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Low German

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Low German
Low Saxon
Plattdütsch, Plattdüütsch, Plattdütsk, Plattdüütsk, Plattduitsk (South-Westphalian), Plattduitsch (Eastphalian), Plattdietsch (Low Prussian); Neddersassisch; Nedderdüütsch
Native toNorthern and western Germany
Eastern Netherlands
Southern Denmark
Russian Mennonites
Historically Saxons
Native speakers
Estimated 4.35–7.15 million[a][1][2][3]
Up to 10 million second-language speakers (2001)[4]
Early forms
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Language codes
ISO 639-2nds
ISO 639-3nds (Dutch varieties and Westphalian have separate codes)
Glottologlowg1239  Low German
Present-day Low German language area in Europe
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Low German[b] is a West Germanic language[12][13] spoken mainly in Northern Germany and the northeastern Netherlands. The dialect of Plautdietsch is also spoken in the Russian Mennonite diaspora worldwide.

Low German is most closely related to Frisian and English, with which it forms the North Sea Germanic group of the West Germanic languages. Like Dutch, it has historically been spoken north of the Benrath and Uerdingen isoglosses, while forms of High German (of which Standard German is a standardized example) have historically been spoken south of those lines. Like Frisian, English, Dutch and the North Germanic languages, Low German has not undergone the High German consonant shift, as opposed to Standard High German, which is based on High German dialects. Low German evolved from Old Saxon (Old Low German), which is most closely related to Old Frisian and Old English (Anglo-Saxon).

The Low German dialects spoken in the Netherlands are mostly referred to as Low Saxon, those spoken in northwestern Germany (Lower Saxony, Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Bremen, and Saxony-Anhalt west of the Elbe) as either Low German or Low Saxon, and those spoken in northeastern Germany (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg, and Saxony-Anhalt east of the Elbe) mostly as Low German, not being part of Low Saxon. This is because northwestern Germany and the northeastern Netherlands were the area of settlement of the Saxons (Old Saxony), while Low German spread to northeastern Germany through eastward migration of Low German speakers into areas with an originally Slavic-speaking population. This area is known as Germania Slavica, where the former Slavic influence is still visible in the names of settlements and physiogeographical features.[c]

It has been estimated that Low German has approximately 2–5 million speakers in Germany, primarily Northern Germany (ranging from well to very well),[14] and 2.15 million in the Netherlands (ranging from reasonable to very well).[15]

Geographical extent


Inside Europe



City limit sign in Lower Saxony showing that Low German is closer to English:
(Standard German)
(Low German),
meaning "old bog/swamp" (incorporated village of Cuxhaven).

It has been estimated that Low German has approximately two to five million speakers (depending on the definition of 'native speaker') in Germany, primarily in Northern Germany.[16]

Variants of Low German are spoken in most parts of Northern Germany, for instance in the states of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Hamburg, Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony-Anhalt, and Brandenburg. Small portions of northern Hesse and northern Thuringia are traditionally Low Saxon-speaking too. Historically, Low German was also spoken in formerly German parts of Poland (e.g., Pomerania and Silesia), as well as in East Prussia and the Baltic provinces (modern Estonia and Latvia. The Baltic Germans spoke a distinct Low German dialect, which has influenced the vocabulary and phonetics of both Estonian and Latvian. The historical sprachraum of Low German also included contemporary northern Poland, East Prussia (the modern Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia), a part of western Lithuania, and the German communities in Estonia and Latvia, most notably their Hanseatic cities. German speakers in this area fled the Red Army or were forcibly expelled after the border changes at the end of World War II.

The language was also formerly spoken in the outer areas of what is now the city-state of Berlin, but in the course of urbanisation and national centralisation in that city, the language has vanished (the Berlin dialect itself is a northern outpost of High German, though it has some Low German features).

Today, there are still speakers outside Germany to be found in the coastal areas of present-day Poland (minority of ethnic German East Pomeranian speakers who were not expelled from Pomerania, as well as the regions around Braniewo).[citation needed] In the Southern Jutland region of Denmark there may still be some Low German speakers in some German minority communities, but the Low German dialects of Denmark can be considered moribund at this time.[citation needed]

Low German-speaking area before the expulsion of almost all Low German- and German-speakers from east of the Oder–Neisse line in 1945. Low German-speaking provinces of Germany east of the Oder, before 1945, were Pomerania with its capital Stettin (now Szczecin, Poland), where east of the Oder East Pomeranian dialects were spoken, and East Prussia with its capital Königsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia), where Low Prussian dialects were spoken. Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) was also a Low German-speaking city before 1945, and its former dialect Danzig German is also classified as Low Prussian.
Self-reported Low German speakers
State 'Well' or 'very well'[17] 'Very well' only[17]
% of pop. Numbers % of pop. Numbers
Schleswig-Holstein 24.5% 694,085 16.5% 467,445
North Rhine-Westphalia 11.8% 2,103,940 5.2% 927,160
Lower Saxony 15.4% 1,218,756 4.7% 371,958
Hamburg 9.5% 169,860 3.2% 57,216
Bremen 17.6% 116,336 9.9% 65,439
Brandenburg 2.8% 70,000 2.6% 65,000
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 20.7% 339,273 5.9% 96,701
Saxony-Anhalt 11.8% 275,058 2.2% 51,282
Entire Low German dialect area 15.7% 4,987,308 6.2% 2,197,205

The Netherlands


Dialects of Low German are spoken in the northeastern area of the Netherlands (Dutch Low Saxon) and are written there with an unstandardized orthography based on Standard Dutch orthography. The position of the language is, according to UNESCO, vulnerable.[18] Between 1995 and 2011 the numbers of parent speakers dropped from 34% in 1995 to 15% in 2011. Numbers of child speakers dropped from 8% to 2% in the same period.[19] According to a 2005 study 53% speak Low Saxon or Low Saxon and Dutch at home and 71% could speak it in the researched area.[20] The total number of speakers is estimated at 1.7 million speakers.[3] There are speakers in the Dutch north and eastern provinces of Groningen, Drenthe, Stellingwerf (part of Friesland), Overijssel, Gelderland, Utrecht and Flevoland, in several dialect groups per province.

Outside Europe and the Mennonites


There are also immigrant communities where Low German is spoken in the Western hemisphere, including Canada, the United States, Mexico, Belize, Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. In some of these countries, the language is part of the Mennonite religion and culture.[21] There are Mennonite communities in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Kansas and Minnesota which use Low German in their religious services and communities. These Mennonites are descended from primarily Dutch settlers that had initially settled in the Vistula delta region of Prussia in the 16th and 17th centuries before moving to newly acquired Russian territories in Ukraine in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and then to the Americas in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The types of Low German spoken in these communities and in the Midwest region of the United States have diverged since emigration. The survival of the language is tenuous in many places, and has died out in many places where assimilation has occurred. Members and friends of the Historical Society of North German Settlements in western New York (Bergholz, New York), a community of Lutherans who trace their immigration from Pomerania in the 1840s, hold quarterly "Plattdeutsch lunch" events, where remaining speakers of the language gather to share and preserve the dialect. Mennonite colonies in Paraguay, Belize, and Chihuahua, Mexico, have made Low German a "co-official language" of the community.[citation needed]

A public school in Witmarsum Colony (Paraná, Southern Brazil) teaches in the Portuguese language and in Plautdietsch.[22]

East Pomeranian is also spoken in parts of southern and southeastern Brazil, in the latter especially in the state of Espírito Santo, being official in five municipalities, and spoken among its ethnically European migrants elsewhere, primarily in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Rondônia. East Pomeranian-speaking regions of Southern Brazil are often assimilated into the general German Brazilian population and culture, for example celebrating the Oktoberfest, and there can even be a language shift from it to Riograndenser Hunsrückisch in some areas. In Espírito Santo, nevertheless, Pomeranian Brazilians are more often proud of their language, and particular religious traditions and culture,[23] and not uncommonly inheriting the nationalism of their ancestors, being more likely to accept marriages of its members with Brazilians of origins other than a Germanic Central European one than to assimilate with Brazilians of Swiss, Austrian, Czech, and non-East Pomeranian-speaking German and Prussian heritage[clarification needed] – that were much more numerous immigrants to both Brazilian regions (and whose language almost faded out in the latter, due to assimilation and internal migration)[clarification needed], by themselves less numerous than the Italian ones (with only Venetian communities in areas of highly Venetian presence conserving Talian, and other Italian languages and dialects fading out elsewhere).[clarification needed]



The language grouping of Low German is referred to, in the language itself as well as in its umbrella languages of German and Dutch, in several different ways, ranging from official names such as Niederdeutsche and Nederduits to more general characterisations such as "dialect". The proliferation of names or characterisations is due in part to the grouping stretching mainly across two different countries and to it being a collection of varieties rather than a standardised language.

There are different uses of the term "Low German":

In Germany, native speakers of Low German call their language Platt, Plattdütsch, Plattdüütsch, Plattdütsk, Plattdüütsk, Plattduitsk (South-Westphalian), Plattduitsch (Eastphalian), Plattdietsch (Low Prussian), or Nedderdüütsch. In the Netherlands, native speakers refer to their language as dialect, plat, Nedersaksisch, or the name of their village, town or district.

Officially, Low German is called niederdeutsche Sprache or plattdeutsche Sprache (Nether or Low German language), Niederdeutsch or Plattdeutsch (Nether or Low German) in High German by the German authorities, nedderdüütsche Spraak (Nether or Low German language), Nedderdüütsch or Plattdüütsch (Nether or Low German) in Low German by the German authorities and Nedersaksisch (Nether or Low Saxon) by the Dutch authorities. Plattdeutsch, Niederdeutsch and Platduits, Nedersaksisch are seen in linguistic texts from the German and Dutch linguistic communities respectively.

