North Frisian language

North Frisian
Frasch / Fresk / Freesk / Friisk
Bilingual signs German-Frisian, police station Husum, Germany 0892.JPG
Bilingual sign in German and North Frisian, respectively, in Husum, Germany
Native toGermany
Native speakers
(10,000 cited 1976)[1]
Official status
Official language in
Nordfriesischeflagge.svg Nordfriesland
Flag of Helgoland.svg Heligoland
Language codes
ISO 639-3frr
Linguasphere52-ACA-e (varieties:
52-ACA-eaa to -eak &
extinct -eba & -ebb)
North Frisian dialects
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Linguistic map of Schleswig in the mid-19th century

North Frisian is a minority language of Germany, spoken by about 10,000 people in North Frisia.[3] The language is part of the larger group of the West Germanic Frisian languages. The language comprises 10 dialects which are themselves divided into an insular and a mainland group.

North Frisian is closely related to the Saterland Frisian language of Northwest Germany and West Frisian which is spoken in the Netherlands. All of these are also closely related to the English language forming the Anglo-Frisian group.

The phonological system of the North Frisian dialects is strongly being influenced by Standard German and is slowly adapting to that of the German language. With a number of native speakers probably even less than 10,000 and decreasing use in mainland North Frisia, the North Frisian language is endangered. It is protected as a minority language and has become an official language in the Nordfriesland district and on Heligoland island.


The closest relatives of North Frisian are the two other Frisian languages, the Saterland Frisian of north-western Lower Saxony, Germany, and the West Frisian language spoken in the northern Netherlands. Together, the three sub-groups form the group of Frisian languages.

English is also closely related to Frisian. The two languages are classified in a common Anglo-Frisian group, which is grouped among the Ingvaeonic languages, together with Low German. The related Low German has developed differently since Old Saxon times and has lost many Ingvaeonic characteristics.[4]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Noord-Fries
azərbaycanca: Şimali friz dili
Bân-lâm-gú: Pak Frisia-gí
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Паўночнафрыская мова
brezhoneg: Frizeg an norzh
Esperanto: Nordfrisa lingvo
Frysk: Noardfrysk
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Pet Frisia-ngî
hornjoserbsce: Sewjerofrizišćina
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa Frisia Utara
kernowek: Northfrisek
Limburgs: Noord-Fries
Nederlands: Noord-Fries
Nedersaksies: Noordfrais
Nordfriisk: Nuurdfresk
Plattdüütsch: Noordfreesche Spraak
Seeltersk: Noudfräisk
svenska: Nordfrisiska
Tiếng Việt: Tiếng Bắc Friesland