It’s easy to assume that Dutch is the only native language in the Netherlands, but linguistics is rarely that simple. Dutch is the majority language of the low-lying northwestern European nation, certainly, but it’s not the only one. For one thing, German-speaking minorities—specifically, Plattdeutsch speakers—can be found in the country’s north and east, and Limburgish, a minority language positioned between Dutch and German, is found in the province of Limburg. But that’s not all—the northern province of Friesland is home to West Frisian, a West Germanic language that’s closely related to Dutch and English.
West Frisian is by far the largest of the Frisian languages and is spoken almost exclusively in Friesland by around 470,000 native speakers, accounting for more than half of Friesland’s population. Most of the remainder of the population can also understand the language, even if it’s not their mother tongue. In Friesland, the language is co-official with Dutch, officially receiving equal status. West Frisian is taught in schools in Friesland and may even be used as a language of instruction, which gives the language a strong hold in the northern Dutch province. But while use of West Frisian may be vigorous in Friesland, it’s still rare to find translation agencies staffed with a translation team for the proud Germanic language. We at TranslationServices.com are proud to be one of the few with a West Frisian translation team.
You can see a free quote for our West Frisian translation services if you just ask for one!
What is West Frisian like as a language?
West Frisian is closely related to Dutch, but not to the point of mutual intelligibility—a 2005 study found that Dutch speakers could only understand 32% of a West Frisian newspaper. West Frisian is also a close relative of English, with both occupying the Anglo–Frisian branch of West Germanic languages, but an English speaker certainly wouldn’t understand West Frisian, either. This makes West Frisian a beautifully unique language between English and Dutch, similar to both yet also notably distinct.
West Frisian features two grammatical genders, although the gender distinction in articles is only present in the definite singular. The language has largely abandoned the case system previously used in Old Frisian, making it more similar to English. Like in Dutch and German, West Frisian features a diminutive suffix to denote smallness or cuteness—in fact, there are three diminutive suffixes, depending on the phonology of the base word.
We can translate just about anything to or from West Frisian.
West Frisian isn’t a dialect of Dutch, even if they seem similar—it’s a distinct and unique language that deserves all the respect that comes with that. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing top-notch West Frisian translation services both to and from the language, relying on our team of native speakers to translate whatever kind of documents you may need translated. We’ve been careful to select the best West Frisian translators from all over Friesland, and they’re eager to help you with your translation project, whether it’s corporate, academic, creative, or personal in nature.
When we say we can translate just about anything, we mean it. Have a historical document in West Frisian that you’d like to get a professional translation of? Or perhaps you want to share West Frisian stories and literature with a wider audience, sharing the unique culture of this Dutch province? Let our West Frisian translators help. Maybe you’re looking for translation into West Frisian instead, whether it’s to allow your organization to better engage consumers in Friesland, to make a native-language education more attainable to West Frisian children, or provide West Frisian speakers with interesting literature and media, from novels and poems to games and apps, in their native language. For all these cases and more, we’re here.
Take the first step toward professional West Frisian translation services today by getting in contact with us!