (talk) 18:52, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Move To 'Frisian Language Family' & That Would Make The Necessary Changes To Whatlinkshere Articles, I.E.,: It's Corresponding Disambiguation Page[edit]

100110100 20:38, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Why make the article title longer? The disambiguation is a separate issue. I propose we change the top note to:
See also East Frisian Low Saxon, which is a variety of German
Then everything is clear. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 21:00, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

One Frisian language?[edit]

Despite the header "Frisian is a Germanic group of closely related languages," the article title implies one language. Are the languages (Frysk, Fräisk, Frasch, Freesk, etc.) really close enough to be considered a single language? —  AjaxSmack  01:56, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

It is considered one language, but there are , of course, dialects of which you mentioned some. Confusing I guess, but I can not really explain better sorry for that. 81.69.203.77 20:49, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Official in Netherlands at a national lever?[edit]

Maybe the statement that Frisian language is together with Dutch the two official languages of the Netherlands is exaggerated and imprecise. Check Mercator-legislation page on frisian, a specialised study center. It also contradicts with Netherlands#Languages. --Michkalas 18:25, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

It IS considered an official language in The Netherlands. That is all there is to it, how can one exaggerate that? 81.69.203.77 20:49, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

In the Netherlands, the official language is Dutch and English is the second language. Fryslân, however, is a bilingual region (province) in the Netherlands and it has been recognized as an offical language. 81.246.93.2 14:07, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

ISO 639-3 code[edit]

There seems to be a contradiction on the SIL web sites as to the language code for West Frisian (Frysk). The SIL ISO 639-3 website uses the code fry, while Ethnologue uses fri. This confusion is carried over to Wikipedia. This article has fri, while the West Frisian article has fry. - Parsa 00:31, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I received the following email from SIL:

If you consult the ISO/FDIS 639-3 website download page, you will see a link at the bottom of the page to a Retirements table. In it, you will see that [fri] is retired and changed to [fry]. The reason for this is that when the first draft code table was made for Part 3, the Part 2 code element [fry] was assumed to mean "Frisian" generally speaking. Subsequently, the Library of Congress (maintenance agency for Part 2) clarified its meaning as Western Frisian. In order to maintain Part 3 compatibility with Part 2, ISO/DIS 639-3 required the change from [fri] to [fry] for Western Frisian. Unfortunately, Ethnologue 15th edition had already been published, using [fri] for Western Frisian. So in this one instance at this time, Ethnologue and ISO/FDIS 639-3 are out of sync.

I made the change to [fry] in the table. - Parsa 06:48, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Frisian Middle English[edit]

Hello, could someone maybe put in the article that Frisian is close to Middle English (...) mainly because they were one of the tribes that along with the Saxons and Angles invaded England; and with the Angles they put the basis for English? Don't know the years right now but still. I read in an article, don't remember it was this one or the Old Frisian...that the two languages were related. 81.69.203.77 20:40, 21 January 2007 (UTC) Mallerd

Frisian and English are very similar, and the older forms of both languages would be even more similar.Cameron Nedland 19:11, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
True, Frisian is like a modified, rural, "folksy" version of the middle English spoken in The Reeve's Tale. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 141.158.199.89 (talk) 14:23, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Frisian in Groningen??[edit]

Ok I don't know who put it there, but i can assure you, there isn't anyone here in Groningen who speaks Frisian. Maybe Frisians who moved to Groningen do, but no real 'Groninger' ever speaks Frisian.

Isnt there supposed to be a mixture between Frisian and Dutch in Groningen? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gronings ممتاز 02:38, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

I have attempted to clarify the bit about Groningen, as the language situation there seems to be related to the subject of Frisian, even though the language there is not pure Frisian. I think it would be wrong to completely remove mention of the region from the article. If anyone could phrase the bit I've added better, please do so.ممتاز 03:48, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Number of speakers[edit]

In my opinion the number of speakers shown at this page is far from accurate as the number of speakers is at least 100k higher. The article West Frisian language even implies a possibility of 700k speakers. It's very difficult to say how many speakers there are, but in my opinion 600k would be a more accurate estimation. Besides of that I think we should also make this article more congruent to other articles on this wikipedia. In my opinion it's wrong to say that the total number of speakers of all Frisian languages is 500k while the number of Western Lauwers Frisian is up to maybe even 700k speakers. On the Frisian Wikipedia there's also a little disambiguation but it's much smaller then on this Wikipedia. The numbers given by the Frisian Wikipedia is much more detailed and also shows us which people are speaking Frisian. According to the Frisian Wikipedia there are:

