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Bildts is a Dutch-West Frisian hybrid language spoken in the largest part of the municipality Het Bildt in the province of Friesland. The dialect must have evolved from the early sixteenth century onwards, from around 1505, when the area was reclaimed from the sea as ordered by George, Duke of Saxony. In order to achieve this task, workers from Holland, Zealand, and Brabant moved to Friesland, and their Low-Franconian dialects mixed with West Frisian. There is much debate on whether the former changed the latter or the other way around, but the dialect has also been called a creole language.
Bildts is spoken in the towns of Sint Annaparochie (Bildts: Sint-Anne), Sint Jacobiparochie (Sint-Jabik), Vrouwenparochie (Froubuurt), Oudebildtzijl (Ouwe-Syl), Westhoek (De Westhoek) and Nij Altoenae. The inhabitants of Minnertsga, a village located outside the polder area of the former Middelzee and included in the municipality in 1984, do not speak Bildts but West Frisian instead.
According to the Dutch Wikipedia, in 2006 approximately 6,000 people spoke Bildts regularly.
- Waterman, Thomas Hewett (1879). The Frisian Language and Literature: A Historical Study. Ithica, NY: Finch & Apgar. p. 40.
- Article on the Dutch wikipedia