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|Created by||Collaborative work|
|Users||small internet-based groups (date missing)|
|Sources||Vocabulary, phonology and grammar from Germanic languages|
|ISO 639-3||None (
Folkspraak (also Folksprák and Folksprak; from folk 'people' and spraak 'language', meaning "the language of the people") is an incompletely developed zonal constructed language based on Germanic languages and intended to be easy to learn for any native speaker of a Germanic language, making it suitable to be a sort of lingua franca amongst the Germanic languages community.
The name Folkspraak has also been used in a more general sense to refer to the entire modern Pan-Germanic language collaboration.
The project's development takes place mostly online in a Yahoo group, though disagreements about grammar and orthography means that there are several different versions or "dialects". Disagreement occurs even over which source languages to use, so that only some developers draw from Frisian, Low German and Norwegian Nynorsk, next to the usual source languages of English, Dutch, German, Danish, Norwegian Bokmål, and Swedish.
The idea behind the project is that a speaker of a Germanic language should be able to read and understand Folkspraak in a week and to write it in a month.
The development of the language is similar in its process to Interlingua—to create a word or a grammatical form in Folkspraak samples are taken from all of the Germanic languages and the form common to most of the languages is selected. Reference is also made to previously existing and parallel Germanic zonal constructed languages.
Due to the splits and rifts in Folkspraak, numerous independent projects and "dialects" have arisen.
Middelspraak (also seen as Middelsprake) is a constructed language designed by Ingmar Roerdinkholder, who later became a member of the effort to develop Folkspraak. Middlespraak ended up very similar to Folkspraak, and as such is often considered a dialectal variant. The main differences between the two are in spelling and phonology, Middlespraak being more archaic, and Folkspraak being more contemporarily focused and simple.
Middlespraak is constructed by comparing eight living Germanic languages: English, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Low Saxon, Frisian and Norwegian Nynorsk; resulting in an intermediate language between Western and Scandinavian Germanic varieties.
Frenkisch is an independent work within Folkspraak. It is developed by David Parke, a conlinguist.
Nordienisk is a second independent work within Folkspraak. Its creator is unknown/unrecognized.
Alphabet and pronunciation
Folkspraak alphabet is identical to the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Double consonants and consonant groups signalize short vowels. The 〈c〉 represents /s/ in front of front vowels (〈e i y eu〉) and /k/ in any other position. The digraphs 〈th〉 and 〈ph〉 represent the same pronunciation as 〈t〉 and 〈p〉, respectively. Diacritics are not used.
Folkspraak has no adjectival or verbal variation. Nouns made from adjectives as well as infinitives end in -e as in de andere ('the other') and have ('to have'). There is no distinction between adjectives and adverbs.
There is no grammatical gender or cases except with personal pronouns: si ('she'), hi ('he'), ik ('I'), mi ('me').
The plurals of nouns are made with -e or, if a noun ends with an unstressed syllable, with -s. Mann (man), manne (men), auto (car), autos (cars).
|Onser Fader in de hemmen,|
|Werde heliged din nam,|
|Kome din rick,|
|Gescheje din will,|
|Hu in de hemmen, so up de erd.|
|Gev ons hidag onser daglik brod.|
|Ond fergev ons onser schuld,|
|Hu ok wi fergev dem onser schuldern.|
|Ond led ons nit in ferseuking,|
|Aver erleus ons af de yvel.|
|(Als din er de rick ond de macht|
|Ond de herlikhed in eeighed.)|
From Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
All mensklik wesings âre boren frî on' gelîk in werđigheid on' rejte. Đê âre begifted mid ferstand on' gewitt on' skulde behandele êlkên in en gêst av brôđerhêd.
(All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.)
- Folksprak.org - containing information like grammar, vocabulary and a wiki
- Folkspraak page at Langmaker (not directly available anymore)
- Folkspraak Omniglot page
- English-Folksprak dictionary
- Folkspraak: Germanic Auxiliary Language - the Yahoo Group where Folkspraak is being developed
- Folkspraak on Wikibooks
- compilation of Folksprak drafts
- Middlespraak - Germanic Common Language - the Yahoo Group where Middelspraak is being developed
- Concise Outlines of Middelspraak
- Linguistic blog post about Middelsprake
- An illustration of similarities with Dutch
- Frenkisch Grammatik