  • 600.000 people speaking West-Frisian
  • 15.000 people speaking North-Frisian (maybe a high estimation?)
  • 2.250 people speaking Sater-Frisian

However I think the number of North-Frisian speakers is maybe a bit high I don't think it's worth arguing about that as it doesn't matter much for the total number of Frisian speakers as the West-Frisian group is much bigger. The data the Frisian Wikipedia provides is very details and also provides more information about which groups are speaking West-Frisian. I'll give a short summarising of it:

  • Native speakers in Frisia: 347k
  • Province of Groningen: 3k
  • Frisians outside the Frisian language area, in the Netherlands: 150k
  • Frisians abroad: 80k-100k
  • Sum: 580k-600k speakers

Frisian in the province of Frisia:

  • 94% is able to understand it
  • 74% is able to speak it
  • 65% is able to read it
  • 17% is able to write it

If we take those 74% of speakers from the inhabitants of the province of Friesland (630k) we come to a total number of people speaking Frisian in the province of Friesland of 466k people. 466k-347k=119k additional, non native speakers in the province of Friesland.

This number of non-native speakers is very discussable as it varies from very bad Frisian to excellent Frisian. It only rises the question if we should somewhere add this number to an article about Frisian, providing more information about non-native Frisian speakers. These numers are only there to illustrate that the number of Frisian speakers is much higher as 500k.
83.117.225.78 07:56, 22 May 2007 (UTC) (SK-luuut on various Wikipedia's)

Notable Frisians[edit]

I propose moving this Notable Frisians section to Frisians as it is more to do with the people than the language - does anyone object?GB 06:21, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Language codes[edit]

Just on a side note: The ISO-639-1 code 'fy' means Western Frisian and is not meant to cover the other Frisian languages. There are 3 ISO-639-2 codes for frisian languages: 'fry' fo Western, 'frs' for Eastern, and 'frr' for Northern Frisian, and ISO-639-3 knows 4 codes: 'fry', 'frs', 'frr', and 'stq'. The latter - as stated correctly - stands for Saterlandic Frisian (the only surviving variety of the Eastern Frisian language). Just don't know how to put these info into the lang box. Can anybody do this? 87.185.6.226 (talk) 01:34, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Comparative sentence[edit]

The Dutch Low Saxon version of the comparative sentence currently translates as "The boy stroked the girl on the chin and gave her a smooch," with no reference to the cheek. Is there anyone out there who knows Dutch Low Saxon well enough to fix the sentence so that it more directly corresponds to the other languages?

BeIsKr (talk) 10:54, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

The whole use of the “the young boy …” sentence is problematic (and seems to betray a distinct lack of understanding of the subject; or has quite inappropriately been plagiarised from something making an entirely different point that is wholly irrelevant to this article) in that it completely fails to correctly reflect the development of the language and the use / loss of gender. More correct comparative translations would be:
English: The young (of the masculine gender i.e. The young man)
Danish: Den unge (af det maskuline køn i.e. Den unge mand)
Similarly, the dialectal Lancashire would be Th' young ... (T' young ... in Yorkshire, De young ... in Scouse Th' yoong ... in Scots); although come to think of it, since it serves no useful purpose, I am not even sure why the Lancashire dialect is included here.
navlebeskuelse (talk) 11:21, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

In the German sentence I (as a native speaker) would use "Wange" instead of "Backe". It's at least as valid and commonly used and shows more similarity with other languages. Furthermore the English sentence uses plural ("cheeks") while the German version is singular (plural would be "Backen"/"Wangen"). Not speaking any of the other languages I can't say which is intended.