In Danish it is called Plattysk, Nedertysk or, rarely, Lavtysk. Mennonite Low German is called Plautdietsch.

"Low" refers to the flat plains and coastal area of the northern European lowlands, contrasted with the mountainous areas of central and southern Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, where High German (Highland German) is spoken.[25]

The colloquial term Platt denotes both Low German dialects and any non-standard Western variety of German; this use is chiefly found in northern and Western Germany and is not considered to be linguistically correct.[26]

The ISO 639-2 language code for Low German has been nds (niedersächsisch or nedersaksisch, neddersassisch) since May 2000.



Low German is a part of the continental West Germanic dialect continuum. To the West, it blends into the Low Franconian languages, including Dutch. A distinguishing feature between the Low Franconian varieties and Low German varieties is the plural of the verbs. Low German varieties have a common verbal plural ending, whereas Low Franconian varieties have a different form for the second person plural. This is complicated in that in most Low Franconian varieties, including standard Dutch, the original second-person plural form has replaced the singular. Some dialects, including again standard Dutch, innovated a new second-person plural form in the last few centuries, using the other plural forms as the source.

To the South, Low German blends into the High German dialects of Central German that have been affected by the High German consonant shift. The division is usually drawn at the Benrath line that traces the makenmachen isogloss.

To the East, it abuts the Kashubian language (the only remnant of the Pomeranian language) and, since the expulsion of nearly all Germans from the Polish part of Pomerania following the Second World War, also by the Polish language. East Pomeranian and Central Pomeranian are dialects of Low German.

To the North and Northwest, it abuts the Danish and the Frisian languages. In Germany, Low German has replaced the Danish and Frisian languages in many regions. Saterland Frisian is the only remnant of East Frisian language and is surrounded by Low German, as are the few remaining North Frisian varieties, and the Low German dialects of those regions have influences from Frisian substrates.

Most linguists classify the dialects of Low German together with English and Frisian as the North Sea Germanic or Ingvaeonic languages. However, most exclude Low German from the group often called Anglo-Frisian languages because some distinctive features of that group of languages are only partially preserved in Low German, for instance the Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law (some dialects have us, os for "us" whereas others have uns, ons), and because other distinctive features almost do not occur in Low German at all, for instance the palatalization and assibilation of /k/ (compare palatalized forms such as English cheese, Frisian tsiis to non-palatalized forms such as Low German Kees or Kaise, Dutch kaas, German Käse but Low German Sever/Sebber while German Käfer[27]) However, since Anglo-Frisian features occur in Low German and especially in its older language stages, there is a tendency to prefer the Ingvaeonic classification instead of the Anglo-Frisian one, which also takes Low German into account. Because Old Saxon came under strong Old High German and Old Low Franconian influence early on and therefore lost many Ingvaeonic features that were to be found much more extensively in earlier language states.[28]

Language or dialect


The question of whether today's Low German should be considered a separate language or a dialect of German or even Dutch has been a point of contention. Although Low German is mostly regarded as an independent language[29] linguistics offers no simple, generally accepted criterion to decide the question.

Scholarly arguments have been put forward for classifying Low German as a German dialect.[30] As stated above, the arguments are not linguistic but rather sociopolitical and revolve mainly around the fact that Low German has no official standard form or use in sophisticated media. The situation of Low German may thus be considered a "pseudo-dialectized abstand language" ("scheindialektisierte Abstandsprache").[31] In contrast, Old Saxon and Middle Low German are generally considered separate languages in their own right. Since Low German has strongly declined since the 18th century, the perceived similarities with High German or Dutch may often be direct adaptations from the dominating standard language, resulting in a growing inability by speakers to speak correctly what was once Low German proper.[32]

Others have argued for the independence of today's Low German dialects, taken as continuous outflow of the Old Saxon and Middle Low German tradition.[33] Glottolog classifies six varieties of Low German as distinct languages based on a low degree of mutual intelligibility. Eastern Low German and Plautdietsch are classified as part of Greater East Low German, while Eastphalian, Westphalic, and the North Low Saxon languages, German Northern Low Saxon and Gronings, are classified as part of West Low German.[34]


Low German has been recognized by the Netherlands and by Germany (since 1999) as a regional language according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Within the official terminology defined in the charter, this status would not be available to a dialect of an official language (as per article 1a), and hence not to Low German in Germany if it were considered a dialect of German. Advocates of the promotion of Low German have expressed considerable hope that this political development will at once lend legitimacy to their claim that Low German is a separate language, and help mitigate the functional limits of the language that may still be cited as objective criteria for a mere dialect (such as the virtually complete absence from legal and administrative contexts, schools, the media, etc.).[35]

At the request of Schleswig-Holstein, the German government has declared Low German as a regional language. German offices in Schleswig-Holstein are obliged to accept and handle applications in Low German on the same footing as Standard High German applications.[36] The Bundesgerichtshof ruled in a case that this was even to be done at the patent office in Munich, in a non–Low German region, when the applicant then had to pay the charge for a translator,[37] because applications in Low German are considered not to be written in the German language.

Varieties of Low German

Low German dialects around the world



Old Saxon


Old Saxon (Altsächsisch), also known as Old Low German (Altniederdeutsch), is a West Germanic language. It is documented from the 9th century until the 12th century, when it evolved into Middle Low German. It was spoken on the north-west coast of Germany by Saxon peoples. It is closely related to Old Anglo-Frisian (Old Frisian, Old English), partially participating in the Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law.

Only a few texts survive, predominantly in baptismal vows the Saxons were required to perform at the behest of Charlemagne. The only literary texts preserved are Heliand and the Old Saxon Genesis.

Old Saxon Modern Low German
Fadar usa firiho barno, Vadder van us, (...)
thu bist an them hohon himila rikea, Du bist an den hogen himmlischen Riek,
geuuihid si thin namo uuordo gehuuilico, Hiligt wees dien naam in elk Woord,
Cuma thin craftag riki. Kaam dien mächtig Riek.
UUerða thin uuilleo oƀar thesa werold alla, Warr dien Wille över düsse Werld allerwegens,
so sama an erðo, so thar uppa ist so up de Eerd, as dat it is dor baven
an them hohon himilo rikea. in den hogen himmlischen Riek.
Gef us dag gehuuilikes rad, drohtin the godo, Giff us elk Dag Raad, Herr de Gode,
thina helaga helpa, endi alat us, Dine hilige Hölp, un laat us free,
heƀenes uuard, Beschermer van de Heven,
managoro mensculdio, us männje Schullen,
al so uue oðrum mannum doan. ust so as wi doot mit anneren Minschen.
Ne lat us farledean leða uuihti Laat lege Wichten nich us verschünnen
so forð an iro uuileon, so uui uuirðige sind, jümehr Willen to doon, as wi würdig sind,
ac help us uuiðar allun uƀilon dadiun. man hölp us twingen tegen alle öveln Daden.

Middle Low German


The Middle Low German language (Mittelniederdeutsch) is an ancestor of modern Low German. It was spoken from about 1100 to 1600. The neighbouring languages within the dialect continuum of the West Germanic languages were Middle Dutch in the West and Middle High German in the South, later substituted by Early New High German. Middle Low German was the lingua franca of the Hanseatic League, spoken all around the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.[38] It had a significant influence on the Scandinavian languages and other languages around the Baltic Sea. Based on the language of Lübeck, a standardized written language was developing, though it was never codified.

