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History of language


West Frisian (Frysk) is a language spoken mostly in the province of Friesland (Fryslân) in the north of the Netherlands. West Frisian is the name by which this language is usually known outside of the Netherlands, to distinguish it from the closely related Frisian languages of Saterland Frisian and North Frisian, which are spoken in Germany. Within the Netherlands however, the West Frisian language is the language of the province of Fryslân and is virtually always just called Frisian: Fries in Dutch, and Frysk in Frisian; Westfries (literary West Frisian) is the Dutch name of the West Frisian dialect spoken in Westfriesland, a region in the province of North Holland.

The 'official' name used by linguists in the Netherlands to indicate the West Frisian language is Westerlauwers Fries (West Lauwers Frisian), the Lauwers being a border stream which separates the Dutch provinces of Friesland and Groningen.

Frisian anthem

Frysk bloed tsjoch op! wol no ris brûze en siede,
En bûnzje troch ús ieren om!
Flean op! Wy sjonge it bêste lân fan d'ierde,
It Fryske lân fol eare en rom.
Klink dan en daverje fier yn it rûn
Dyn âlde eare, o Fryske grûn!
Klink dan en daverje fier yn it rûn
Dyn âlde eare, o Fryske grûn!

Hoe ek fan oermacht, need en see betrutsen,
Oerâlde, leave Fryske grûn,
Nea waard dy fêste, taaie bân ferbrutsen,
Dy't Friezen oan har lân ferbûn.
Klink dan en daverje fier yn it rûn
Dyn âlde eare, o Fryske grûn!
Klink dan en daverje fier yn it rûn
Dyn âlde eare, o Fryske grûn!

Fan bûgjen frjemd, bleau by 't âld folk yn eare
Syn namme en taal, syn frije sin;
Syn wurd wie wet; rjocht, sljocht en trou syn leare,
En twang, fan wa ek, stie it tsjin.
Klink dan en daverje fier yn it rûn
Dyn âlde eare, o Fryske grûn!
Klink dan en daverje fier yn it rûn
Dyn âlde eare, o Fryske grûn!

Trochloftich folk fan dizze âlde namme,
Wês jimmer op dy âlders grut!
Bliuw ivich fan dy grize, hege stamme
In grien, in krêftich bloeiend leat!
Klink dan en daverje fier yn it rûn
Dyn âlde eare, o Fryske grûn!
Klink dan en daverje fier yn it rûn
Dyn âlde eare, o Fryske grûn!

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The Basque Country

Though geographically surrounded by Indo-European languages, Basque is classified as a language isolate. It is the last remaining pre-Indo-European language in Western Europe. Consequently, its prehistory may not be reconstructible by means of the comparative method except by applying it to differences between dialects within the language. Little is known of its origins but it is likely that an early form of the Basque language was present in Western Europe before the arrival of the Indo-European languages to the area.

Latin inscriptions in Aquitania preserve a number of words with cognates in reconstructed proto-Basque, for instance the personal names Nescato and Cison (neskato and gizon mean "young girl" and "man" respectively in modern Basque). This language is generally referred to as Aquitanian and is assumed to have been spoken in the area before the Roman conquests in the western Pyrenees. Roman neglect of this area allowed Aquitanian to survive while the Iberian and Tartessian languages became extinct. Through the long contact with Romance languages, Basque adopted a sizable number of Romance words. Initially the source was Latin, later Gascon (a branch of Occitan) in the northeast, Navarro-Aragonese in the southeast and Spanish in the southwest.

In June 2006, the head of the archaeological site of Iruña-Veleia Eliseo Gil claimed to have found an epigraphic set with a series of 270 Basque inscriptions and drawings from the third century. Some of the words and phrases found were remarkably similar to modern Basque and so were hailed as the first written evidence of Basque. However, the whole finding soon came under serious question and the suspicion of an archaeological forgery has become widespread, after an independent team assessed the alleged evidence and concluded in 2008 that it was false. Yet Gil has stuck to his claims while not dismissing flat out the independent team's conclusion.


The Basque country anthem

Ilargia uretan murgildu da
itsas arrain txikien ondora
uraren hozkirriaren zirrara
hondar epelaren alboan.

Iluntzean uraren ertzean
errainu baten argia,
ene maite biok jolasean
olatu zipriztin artean.

Haizeak zimurtu du itsasoa
kresalak lehortu malkoa,
maite zure zain hementxe naukazu
izar goiztiarrei begira.

Iluntzean uraren ertzean...
listen here to this song:
Words and sentences
Basque                                                      Frisian
Kaixo                                                          goeie
Zer moduz zaude?                                  hoe giet it?
Maite zaitut                                               ik hâld fan dy
On egin!                                                    lekker iete!
Egun on!                                                   goeiemoarn
Bihar arte                                                 oant moarn
Ondo lo egin                                            sliep lekker
Mutila/ Neska                                          jonge/famke
Eskerrikasko                                          dankje
Zorionak                                                  lokwinske
Agur!                                                         oant sjen!

Last modified: 2010-03-08 11:36 by Akkeneel Talsma