Of course it's "Wange". Every German with sense of speech will tell you that the word "Backe" means nothing more than a buttock. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.103.203.125 (talk) 07:00, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

85.178.224.2 (talk) 18:21, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

As a native German speaker to whom Wange is like a foreign word, I must object. Backe is regionally both cheek and buttock with the latter usually being used with a qualifier (e.g. Arschbacke) unless the exact meaning is clear from context. --Purodha Blissenbach (talk) 15:19, 5 January 2011 (UTC)


The main article mentions that Frisian is "strikingly similar" to Northumbrian varieties of English, yet the comparative sentence is rendered only in Lancashire dialect and Scots. Can someone take a stab at rendering it in Geordie, or some other variety of Northumbrian English? Mesnenor (talk) 20:31, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Ingaevonic sound shift?[edit]

"This similarity was reinforced in the late Middle Ages by the Ingaevonic sound shift" seems very dubious. I can't see any mention of such a thing in Bremmer's Old Frisian book, and online the phrase "the Ingaevonic sound shift" seems to occur only in copies of this article. Has someone got confused by the Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law and somehow misplaced it by 900 years? This statement needs to be sourced, corrected or deleted. This whole section seems rather muddled, in fact, and could do with an overhaul. --Pfold (talk) 00:00, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Since no one has come forward to defend or source this point, I have removed it. --Pfold (talk) 20:34, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

East Frisian Link[edit]

The "East Frisian" link in the Family Tree section points to East Frisian Low Saxon which is not a group of Frisian dialects, but a variety of Low Saxon. Since "East Frisian" is nowadays identical with Saterland Frisian language, which is already linked below, I'll just remove the link. Anorak2 (talk) 09:15, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Sea[edit]

The Frisian languages are a closely related group of Germanic languages, spoken by about 500,000 members of Frisian ethnic groups, who live on the southern fringes of the North Sea in the Netherlands and Germany.

They don't live on the sea. 82.32.235.134 (talk) 19:35, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Angry[edit]

I am mad. My editing to the infobox does not show up. What is going on here?

71.164.209.66 (talk) 22:07, 4 August 2012 (UTC)Anonymous


Dutch Translation[edit]

I don't speak Dutch, but I have a question on the translation of the sentence: "The boy stroked the girl [...]" found in the article. First, shouldn't the past tense form of "streken" be "streekde" instead of "streek" ? Second, since "het meisje" is a neuter noun, shouldn't the pronoun referring to it be "het" (cf. "es" in the German translation), instead of "haar" ? Thank you in advance for your reply.189.69.53.95 (talk) 10:16, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

You're questions are a bit off topic (about the Dutch and not the Frisian language), but I'll try to explain. I'm native to the Dutch language, and can assure you that the translation in the article is correct:
1. The verb for "to stroke" is in Dutch strijken (not streken); the past tense is indeed streek (not strijkte, streekte or even streekde).
2. Het meisje (en: "the girl") is a neuter noun because it is the diminutive form of de meid (all diminutives in Dutch are neuter, without a single exception). The latter form, de meid, cannot be used here, because it is considered vulgar in modern Dutch, and therefore has a different meaning nowadays. Referring to it with neuter forms would result in very odd (and probably even incorrect) Dutch, although grammatically it would make sense.
In other words: het meisje may be a diminutive linguistically, but not in meaning. It means simply "the girl", not "the little girl" (as you would expect from the diminutive form), that would be het kleine meisje. Even "the big girl" would translate into het grote meisje, still using the diminutive.
Summarizing:
  • de meid is old Dutch for "the girl", nowadays vulgar (impolite, even offensive)
  • het meisje means "the girl" (diminutive used to replace the obsolete and vulgar word)
  • het kleine meisje means "the little girl"
  • het grote meisje means "the big girl"
Note that this is a peculiarity of the Dutch word meisje only. As a comparison: the Dutch word for "woman" (vrouw) behaves regularly:
  • de vrouw means "the woman"
  • het vrouwtje means "the little woman" (diminutive form)
  • het kleine vrouwtje means "the very little woman" (literally "the little little woman")
  • het grote vrouwtje would mean "the big little woman" (rather strange of course, but not incorrect)
As you state you don't speak Dutch, I guess the second answer may be a bit confusing, but still I hope this helps a bit. :) Jahoe (talk) 12:12, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Saxon dialect?[edit]

Is Frisian a Saxon dialect? It is grouped with English, which is Saxon. --Vitzque (talk) 19:13, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

South Frisian language[edit]

Why there is no such way for South Frisian language — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.185.9.3 (talk) 01:43, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

It is not a perfect pattern — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.185.9.3 (talk) 02:00, 27 November 2014 (UTC)