Middle Low German Modern Low German
Van deme thunkonnynck Van dên niëtelkuönînk
Yd gheschach vp eynen voryarsdach, Et geschooich up eenen vruijaorsdag
Alze grone men bomen vnde haghen sach Asse gruinen mên buime on hagen saoch
Vnde manck de krüder vele schone blomen, Un mank de kruder viêle schuine blooumen,
Men horde ghesangen wyde van bomen, Men horde ghesangen wyde van bomen,
Do boeden voghelen grote vnde kleyne Doar bowweden vuëgel, graaute on kleeine,
Nester vp dat se nicht leuen alleyne. Nester, op dat ze nich liêwen alleeîne.
Eyn thunkonnynck wonede wol tho vreden Eein niëtelkuönînk woeönde wul touvriêr
Myt wyff vnde kyndere in eyner steden Met wiew un kînners în eeine stiehe,
Waghenschune wol aff gheleghen, În ’ne waogenschoer woal afgeliêgen,
Dar balken vogheles nester dreghen. Dar balken vogheles nester dreghen.
Eyns weren vth ghevloghen de olden, Eeins wören oetvloeögen de aaulen,
Wente se vödynge vynden wolden Wieldat ze voder vînnen wollen
Vor ere yungen tho huß in deme neste, Veur iêre jongen touhoes în dên neste,
Dat se gud ethen vnde wassen vpt beste. Dat ze gout iêten on wassen op’t beste.
Men do se vth ghevloghen tho tweyne, Mên wiel ze oetvloeögen weuren tou tweeine,
Weren de yungen gantz alleyne. Weuren de jongen gaans aleeine.
Alzo de vader quam wedder thom nest, As dên de vaoder toun nest wier kwam,
Is dar eyn gantz arg gheluth ghewest. Was doar eein arget geloete aan gaang.
Was doar eein arget geloete aan gaang. Doa sproik he »Worumme dat, kînners mien,
We dede yw an solke wee vnde pyn?« Wêr dêe joe aan sokke laiden on pien?«
»Leue vader,« repen se, »horet gy! »Lêiwe vaoder,« roipen ze, »heuëret Jie!
Eyn groue vnwycht quam hyr vor by. Eein groawe onwicht kwam hier veurbie.
Seer greselyk sach he vth vnde slym. Zêêr greeslik saoch hei oet on slim.
Syne oghen glvpeden quad vnde grym Ziene aaugen gloepkeden kwaaud on met grîm
Wo kvnden wy dar ane anxte syn?« Woe konnen wi doar aaune aangste zien?«
»Wanne, kyndere myn,« sus sprack he do, »Waorhen, kînnerken mien,« zaau sproik hei doar,
»War is de vnwycht ghebleuen? Secht tho!« »Waor is de onwicht bliewen? Zegget tou!«
»Leue vader,« he do tho antwort krech, »Lêiwe vader,« hêw hei tou aantwoort krieëgen
»He ghynck van hyr vp dennen wech.« »Hei göng van hier op dênne wiêgen.«
Alzo sprack de vader »Wachtet gy hyr! Aal voart sproik de vaoder » Tuiwet gie hier!
Syd gy schon stylle! Bewyset fyn tzyr! Ziët gie schuîn stîlle! Bewiezet vien sier!
Ick wyl en volgen vnde sal en wol kryghen. Ik wil em volgen on zal em woal kriegen.
Dar vmme möthen gy schulen vnde swyghen. Doarumme muëtet gie schoelen on swiegen.
Gy dorven nu nicht vruchten meer. Gie druëwet noe nich vruchten mêêr.
Ik wyl drade komen wedder heer.« Ik wîl gawwe koeömen wier hiêr.«
De thunkonnynck is vp den wech ghevloghen, De niëtelkuönînk is op den wiêge vloeögen,
Vnde alze he quam vmme eynen boghen, On as hei kwaim ümme eeinen boeögen,
Sach he dar eynen lauen ghaen Sach he dar eynen lauen ghaen
Myt breydem rugge vnde langer maen. Met breeiden rugge on laanke maon.
Men de luttyke voghel was vnvorverd, Mên de lutke voagel was onvervêrt,
Alze sy des lauen kraft weynich werd. Asse weur den löwwen zien kraft weeinig wêrt.
He vloch vp des lauen rugge myt hast, Hei vloig op den löwwen zien rugge met hast,
He sette de klouen dar ynne vast Hei zett’de de klaauen doar înne vast
Vnde vunck eyn seer luth schelden an, On vöng eein zêêr loetet schênnen aan,
Alze luth eyn voghel ok schelden kan. Asse loet eein vuagel aauk schênnen kaan.
Men de laue horde nicht den luttyken ryder Mên de löwwe hêörde nich den lutken rieder
Vnde ghynck synen wech gantz stylle wyder. On göng zienen wiêge gaans stille wieder.
Do worde des kerlkens torn noch slymmer. Doar weurde dat kêrlken zien torn naau slîmmer.
Syn moth worde dryster, syn vlöken grymmer. Zien moout weurde driester, sien vluiken grîmmer.
»Ick segge dy, slumpe bözewycht, »Ik zegge die, slompe buizewicht,
Myne kynder vorveren vorloue ick nicht! Miene kînners vervêren verluiwe ik nicht!
Vnde kumpst du wedder tho mynem nest, On kümps du wier tou mienen nest,
Is yd eyn myßdat, dat du doest tho lest. Is et eein misdaaut, deei doe dois toulest.
Ick wyl yd nicht gherne doen. O neyn!« Ik wîl et nich gêren doun. O neeîn!«
Vnde he lüftede an eyn van syn beyn, On hei luftede aan eein van zien beeîn,
»Nochtan dede ick yd – god möthe my wreken: »Doach daon dê ik et – God mogte mie vriêken:
Myt mynem beyn dyn rugge thobreken.« Met mienen beeîn dien rugge toubriêken.«
Sus vloch he tho rugge tho synem huß, Zaau vloig hei tourugge tou zienen hoes,
War de kyndere wachten, elk styl alze eyn muß, Wao de kînnerken tuiw’den, êlk stîl as eein moes,
Vnde sprack »horet, kynder! Ick gaff deme syn leer. On sproik »Hêöret, kînner! Ik gaaif dêm zien lêêr.
He kumpt nu nicht wedder. Heei kump noe nich wier.
Neyn, nummer meer!« Neei, nummer mêêr!«




There is a distinction between the German and the Dutch Low Saxon/Low German situation.



After mass education in Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries, the slow decline which Low German had been experiencing since the end of the Hanseatic League turned into a free fall. The decision to exclude Low German in formal education was not without controversy, however. On one hand, proponents of Low German advocated that since it had a strong cultural and historical value and was the native language of students in northern Germany, it had a place in the classroom. On the other hand, High German was considered the language of education, science, and national unity, and since schools promoted these values, High German was seen as the best candidate for the language of instruction.[42]

Initially, regional languages and dialects were thought to limit the intellectual ability of their speakers. When historical linguists illustrated the archaic character of certain features and constructions of Low German, this was seen as a sign of its "backwardness". It was not until the efforts of proponents such as Klaus Groth that this impression changed. Groth's publications demonstrated that Low German was a valuable language in its own right, and he was able to convince others that Low German was suitable for literary arts and was a national treasure worth keeping.[42]

Through the works of advocates like Groth, both proponents and opponents of Low German in formal education saw the language's innate value as the cultural and historical language of northern Germany. Nevertheless, opponents claimed that it should simply remain a spoken and informal language to be used on the street and in the home, but not in formal schooling. In their opinion, it simply did not match the nationally unifying power of High German. As a result, while Low German literature was deemed worthy of being taught in school, High German was chosen as the language of scholarly instruction. With High German the language of education and Low German the language of the home and daily life, a stable diglossia developed in Northern Germany.[42] Various Low German dialects are understood by 10 million people, but many fewer are native speakers. Total users of Low German (nds) are approximately 2.5 million, with 300,000 native speakers in Brazil and 1,000 in Germany as of 2016.[43]

The KDE project supports Low German (nds) as a language for its computer desktop environment,[44] as does the GNOME Desktop Project. Open-source software has been translated into Low German; this used to be coordinated via a page on SourceForge,[45] but as of 2015, the most active project is that of KDE.[46]



In the early 20th century, scholars in the Netherlands argued that speaking dialects hindered language acquisition, and it was therefore strongly discouraged. As education improved, and mass communication became more widespread, the Low Saxon dialects further declined, although decline has been greater in urban centres of the Low Saxon regions. When in 1975 dialect folk and rock bands such as Normaal and Boh Foi Toch [nl] became successful with their overt disapproval of what they experienced as "misplaced Dutch snobbery" and the Western Dutch contempt for (speakers of) Low Saxon dialects, they gained a following among the more rurally oriented inhabitants, launching Low Saxon as a sub-culture. They inspired contemporary dialect artists and rock bands, such as Daniël Lohues [nl], Mooi Wark [Nl], Jovink en de Voederbietels [Nl], Hádiejan [Nl] Nonetheless, the position of the language is vulnerable according to UNESCO.[18] Low Saxon is still spoken more widely than in Northern Germany. Efforts are made in Germany and in the Netherlands to protect Low German as a regional language.

Phonetic and grammatical changes


High German consonant shift


As with the Anglo-Frisian and North Germanic languages, Low German has not been influenced by the High German consonant shift except for old /ð/ having shifted to /d/. Therefore, a lot of Low German words sound similar to their English counterparts. One feature that does distinguish Low German from English generally is final devoicing of obstruents, as exemplified by the words 'good' and 'wind' below. This is a characteristic of Dutch and German as well and involves positional neutralization of voicing contrast in the coda position for obstruents (i.e. t = d at the end of a syllable.) This is not used in English except in the Yorkshire dialect, where there is a process known as Yorkshire assimilation.[47]

For instance: water [wɒtɜ, ˈwatɜ, ˈwætɜ], later [ˈlɒːtɜ, ˈlaːtɜ, ˈlæːtɜ], bit [bɪt], dish [dis, diʃ], ship [ʃɪp, skɪp, sxɪp], pull [pʊl], good [ɡou̯t, ɣɑu̯t, ɣuːt], clock [klɔk], sail [sɑi̯l], he [hɛi̯, hɑi̯, hi(j)], storm [stoːrm], wind [vɪˑnt], grass [ɡras, ɣras], hold [hoˑʊl(t)], old [oˑʊl(t)]. The table below shows the relationship between Low German consonants which were unaffected by this chain shift and their equivalents in other West Germanic languages. Contemporary Swedish and Icelandic shown for comparison; Eastern and Western North Germanic languages, respectively.

The table below shows the relationship between Low German consonants which were unaffected by this chain shift and their equivalents in other West Germanic languages. Contemporary Swedish and Icelandic shown for comparison; Eastern and Western North Germanic languages, respectively.

