East Frisian (Ōstfräisk)

East Frisian is spoken in the Ostfriesland region of Lower Saxony in the northwest Germany by about 200,000 people. It is also known as East Frisian Low Saxon, Ostfriesisch, Ostfriesisch-Niederdeutsch or Platt. It is a mixture of Eastlauwers Frisian, Low German, Dutch and French.

East Frisian was once spoken between the river Lauwers in the Netherlands and the river Weser in Germany. There were two main dialects Ems and Weser. From 1500 it was gradually replaced by varieties of Low German. By the mid-17th century the Ems dialect had disappeared. The Weser dialect continued to be spoken on the island of Wangerooge in the district of Friesland in Lower Saxony in Germany until 1953.

From 1600 to 1880, Dutch was the language of the church in large parts of East Frisia, and as a result, many Dutch words were borrowed into East Frisian. Many French-speaking Huguenots emmigrated to East Frisia, which resulted in French vocabulary being borrowed. Also, East Fiesland was a department of French, the Ems-Oriental department, from 1810 to 1814.

East Frisian alphabet and pronunciation

East Frisian pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for East Frisian (Excel)

Sample text

Âl minsken wordent fräj un glīk in wērderğkaid un rechten bōren. Säi hebbent küen un gewäiten mitkrēgen un söölent mitnanner in brörskup lēven.

Listen to a recording of this text by Onno Dirk Feldmann

Sample videos


Information about East Frisian

Germanic languages

Afrikaans, Alsatian, Bavarian, Cimbrian, Danish, Dutch, Elfdalian, English, Faroese, Flemish, Frisian (East), Frisian (North), Frisian (Saterland), Frisian (West), German, Gothic, Gottscheerish, Gronings, Hunsrik, Icelandic, Limburgish, Low German, Luxembourgish, Mòcheno, Norn, Norwegian, Old English, Old Norse, Pennsylvania German, Ripuarian, Scots, Shetland(ic), Stellingwarfs, Swabian, Swedish, Swiss German, Transylvanian Saxon, Värmlandic, Wymysorys, Yiddish, Yola, Zeelandic

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created 10.11.21. Last modified: 09.06.24


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