Proto-Germanic High German Northern Low German Dutch English High German West Frisian Swedish Icelandic
-k- -ch- maken maken make machen meitsje maka (arch.)
k- k- Keerl (Kerl) (fellow) kerel churl Kerl * tsjirl (arch.) karl karl
d- t- Dag dag day Tag dei dag dagur
-t- -ss- eten (ȩten, äten)
[Westphalian: iäten]
eten eat essen ite äta eta
t- z- (/t͡s/) teihn (tein) tien ten zehn tsien tio tíu
-tt- -tz-, -z- (/t͡s/) sitten zitten sit sitzen sitte sitta sitja
-p -f, -ff Schipp, Schepp, Schüpp and Skipp schip ship Schiff skip skepp *** skip
p- pf- Peper peper pepper Pfeffer piper peppar pipar
-β- -b- Wiew, Wiewer; Wief, Wiewer; Wief, Wiever; Wief, Wieber wijf, wijven ** wife, wives Weib, Weiber ** wiif, wiven viv ** víf


* High German Kerl is a loanword from Low German.
** The series Wiefwijf, etc. are cognates, not semantic equivalents. The meanings of some of these words have shifted over time. For example, the correct equivalent term for "wife" in modern Dutch, German and Swedish is vrouw, Frau and fru respectively; using wijf, Weib or viv for a human is considered archaic in Swedish and nowadays derogatory in Dutch and German, comparable to "wicked girl". No cognate to Frau / vrouw / fru has survived in English (compare Old English frōwe "lady"; the English word frow "woman, lady" rather being a borrowing of the Middle Dutch word).
*** Pronounced shepp since the 17th century



Like English and Frisian, Low German is part of the North Sea Germanic languages and therefore has so-called Ingvaonisms. However, these are not distributed equally regionally everywhere. Some dialects have more and others fewer of these features, while some only occur in older forms of language and only leave relics in modern Low German.

Ingvaonic development Low German (different dialects) English Westfrisian Dutch German
Nasal-Spirant-Law küüt[50] could koed gekund gekonnt
us us ús ons uns
wöösken to wish winskje wensen nschen
gais goose goes gans Gans
wy stödden[51] we stood wy stiene we stonden wir standen
toeggede[52] tenth tsiende tiende zehnte
fiewe five fif vijf nf
määske - minske mens Mensch
süss - - zus (obj.) sonst
R-Metathesis beort[52] board board bord Brett
däärde third tredde derde dritter
dartehn thirteen trettjin dertien dreizehn
dartig thirty tritich dertig dreißig
borste breast boarst borst Brust
forsk frosk froask kikvors Frosch
hors[53] horse hoars ros Ross
born[54] bourn boarne bron Brunnen
dröwwen thair (dialectal) doarre durven dürfen
Loss of persons distincions

in plural forms of verbs

wi doot OE: wē dōþ wy dogge wij doen wir tun
ji doot OE: ġē dōþ jim dogge julie doen ihr tut
jij doet
se doot OE: hīe dōþ sy dogge zij doen sie tun
No "t" in 3rd person singular of "to be" is ~ es is is is ist
No "r" in 1st person plural pronoun wi we wy wij wir
Future tense formation

with the auxiliary verb "shall"

schallen/sallen shall sille zullen werden
No distinction between

dative and accusative


(East Frisian dialect)

objective objective objective accusative dative
den[55] - - - den dem
dessen[56] this dizze deze diesen diesem
mi[57] me my mij mich mir
di[58] you (thee) dy jou dich dir
hüm[59] him him hem ihn ihm
hör[60] her har haar sie ihr
dat[61] it it het es ihm
u(n)s[62][63] us ús ons uns uns
jo[64] you jo jullie euch euch
hör[60] them harren hen ~ hun sie ihnen
Using other personal pronouns he he hy hij er
se, he (only in Twente[65]) OE: hēo sy, hja zij sie
ji you jim jullie ihr
se OE: hīe sy, hja zij sie
No ge-prefix maakt made makke gemaakt gemacht
daon done dien gedaan getan
sehn seen sjoen gezien gesehen
gaone gone gien gegaan gegangen
lääsen, leest[66] read lêzen gelezen gelesen
Assibilization or palatalization of velar consonants OS: kiennan[67] OE: cunnan kenne kennen kennen
OS: kiesur[68] OE: caser keizer keizer Kaiser
MLG: zint[69] child - Kind Kind
Northern Low German: Sebber/Sever[70] OE: ċeafor krobbe kever Käfer
OS: ieldan[67] yield jild geld Geld
Palatalization of Germanic "a" OS: therf[71] OE: thearf ? ? darf
OS: deg[72] day

OE: dæg

dei dag Tag
OS: gles[73] glas

OE: glæs

glês glas Glas
Loss reflexive pronoun in 3rd person singular plural 3rd p. s. m. sik/sey,[74] um (for example in Vriezenveen)[75] himself him zich sich
3rd p. s. f. sik/ierk,[74] eer (for example in Vriezenveen)[75] herself har zich sich
3rd p. p. sik/ierk,[74] eer ( for example in Vriezenveen)[75] themself harren zich sich

Other changes


In addition, there are of course numerous other changes that are not related to Ingwaonic phenomena, but that arose in exchange with other languages or something else. The table below reflects some of these developments insofar as they affect several dialects and are therefore not exceptional phenomena.

Sound change German Frisian Dutch Low German Swedish English
ks → ss wachsen waakse wassen wassen xa (to grow)
Fuchs voks fos foss fux fox
Ochse okse ose osse oxe ox
sechs seis zes sess sex six
Wachs waaks was was vax wax
intervocalic /d/ cluster alt - älter âld- âlder oud - ouder old - oller gammal - äldre old - older
kalt - kälter kâld - kâlder koud - kouder kold - koller kallt - kallare cold - colder
wild - wilder wyld - wylder wild - wilder wild - willer vild - vildare wild- wilder
unter ûnder onder unner under under
Schulter skouder schouder schuller skuldra shoulder



Generally speaking, Low German grammar shows similarities with the grammars of Dutch, Frisian, English, and Scots, but the dialects of Northern Germany share some features (especially lexical and syntactic features) with German dialects.

Personal pronouns


The following table tries to reflect the linguistic situation of the individual dialects as diverse as possible and to name as many case forms of the respective pronouns, but it is not able to do justice to every dialect. So the pronoun of the third person singular feminine can be pronounced as follows: se(e), sey, soi, etc. Only one of these variants can be found in the table. This also applies to all other pronouns.

Personal pronouns[78][79][80][74][81]
Case 1st person 2nd person 3rd person
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative ik(ke)


wy du




he it/(h)et/öt



he (just in Twente used)



Accusative/Objective my/


u(n)s/üsk dy/

dik/dek/ ju


ink/ jem/jüm








(h)er/(h)ör/ se/


Dative (Assinghausen) mey us dey uch iämme iämme iär iänne

Reflexive pronouns

While Old Saxon has lost the Germanic reflexive pronouns such as Old English and Old Frisian and instead resorts to the relevant third-person personal pronoun, modern Low German borrows reflexive pronouns from German. In Sauerland, it is conjugated as in Proto-Germanic and Icelandic. In addition, a distinction is made between the individual genders as well as individual and multiple people.


Person East Frisian LG Southern Westphalian Vriezenveen Islandic
Objective Accusative Dative Objektive Accusative Dative Genetive
1. Singular mi miëck mey mii meg mér mín
2. Singular di diëck dey dii þig þér þín
3. Singular, Masculin sük siëck sey um sig sér sín
3. Singular, Feminin sük siëck sey/iärk eer sig sér sín
3. Singular, Neutral sük siëck sey um sig sér sín
1. Plural us us us oons okkur okkur okkar
2. Plural ju ugg ugg ůů ykkur ykkur ykkar
3. Plural sük iärk iärk eer sig sér sín


The respective translations consist only of cognates of the same origins. The sentences do not necessarily have to correspond semantically.

English East Frisian LG Southern Westphalian Vjens
He washes himself the hands. He wasket sük de hannen. Hai wäsket sey dei hänne. Hei wasket um de handen.
She washes herself. Se wasket sük. Sei wasket iärk. Zei wasket eer.
He washes himself. He wasket sük. Hai wasket siëck. Hei wasket um.
They wash themselves. Se wasken sük. Sei wasket iärk. Zei wasket eer.



In Low German verbs are conjugated for person, number, and tense. There are five tenses in Low German:[citation needed] present tense, preterite, perfect, and pluperfect, and in Mennonite Low German the present perfect which signifies a remaining effect from a past finished action. For example, "Ekj sie jekomen", "I am come", means that the speaker came and he is still at the place to which he came as a result of his completed action.

Unlike Dutch, High German, and southern Low German, the northern dialects form the past participle without the prefix ge-, like the Scandinavian languages, Frisian and English. Compare northern Low German slapen to the German past participle geschlafen. This past participle is used with the auxiliary verbs hewwen/hebben "to have" and wesen/sin/sien "to be". When the past participle ends with -en or in a few oft-used words like west (been).

The conjugation patterns can vary greatly depending on the dialect. The more northern dialects are strongly influenced by German, while East Westphalian and especially Vjens have retained many ancient features.

East-Westphalian conjugation examples[85]
verbs briäken, "to break" täin "to pull" doun, "to do" gaun, "to go" helpen, "to help" küren, "to speak" willen, "to want/ to become" kwuomen, "to come" haulen, "to hold" skräggen, "to shout" skäilen, "to scold" beskriieben, "to describe" wasken, "to wash"
Infinitive briäken täin doun gaun helpen küren willen kwuomen haulen skräggen skäilen beskriieben wasken
Participle Present briäken täin doun gaun helpen küren willen kwuomen haulen skräggen skäilen beskriieben wasken
Past bruoken tuogen daun gaun holpen kürt wolt kwuom haulen skrägget skuolen beskriben wasken
Indicative Present Singular 1st person briäke tee doo goo helpe küre will kwuome haule skrägge skäile beskriiewe waske
2nd person bräks tüss döss gäis helps kürs wüss kümms hölts skrägges skäils beskrifs waskes
3rd person briäk tüt dött gäit helpet kürt will kümmp hölt skrägget skäilt beskrif wasket
Plural briäket teet doot goot helpet kürt willt kwuomet hault skrägget skäilt beskriiewet wasket
Past Singular 1st person broik toig dää göng hölp kürede woll kweimp hoilt skräggede skoilt beskreif waskede
2nd person broiks toigs dääs göngs hölpes küredes woss kweimps hoilts skräggedes skoils beskreifs waskedes
3rd person broik toig dää göng hölp kürede woll kweimp hoilt skräggede skoilt beskreif waskede
Plural broiken toigen dään göngen hölpen küreden wollen kweimen hoilen skräggeden skoilen beskreiwen waskeden
Imperative Singular briäk tee dot gong help kür wuss kwumm haul skrägge skäil beskriiew waske
Plural briäket teet doot goot helpet kürt willt kwuomet hault skrägget skäilt beskriiewet wasket
Northern Low German conjugation examples[86]
verbs breken, "to break" tehn"to pull" doon, "to do" gahn, "to go" helpen, "to help" snacken, "to speak" willen, "to want/ to become" kamen, "to come" holen, "to carry" schre'en, "to shout" schellen, "to scold" beschrieven, "to describe" waschen, "to wash"
Infinitive breken tehn doon gahn helpen snacken willen kamen holen schre'en schellen beschrieven waschen
Participle Present breken tehn doon gahn helpen snacken willen kamen holen schre'en schellen beschrieven waschen
Past braken tagen dahn gahn hulpen snackt wullt kamen holen schreet schlellt beschreven wuschen
Indicative Present Singular 1st person breek teh do gah help snack will kaam hool schree schell beschriev wasch
2nd person brickst tühst deist geihst helpst snackst willst kummst höllst schreest schellst beschriffst waschst
3rd person brickt tüht deit geiht helpt snackt will kummt höllt schreet schellt beschrifft wascht
Plural breekt teht doon gaht helpt snackt wölt kaamt hoolt schreet schellt beschrievt wascht
Past Singular 1st person bröök töög deed güng hölp snack wull keem höölen schree schell beschreev wüsch
2nd person bröökst töögst deedst güngst hölpst snackst wullst keemst höölst schreest schellst beschreevst wüschst
3rd person bröök töög deed güng hölp snack wull keem hööl schree schell beschreev wüsch
Plural bröken tögen deden güngen hölpen snacken wullen kemen hölen schreen schellen beschreven wüschen
Imperative Singular breek teh do gah help snack will kaam hool schree schell beschriev wasch
Plural breekt teht doot gaht helpt snackt wöölt kamt hoolt schreet schellt beschrievt wascht
Vjens conjugation examples[85]
verbs bräken, "to break" dòůn, "to do" góón, "to go" helpen, "to help" wilen, "to want; to become" hoolen, "to carry" wasken, "to wash" biiten, " to bite" baigen, "to salvage" waiken, "to work" biieven, "to quake" visken, "to fish"
Infinitive bräken dòůn góón helpen wilen hoolen wasken biiten baigen waiken biieven visken
Participle Present bräkend dòůnd góónd helpend wilend hoolend waskend biitend baigend waikend biievend viskend
Past ebräken edòòn egóón ehölpen ewilt ehoolen ewösken ebjiten ebjörgen ewaiket ebiievet evisket
Indicative Present Singular 1st person bräke dòůe góó helpe wil hoole waske biite baige waike biieve viske
2nd person brekst dòůst geist helpst wist hóólst waskest bitst baigst waikst biievst viskest
3rd person brekt dòůn geiht helpt wil hóólt wasket bit baigt waikt biievt visket
Plural bräkt dòůt góót helpt wilt hoolt wasket biitt baigt waikt biievt visket
Past Singular 1st person brak dee göng hölp wól höül wöske bjet björg waiken biievde viskede
2nd person brakst deest göngst hölpst wóst höülst wöskest bjetst björgst waikenst biievdest viskedest
3rd person brak dee göng hölp wól höül wöske bjet bjrörg waiken biievde viskede
Plural brakken deen göngen hölpen wólen höülen wösken bjeten björgen waiken biievden viskeden
Imperative Singular bräk dòůe góó help ? hoole waske biite baige waike biieve viske
Plural bräkt dòůt góót helpt wilt hoolt wasket biitet baigt waikt biievt visket
East Pomeranian conjugation examples[87]
verbs breeka, to break" häwa, "to have" wila, "to want/ to become" måka, "to male" bruuka, "to need" raupa, "to call/ to shout"
Infinitive breeka häwa wila måka bruuka raupa
Participle Past brooka hat wud måkt bruukt roopa
Indicative Present Singular 1st person breek häw wil måk bruuk raup
2nd person breekst häst wist mökst bruukst raupst
3rd person breekt hät wil mök bruukt raupt
Plural breeka häwa wila måka bruuka raupa
Past Singular 1st person braik haar wu maik brüükt raip
2nd person braikst haast wust maikst brüükst raipst
3rd Person braik haar wu maik brüükt raip
Plural braika haara wula maika brüüka raipa

Similar to English and Dutch, the subjunctive has been lost in most Low German dialects. Instead, it is formed byusing the indicative forms of the past tense and the pluperfect tense. Whether a tense or a mode form is present can only be determined from the factual context of a sentence.[88]

Low German subjunctive 1/

English reported speech

Low German subjunctive 2
English Conditional 2 English Conditional 3
Low German He see to mi,

he kaam nu.

He see to mi,

he harr al eten.

Weer ik riek,

deed ik ju en Pony köpen,

Harr ik de tied hat,

harr ik ju hulpen.

English He said to me,

he came now.

He said to me,

he had already eaten.

If I were rich,

I would buy you a Pony.

If I had had the time,

I would have helped you.

However, compared to most other dialects, the Westphalian dialect has preserved an extremely complex conjugation of strong verbs with subjunctive:[89][90]

Infinitive Simple Past Westphalian

subjunctive 2

suin (to be) Ik was (I was) ik wöre (I would be)
bluiven (to stay) he blaiw (I stayed) he bliewe (he would Star)
kriupen (to crawl) he kraup (he crawled) he krüäpe (he would crawl)
soöken (to search) he sochte (he searched) he söchte (he would search)
wieten (to know) he wus (he knew) he wüsse (he would know)

There is also a progressive form of verbs in present, corresponding to the same in the Dutch language. It is formed with wesen (to be), the preposition an (at) and dat (the/it).

  Low German Dutch English
Main form Ik bün an't Maken. Ik ben aan het maken. I am making.
Main form 2 Ik do maken.1
Alternative form Ik bün an'n Maken.2 Ik ben aan het maken.
Alternative form 2 Ik bün maken.3 Ik ben makende. I am making.
1 Instead of wesen, sien (to be) Saxon uses doon (to do) to make to present continuous.
2 Many see the 'n as an old dative ending of dat which only occurs when being shortened after prepositions. This is actually the most frequently-used form in colloquial Low German.
3 This form is archaic and mostly unknown to Low German speakers. It is the same pattern as in the English example "I am making." The present participle has the same form as the infinitive: maken is either "to make" or "making".

In the very south of the East Westphalian language area, the original gerund of the West Germanic languages has been preserved:[91]

Infinitiv form Gerund form
maken (to make) to makene
kuoken (to cook) to kuokene
schniggen (to snow) to schniggene



The forms of Low German's adjectives are distinct from other closely related languages such as German and English. These forms fall somewhere in between these two languages. As in German, the adjectives in Low German may make a distinction between singular and plural to agree with the nouns that they modify,[92] as well as between the three genders, between the nominative and oblique cases and between indefinite (weak) and definite (strong) forms.[93] However, there is a lot of variation in that respect and some or all of these distinctions may also be absent, so that a single undeclined form of the adjective can occur in all cases, as in English. This is especially common in the neuter.[93] If the adjective is declined, the pattern tends to be as follows:

Gender Nominative Oblique Gloss
Masculine indefinite singular en starke(n) Kerl en(en) starke(n) Kerl 'a strong man'
indefinite plural starke Kerls starke Kerls 'strong men'
definite singular de starke Kerl den starken Kerl 'the strong man'
definite plural de starken Kerls de starken Kerls 'the strong men'
Feminine indefinite singular en(e) smucke Deern en(e) smucke Deern 'a pretty girl'
indefinite plural smucke Deerns smucke Deerns 'pretty girls'
definite singular de smucke Deern de smucke Deern 'the pretty girl'
definite plural de smucken Deerns de smucken Deerns 'the pretty girls'
Neuter indefinite singular en lütt((e)t) Land en lütt((e)t) Land 'a little country'
indefinite plural lütt Lannen lütt Lannen 'little countries'
definite singular dat lütte Land dat lütte Land 'the little country'
definite plural de lütten Lannen de lütten Lannen 'the little countries'

As mentioned above, alternative undeclined forms such as dat lütt Land, de lütt Lannen, en stark Kerl, de stark Kerl, stark Kerls, de stark Kerls etc. can occur.


The Westphalian and Eastphalian dialects have also preserved the so-called dative -e. In Middle Low German times, nouns whose genitive form ended in (e)s were formed in the dative case, in which an additional -e was added to the end of the word. Although the genitive has died out and is only preserved in fixed idioms, the dative -e has been preserved.[94]

Expression with

objective case

East Westphalian Münster


Westfrisian Dutch German
on the desk up 'n diske up den disk - - auf dem Tisch
on the field up 'n feile up dat feld op it fjild op het veld auf dem Feld
in water in 'n watere in dat water in it wetter in het water im Wasser
on the market up 'n markede up den market op de merk op de markt auf dem Markt




Labial Alveolar Post-
Palatal Velar/
Stop voiceless p t () k
voiced b d ɡ
Fricative voiceless f s ʃ (ç) x h
voiced v z (ʒ) (ɣ)
Nasal m n ŋ
Trill r (ʀ)
Approximant lateral l
plain j
  • A common feature of the Low German speaking dialects, is the retraction of /s z/ to [ ].[95][96]
  • The sound [ɣ] can occur as an allophone of /ɡ/ among dialects.
  • /r/ and /x/ can have allophones as [ɾ] and [ç].
  • /r/ can be articulated as uvular [ʀ] among Northern dialects and younger speakers.
  • The sound /j/ can also be realized as fricative or affricate sounds [ʝ~ʑ~ʒ], [], in word-initial position.[97][98]


Front Central Back
unrounded rounded
short long short long short long short long
Close ɪ ʏ ʊ
Close-mid øː ə
Open-mid ɛ ɛː œ œː (ɐ) ɔ ɔː
Open a (ɑ) (ɒː)
  • [ɒ] and [ɐ] can occur as allophones of /a/ and /r/.[97]
  • Vowel backness of /a/ to [ɑ] may also occur among dialects.[99]
Front Back
Close ia, iɛ, ua, uɛ,
Close-mid eˑi, ea øˑi, (øa) oˑu, oa
Open-mid ɛɪ œɪ ɔʊ, ɔˑi, ɔˑy
Open aˑɪ, aˑi aˑʊ, aˑu
  • [ɑ] can be heard as an allophone of /a/ within diphthongs.
  • Long phonemes //, /øː/, //, occur mostly in the Geest dialects, while in other dialects, they may be realized as diphthongs.[100][98]

Writing system


Low German is written using the Latin alphabet. There is no official standard orthography, though there are several locally more or less accepted orthographic guidelines. Those in the Netherlands are mostly based on Dutch orthography and may vary per dialect region, and those in Germany mostly follow German orthography. To the latter group belongs the orthography devised by Johannes Sass. It is mostly used by modern official publications and internet sites, especially the Low German Wikipedia. This diversity, a result of centuries of official neglect and suppression, has a very fragmenting and thus weakening effect on the language as a whole, since it has created barriers that do not exist on the spoken level.[101] Interregional and international communication is severely hampered by this.[citation needed] Most of these systems aim at representing the phonetic (allophonic) output rather than underlying (phonemic) representations.[citation needed]

Written language examples




(German spelling; from Bornholte, part of the city Verl, district Gütersloh)

Häi, hault maol!" reip de Schaiper den beiden Naowerjunges taou, de just nan Faile förn, "ick mott ju eiys wat votelln". "Brr! Wat gifft denn nijes?" fraogen de beiden. "Jä, voschrecket ju män nich!" fenk de Schaiper an, "out jun House kümp baule en Lêik. Ick hä vüörge Nacht seiyen, at de Mester in jun Backs en Sark maouk" "Hässe sieker in Babylon singen haot", lachen en de beiden out.

Kuotte Têit dorup waord de Var van de beiden krank un starv. De Mester quam ton Sark maken. Hüwelbank un Brä stün'n uppe Diäl: De Schaiper söll doch nich sin'n Willn häm'm. Auk waord'n Mester na ansägt, den Sark up kenne annern Stêie aose uppe Diäl färrig to maken. – Uppe Diäl aower wast döüster un binauet, un de Mester männ baule: " Wat de dauern Junges wull daobêi hätt, at ik den Sark hêier maken sall, in'n Backs geiht't doch viel biätter." He packe sick de gansen Saken uppe Kaorn, schauf daomet nan Backse un arbêije hêier wüdder.

Wo dao de beidn Junges, de na Kaounitz wän wörn, uppn Hoff quaim, trum'm se ährn eigen Augen nich: Aolles, wat de Schaiper seiyen ha, was indruopen.[102]

South Westphalian


(German spelling; from Attendorn)

Wamme' ter waterporten rut'r geet, üewwer baie brüggen, tem Feer'l rop'r, as wamme no Walmerich wöll, bi den Hospitöler—böümen owwer siek links häld un den biarg gerade rop stieget, do op" dann dian wiagg inschled, dai no Bremge fö'erd: so süht me in ener ecke en steenhoup, dai noch en wennig 'ner müre glieket. Düesse steenhoup was fiar tien' en sloatt', un op diam sloatte wu'nde de Beer'Ikhus, diamme no" sloatt un üemmegie ggend Beer Ikhusen" hedden. Domols gong hiehiar en haupwiagg, fiell befo'ert, berien' un ren, noch mehr bi nachd. Dann lachdel Beer'lIkhus op der luer, strofte wat kam, lüe te bego'n. So siekker amme dage dai wiagg was, so unsiekker wor hai, wann 't owend woll faute', fo'er-unkoup-lüe". Unger den wiaggen harre dai droot" li'en. Kam 'ne kare oder en piard ferbi, so toug dai droot 'ne schelle, dai op'm sloatte hong: dann Beer'lkhus foord op un futt". Wollen se ne packen, sou verlousen se balle si'n spuar, dann hai harre si' nen piarren de isern verkaard unger den beenen; wann se mainden, hai wör op sinem sloatte, so was hai ganz wo anders, un wann sai ian ganz wo anders glowwten, was hai ter hemen. Et kamen klagen üewwer klagen no Attendor'n, – un diam üewwel mochte afholpen weren. Lange tiet woll 't nit gero'n, bit in der kristnachd. Me harre utspickeleerd, dat Beer'Ikhus nachd no Hellen" in de kiarke wöll. Indiamme nu ene afdeelunge no Beer'lkhusen toug, det sloatt in brand staak un plünderde, warde dai andere afdeelunge op'm biarge op den Beer lkhus. Do küemmet'e van Hellen terrügge, si'ne fraue süht Beer'lkhusen in hellen flammen, sloatt ies verewiged se brannte woren, ,o elend, o elend!" Do slott kugein sai un Beer Ikhus doud. Dai bit innen grund af. De ghüdder follen an Attendor'n. dann noch zunders hed dat stücke, wo düet geschog,„et elend". Et sloatt brannte bit innen grund af. De ghüdder follen an Attendor'n.[103]

Westphalian dialect of the County of Bentheim


(German spelling)

Round üm mij to blööiden Houndeblomen, Botterblomen, Suurblaa en anner Gewas. Üm mij to summden en brummden de Iemen en als röök soa heärlik mooi. Up 't Water van 'n Kolk höarde ik of en to 'n paar Äinten snadern en in 't Löis söink 'ne Reetmüsche17. Anners was 't heelmoals still üm mij to. - Dann höarde ik up 't Moal een sacht Gerüsche in 't Gröss. 'ne Eweldasse18 kwamm up mij an. Ik bleef heel still sitten üm dat Deärken nich to verschrikken. Up 'ne schiere Sândstee höll 't up an, misschien üm sik to sünnen. Joa, hier bleef et en röarde sik nich meär. Dat köämp mij good topasse. Nuw kunn ik mij dat Kruupdeär ääm good bekieken. Siene Huud was gröön-bruun met witte Stippen drup. De Bene wassen soa raa ofknickd en se schienden mij at of se wall slimm kott wassen, want et Lief raakde up de Ground. Wall hoast een half Üür heb ik et gedüllig bij dat Deärken uthollen.[104]

(transferred into "West Overiessel Spelling")

Round um mij to bleuiden houndeblomen, botterblomen, zoerblaa en anner gewas. Um mij to zoemden en broemden de iemen en als reuk zoa hearlijk mooi. Up 't water van 'n kolk heurde ik of en to 'n paar einten snadern en in 't leuis [riet] zeuink 'ne reetmusse. Anners was 't heelmoals stil um mij to. Dan heurde ik up 't moal een zacht gerusse in 't grös. 'ne Eweldasse kwam up mij an. Ik bleef heel stil zitten um dat dearken nich to verschrikken. Up 'ne schiere zaundstee höl 't up an, misschien um zik to zunnen. Joa, hier bleef et en reurde zik nich mear. Dat keump mij good topasse. Noew kun ik mij dat kroepdear eem good bekieken. Ziene hoed was greun-broen met witte stippen drup. De bene wassen zoa raa ofknikt en ze schienden mij at of ze wal slim kot wassen, want et lief raakte up de ground. Wal hoast een half uur heb ik et gedullig bij dat dearken oethollen.



(Spelling of "Ostfälische Bibliothek")

Wöi wüllt ja tau jök reoverkumen, aver wöi hevvet neine Töid", säe möine Friu, "diu weist doch eok, dat möin H. nich mäier sau giud tau Faute is. Vor twei Wecken herre hei wier Weidoge, un ek säe tau üene, hei schall nich sauviel arbeien. Hei wolle nich up mek hüeren. Wöi saiht üsch dann morgen. Gistern wüeren Luie in'n Derpe, däi wollen Swöine koipen."[105]

(Spelling of "Ostfälische Bibliothek")


Dä Bööme pustert sick wat tau: „Sömmer wörr lang, bettchen Rauh', bettchen Rauh'.Greun hät wi lange nauch ehat, bunt sall't nu weern". „Ja geiht denn dat?" Sau fröcht sau'n junken Berekenbusch. „Nich oppen mal, nich oppen Rusch," – daropp dä groote oole Eike –„sachte, sachte, dat't Greun denn ook weike.Wi will't vorrdieln, wer fänget anne? Ook dä lüttje Bereke is dranne."Dä Bööme under sick maakt uut –wer sick nu wat un wieveel druut.Jähl will dä Läreke weern, licht un helle,un ook dä Eller meld'sick glieks tau Stelle.Öhr Anlijjen: „Mott Gries, Sülwer un Swarrt mang sien, un witte Plecke sünd ook noch mien." Dä Vojjelbeere kiekt un will't nu wetten: „Ro'e Döne döört jie nich vorrjetten. Sauveel un sau rare, wie't davon jiwwt, dä blinkert un lücht - kein öbber bliwwt."„Dat seih ick ook," föllt de Ahoorn in,„ick un miene veeln Jeswisterkin!"Dä Beukenboom, düsse lanke slanke, sien Stamm is ümmer sau glatt un blanke, will sei alle, dä bunten Döne – un lacht: „Bruun datau, hät jie da anne dacht?" „Sluute mick an," hört'en en Eikenboom sejjen, „ick kann ook veel bunt Loof anlejjen. Jähl, un bruun, sülwern, ro'un mengeleert, nu wieset ju Farm'– unvorrfehrt. Von wieten sall'n uns lüchten seihn – wär't süht, sall sick von Harzen freun!"[106]



("Sass-ergänzende Schreibweise"; from Dithmarschen)

Wi gungen dool no de Stöörwischen, Jehann-Ōhm un ik. Mien Vedder Hans hârr dor ėn hâlf Dutz Jitten lōpen dėn Summer över, un hē hârr sō veel mit de Oorn tō dōōn, datt hē sik um de lütten Bēēster ni kümmern kunn. Dat wēēr dat rechte Oornwedder. Hier un dor drēēv ėn witte Wulk, de Westwind broch ėn lütte Kȫhlen mit un wēēǧ de Ellern an Grȫȫv un Beek liesen hėn un her. Op de Wischen grosen Jungvēēh, Melkkȫh un Töten mit süm Fohlen. Ėn Hârder wēēr dor ni bi, brēde, blanke Grȫḃen hegen süm in, datt süm ni wieken kunnen. De Ōl’ lēēp as ėn Tüüt, ėn gōden Gang dä ėm nix, un sien grōten, klōken Ōgen worrn dor âllns bi wies. "Kiek, lütt’ Dōris", sä hē opmool un wies no ėn Slupplock. "Loot uns hėngohn, de Dēērn muttst du di mool ansēhn."[107]

East Frisian Low German


(an East Frisian spelling)

Däi lütje Hēvelman – Theodor Storm – Onno Dirk Feldmann

D'r was insent 'n lütje jung un däi hēt fan Hēvelman. 'S nachts slēp häi in sīn 'n grôt rullenbäer un ōk 's nóómiddóóğs, dō häi möej was. Man dō häi näit möej was, mus sīn mauder hum in 't rullenbäer altīd in d' wōnkóómer hen un wēr foren. D'r kun häi rājn nōjt nauğ fan krīgen.

Dō lağ däi lütje Hēvelman up äin nacht in sīn rullenbäer un kun näit inslóópen, man mauder slēp al lâng tēgen hum, in höör grôt hēmelbäer.

"Mauder", rēp däi lütje Hēvelman, "ik wil foren!" Un däi mauder langde in d' slóóp mit höör ārm tau 't bäer ūt un rulde däi lütje berstē up un dóól. Altīd up un dóól un dō höör ārm möej wur, rēp däi lütje Hēvelman: "Mēr, mēr!" Un dō gung dat rullen wēr fan näjs tau. Man up 't läest slēp säi häilundal in un sō fööl Hēvelman ōk gilpen muğ, säi höörde niks. 'T was sğier dóón.

Dō dürs dat näit lâng, dō kēk däi móón tau d' rūden in. Däi gâud oel móón. Un wat häi dō sağ was sō drullerğ, dat häi sük ērst insent mit sīn pelsmāuen ōver 't gesiecht strīken mus, sük sīn ōgen tau wiskern. Sō wat hār däi oel móón no nōjt näit säin. [108]

East Pomeranian


From South America


(unknown spelling)

De fest

Ik kün min fruch im béa ni fina, zái láich ni fóa, zái láich ni hína. Ik náim a béssam un rakt álas dóa dun láibs mi tíscha báina dóa.

Ik nêicht min fruch tam nam fest hen móka, zái zéa ni nêi, zái vu bits schlópa. Ik zéia ta é kumas mit schên fruch, véia tus bliva ik ni in ruch. Un vi móka lôus na dem grôuda fest Vôua féel vila zínha un dái muskandas schpéla zêia un min fruch dáu ik véra nich fina.

Vili, Víli Lindeman, drink ma nich zôu fel, zíza, zíza krist schacht mit áin béssam schtel. Vili, Vili Lindeman, trek din hôuza schtram, zíza vets vat di passira kan. Ha! Ha! Ha![109]

(Transcription in Tressmann's spelling)

The letter combination “ij“ is not realized as a diphthong as in Dutch, but corresponds to a simple [iː], like the English “e” in “evening”.

Mij häwa 's forteld dat fel fon ous lüür dai saitung ni leesa. Un dat schal dår an leiga, dat fel dai pomersch språk ni eindig forståa. Wek haara al meint, då müüst wat up pomersch språk sreewa waara. Åwer wat lount uk dat hochdüütsch? Dat sin jå uk ni meir fel wat dat no koina. Ik häw mij oiwerlegt un frågt: wouwegen ni up pomersch srijwa? Dat jå, dat is ous språk, dat forståa wij ala. Wen dat ous språk is, wouweega schoila's wij ni benutsa? Natürlich, dat srijwen is går ni sou einfach, weegen wij häwa kain gramatik. Wekmål wet man ni wek wöir srijwa schal. Åwer dat wichtigst is, mein ik, dat wij ous forståa, wen 't ouk wekmålmeir krum ruuter kümt. Am forståen, dår schal 't ni an leiga. Ik wait dat vel lüür sich up platdüütsch braiws srijwa, tüscha hijr um Rondonia. Ik häw al sou går souna braiw lest un dat wäir gaud taum forståen. Dat is air saichen dat dai lüür sich dreigen forståa. Sou as dat haita däit: wer kaine hund hät, jacht mit ein kat. Åwer loowa jij mij: wen man sich richtig oiwerlegt, is dat går ni richtig dat wij ous språk as "quebra-galo" forståa! Ik waar ma's sega wouweegen: ous språk hät grår sou aina weird ås irgends ain anerd språk. Jera folk hät sijn språk. Un wij, pomersch folk häwa dat recht taum ous språk behulen. Dår is kair, wat ous dat forbaira kan. Dår is ouk kair wat dat recht hät, ous utlachen un utspoten, wen wij ous språk reera un srijwa. Wen ous pråk ni eird waart, dat is grår sou fel as wen dat folk ni eird waart. Dår is dai häka. Dat pomersch folk, sou as ouk fel andra klain folker, is ümer meir ina ek schoowa wuura. Fijna jij dat richtig? Wår mag dat an leiga? Anerd mål mäka wij ous dår wijrer gedanken oiwer. går ni, wijrer srijwen. Segt juugem preister of dit taum forståen west is. Un forsuikt jij ouk ma's Åwer bet anerd mål mücht ik ais geern waita of jij dit uk forståa häwa. Süsta loont jå un srijft wat am Semeador.

[Four different rhymes/songs]

Ik un mijn uldsch Nuu is dat glijk fijw, Set muter eera hochtijd, Määka, wen duu frijga wist,
wij dansa beid pulsch. un dai bal is glik uut. giwt dat kair swijnflaisch meir. den frijg duu mit mij,
Kaie ka beeter wij beid, wij tuuscha nuu rasch Aind, twai, drai fair, fijf, söss, soiwa, den aina doler häw ik nog,
as ik un mijn uldsch. mit dai bruud. wou is mijn fruug doch bleewa. den geew ik den glijk dij
Unkel sijn fruug Wij gåa mit dai määkes. is ni hijr, is ni dår Määka, wen duu frijga wist,
Tanta eer keirl. soulang dat nog geit, is fon Nord-Amerika. den frijg duu mit mij.
Kaie ka beeter sou måka wij Pomerer Fidal, fidal fumbalstair ik bün dai gaura Kristiån,
As unkel sijn fruug dat beid. häst duu doch min bruud ni saia? den frijg duu mit mij.




("Plautdietsch Spelling")

Wäa wieren Jesus siene Väavodasch?

Dit es daut Rejista von de Väavodasch von Jesus Christus.a Jesus wia een Nokomenda von Kjennich David, un Kjennich David wia Abraham sien Nokomenda. Abraham wia Isaak sien Voda, un Isaak wia Jakob sien Voda, un Jakob wia Juda, un siene Breeda äa Voda. Juda wia Perez un Serach äa Voda, dee hee met Tamar toop jehaut haud, un Perez wia Hezron sien Voda, un Hezron wia Ram sien Voda. Ram wia Amminadab sien Voda, un Amminadab wia Nahesson sien Voda, un Nahesson wia Salma sien Voda. Salma wia Boas sien Voda, dän hee met Rahab toop jehaut haud, un Boas wia Obed sien Voda, dän hee met Ruth toop jehaut haud, un Obed wia Jesse sien Voda. Jesse wia Kjennich David sien Voda, un Kjennich David wia Kjennich Salomo sien Voda, dän hee met Uria siene Wätfru toop jehaut haud. Kjennich Salomo wia Rehabeam sien Voda, un Rehabeam wia Abia sien Voda, un Abia wia Asa sien Voda. Asa wia Josaphat sien Voda, un Josaphat wia Joram sien Voda, un Joram wia Usia sien Voda. Usia wia Jotham sien Voda, un Jotham wia Ahas sien Voda, un Ahas wia Hiskia sien Voda. Hiskia wia Manasse sien Voda, un Manasse wia Amon sien Voda, un Amon wia Josia sien Voda. Un too de Tiet von de babielonische Jefangenschoft, wia Josia de Voda von Jechonja, un von Jechonja siene Breeda. Un no de babielonische Jefangenschoft, wia Jechonja de Voda von Sealtiel, un Sealthiel wia Serubabel sien Voda. Serubabel wia Abiud sien Voda, un Abiud wia Eliakim sien Voda, un Eliakim wia Asor sien Voda. Asor wia Zadok sien Voda, un Zadok wia Achim sien Voda, un Achim wia Eliud sien Voda. Eliud wia Eleazar sien Voda, un Eleazar wia Matthan sien Voda, un Matthan wia Jakob sien Voda. Jakob wia Josef sien Voda, un Josef wia Maria äa Maun. Maria wia Jesus siene Mutta, un Jesus wort dän Christus jenant.

Un soo see wie dan daut Jesus Christus, haud vieetieen Väavodasch, dee von ons Väavoda Abraham bat Kjennich David jeläft hauden; un hee haud vieetieen aundre Väavodasch, dee von Kjennich David bat de babielonische Jefangenschoft jeläft hauden; un dan haud Jesus noch eemol vieetieen Väavodasch, dee von de babielonische Jefangenschoft bat siene Jeburt jeläft hauden. Dit es de Jeschicht von de Jeburt von Jesus Christus Jesus Christus siene Jeburt wia soo aus dit passieet. Aus Jesus siene Mutta Maria, sikj Josef aunvetrut haud, dan wia see vom Heiljen Jeist schwanga jeworden, ea see un Josef sikj befriet hauden.Josef wia een gottesferchtja Mensch, un wiel Maria schwanga wia, dan wull hee sikj aul nich met äa befrieen. Un soo entschloot Josef sikj de Kjast bloos plietsch auftosajen, wiel hee Maria nich effentlich too Schaunden moaken wull. Un seet junt, aus Josef sikj äwa aul dit besonnen haud, dan kjeem een Enjel vom Harn no am en een Droom, un säd, "Josef, Nokomenda von Kjennich David, fercht die nich Maria aus diene Fru too nämen, wiel daut Kjint wuamet see schwanga es, es vom Heiljen Jeist. Maria woat een Sän han, un du saust am Jesus nanen. Jesus meent, 'de Har es Rada'. Un doawäajen saust du am Jesus nanen, wiel hee es deejanja, dee sien Volkj von äare Sinden friemoaken woat." Aul dit wia dan uk soo passieet aus de Har sien Profeet, daut aul sea lang trigj jesajcht haud, "Seet junt," säd de Profeet, "ne reine Junkfru woat schwanga woaren, un see woat een Sän han. Un äa Sän woaren see Immanuel nanen.", säd de Profeet.

Immanuel meent, "Gott es mank ons".

Aus Josef vom Schlop oppwuak, dan jehorcht hee dän Enjel vom Harn, un hee befried sikj met Maria. Un Josef un Maria hauden kjeene Jeschlajchtsvekjia, bat Maria äa ieeschten Sän haud. Un Josef nand am Jesus.[111]

Spoken examples

Holsteinisch dialect
Holsteinisch dialect
Holsteinisch dialect
Southern Westphalian
East Westphalian
East Westphalian
East Frisian Low German
East Frisian Low German
East Frisian Low German
East - Pomeranian
East Pomeranian
East Pomeranian
East Pomeranian

Notable Low German writers and performers


Middle Low German authors:

Plautdietsch authors:

Low German culture


As an important identity-forming element, the Low German language has been taught in schools in northern Germany for several years. In 2023, for example, the first class in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania graduated in the subject Low German.[112] The social position of Low German has improved significantly in recent years and enjoys a high level of prestige, especially in modern cities such as Hamburg and Bremen.[113]

Numerous formats in Low German are also offered on Norddeutscher Rundfunk.[114]

The television moderator Yared Dibaba has been campaigning for the preservation of Low German languages for years.[115]

The internet magazine Wearldspråke (alternatively also: Wearldsproake) is run by the musician and language activist Martin ter Denge.[116]

In 2020 the film "The Marriage Escape" was released, which is mostly in Tweants.[117]

Linguistically, historically and culturally there are close contacts with the Netherlands, Denmark and other predominantly Protestant inhabitants of the North and Baltic Seas such as Great Britain, the rest of Scandinavia and the Baltic states. In German usage, for example on Norddeutscher Rundfunk, northern Germany is occasionally viewed as part of Northern Europe, while the remaining part of Germany is less questioned as belonging to Central Europe.[118] Close relationships also existed in the field of literature and poetry, for example the Norwegian Thidrekssaga (13th century) is based, according to its own information, on "Low German" and "Saxon" templates.[119]

However, there are numerous other cultural and historical features that are common to the entire Low German-speaking area, such as the special architectural style of the "Low German hall house".[120] These houses are often provided with traditional gable decorations, which are also known under the terms "Hengst" and "Hors".[121]

The Germanic tribe of the Saxons, along with numerous other influencing factors like Slavic people, is considered one of the cultural and historical ancestors of the Northern Germans, so that there are still many points of connection to the Anglo-Saxons in folklore. The name of the city Bünde ("Bund": German for alliance) is said to allude to the alliance the brothers Hengest and Horsa once made there and then settled in what is now England. Modern scholars regard Hengest and Horsa as mythical figures.[122]

Spread of Low German Houses

Since the Brothers Grimm were friends with the von Haxterhausen family, numerous fairy tales by the Grimm children and household tales come from the Westphalian and thus Low German cultural area. However, there are a remarkable number of Grimm's fairy tales that are written in Low German in their original version, which is evidence of the high level of identification that North Germans have with their language.[123][124]

There are also numerous fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, which come from northern Germany, but are not or only partially in the original version in Low German.[125]

Even in Schleswig-Holstein, in the former settlement area of the Angles, one finds solitude in the storytelling tradition. “Grendel” is a Schleswig-Holstein dialect expression for a monster living in swamps, as it appears in the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf poem .[126]

Although there are no secession efforts in northern Germany, some are making efforts to strengthen northern German identity. In the 80s a flag was designed for Lower Germany, which is more or less widespread in northern Germany and is very heavily criticized, because their design is similar to the official flag of the Vepsians in Russia.[127]

See also



  1. ^ 2.2–5 million in northern Germany and 2.15 million in eastern Netherlands
  2. ^ "Low German" is known by the following other names in other languages. It is known in the Low German of Germany as Plattdütsch, Plattdüütsch, Plattdütsk, Plattdüütsk, Plattduitsk (South-Westphalian), Plattduitsch (Eastphalian), Plattdietsch (Low Prussian), or Neddersassisch, or Nedderdüütsch; in the Low Saxon of the Netherlands as Nedersaksisch; in (Standard) High German as Plattdeutsch, Niedersächsisch, Niederdeutsch (in a stricter sense) or Platt, pronounced [plat] (which can also mean dialect and refer to non-Low German varieties); in Dutch as Saksisch, Nedersaksisch, Platduits, Nederduits [ˈneːdərdœyts] (in a stricter sense); in Danish as Plattysk; plus, other dialectal variants exist.
  3. ^ Almost all settlements and physiogeographical features in East Germany have a Slavic etymology, e.g. cities like Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, Rostock, Lübeck and Schwerin, rivers like the Ryck or the Recknitz, or islands like Fehmarn.


  1. ^ Taaltelling Nedersaksisch, H. Bloemhoff. (2005). p88.
  2. ^ Status und Gebrauch des Niederdeutschen 2016 Archived 16 January 2021 at the Wayback Machine, A. Adler, C. Ehlers, R. Goltz, A. Kleene, A. Plewnia (2016)
  3. ^ a b The Other Languages of Europe: Demographic, Sociolinguistic, and Educational Perspectives by Guus Extra, Durk Gorter; Multilingual Matters, 2001 – 454; page 10.
  4. ^ Saxon, Low Ethnologue.
  5. ^ Maas, Sabine (2014). Twents op sterven na dood? : een sociolinguïstisch onderzoek naar dialectgebruik in Borne. Münster New York: Waxmann. p. 19. ISBN 978-3830980339.
  6. ^ German: § 23 Absatz 1 Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz (Bund).
    Die Frage, ob unter deutsch rechtlich ausschließlich die hochdeutsche oder auch die niederdeutsche Sprache subsumiert wird, wird juristisch uneinheitlich beantwortet: Während der BGH in einer Entscheidung zu Gebrauchsmustereinreichung beim Deutschen Patent- und Markenamt in plattdeutscher Sprache das Niederdeutsche einer Fremdsprache gleichstellt („Niederdeutsche (plattdeutsche) Anmeldeunterlagen sind im Sinn des § 4a Abs. 1 Satz 1 GebrMG nicht in deutscher Sprache abgefaßt.“ – BGH-Beschluss vom 19. November 2002, Az. X ZB 23/01), ist nach dem Kommentar von Foerster/Friedersen/Rohde zu § 82a des Landesverwaltungsgesetzes Schleswig-Holstein unter Verweis auf Entscheidungen höherer Gerichte zu § 184 des Gerichtsverfassungsgesetzes seit 1927 (OLG Oldenburg, 10. Oktober 1927 – K 48, HRR 1928, 392) unter dem Begriff deutsche Sprache sowohl Hochdeutsch wie auch Niederdeutsch zu verstehen.
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  • Adams, Douglas Q. (1975), "The Distribution of Retracted Sibilants in Medieval Europe", Language, 51 (2), Linguistic Society of America: 282–292, doi:10.2307/412855, JSTOR 412855

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